In 2014-15, Caerphilly’s recycling performance declined, primarily because high levels of recycling materials were contaminated. The council developed its ‘Is yours a sin bin?’ campaign. It identified seven ‘bin sins’ (items that were being placed incorrectly in recycling bins). The campaign included recycling advisors visiting all households in the borough to speak to residents or deliver flyers on recycling, as well as advertising on billboards, local newspapers and online, particularly using video clips. The campaign resulted in improved recycling with less contamination.
East Riding of Yorkshire Council
In support of the government’s drive to provide superfast broadband to 95% of premises by 2017, the council undertook a bold and creative in-house campaign that aimed to convince 30% of local broadband users to take up superfast broadband. The council employed a targeted, strategic approach not seen before. It used customer insight behaviour profiles to deliver a multi-channel campaign, inspiring and generating demand for superfast broadband. Take-up increased from 18.23% (November 2015) to 30.23% (July 2016), far exceeding other campaigns nationally.
About half of all women who smoke give up when they find that they are pregnant but there are many who are unable to do so and they do not always receive help. ‘Love Your Bump’ was a supportive campaign encouraging families to come together and quit smoking for the sake of ‘their bump’. It aimed to give Hertfordshire’s babies a happy and healthy start in life by reaching out to pregnant smokers and their families, and supporting professionals with a package of tools and training. As a result, the number of women successfully quitting increased by 38% compared with the previous year.
Liverpool City Council
The Drink Less Enjoy More campaign, run by Liverpool City Council and Merseyside Police with universities, bars and clubs, aimed to raise awareness of the risks of excessive drinking. The campaign focused on peer-to-peer influence and training bar staff. It used a range of communication tools including press releases, billboard and bus stop advertising, the internet and social media. An evaluation of the campaign demonstrated reductions in accident and emergency attendance and alcohol-related violence during the period of the campaign and permanent changes in the bars and clubs.
Malvern Hills DC
A school production entitled ‘SELFie – where’s the HARM?’ aimed to raise awareness among young people of the signs of early mental health issues. This educational play was written based on the findings of two workshops that took place in Malvern Hills high schools with year nine pupils, who provided the content for this powerful drama dealing with issues around mental health and self-harm. The piece has been performed in five high schools across the district to 1,355 young people between the ages of 11 and 15, and is now being rolled out to further educational settings.
Northamptonshire’s fostering campaign represented a drastic change in the way it recruits foster carers. Where other councils have seen a decrease in fostering enquiries, Northamptonshire has seen an increase. The council has tapped into what motivates current foster carers, such as concern over family breakdown, to inform the campaign’s messages, and used real-life stories throughout. The year-long campaign, which used online communications and face-to-face events, led to a 36.6% increase in fostering enquiries compared with the previous year.
Rochdale developed the ‘Recycling Saves Money’ campaign to support a new kerbside collection service, which introduced a weekly collection of bio waste and collections for all other bins every three weeks. The campaign engaged residents to separate their food waste, recycle properly and present their bins on the correct days. A key message was that recycling saved money to protect public services. The campaign used a variety of media in innovative ways while keeping to behavioural change messages and design themes. Its thoroughness ensured an extremely successful outcome.
St Helens MBC
The ‘Time to Talk in St Helens #10000Minutes’ campaign aimed to reduce stigma regarding mental health issues. The campaign cost £5,000, trained 100 mental health champions, delivered 20,000 minutes of interventions in three months and provided additional support to more than 1,000 people through referral and signposting. The conversations led to changes in people’s lives, particularly in the areas of need and deprivation across the borough. ‘Time to Talk’ lives on through community events and engagement with local schools.
Westminster City Council
Westminster’s ‘Real Change’ campaign took an innovative approach to the thorny issue of giving to beggars, one of the least effective ways to help the homeless. Instead of telling people what not to do, Westminster’s campaign thanked them and encouraged them to keep making a change by giving to charities and alerting services. It targeted well-meaning givers, including the Muslim community, who were being targeted by beggars during Ramadan, traditionally a time of charitable giving. The ambitious campaign brought together organisations traditionally involved in the issue, as well as new international partners, leading to a decrease in begging and 43 rough sleepers being referred to Westminster’s homelessness teams.
Ian Farrow, managing director, WestCo
Louise Footner, head of communications, Surrey CC
David Holdstock, director of communications and strategy, Local Government Association
Simon Jones, head of communications, Haringey LBC, and national chairman, LGcommunications