Do you have a strong interest in communicating the fantastic work of Healthwatch to the public and our stakeholders and partners?
Do you want to help Healthwatch campaigns be the best they can possibly be, at a local, regional and national level?
Then our new Campaigns and Communications Ambassadors Network (CAN) is for you.
We are creating the network to link up staff or volunteers at all levels of seniority who generally lead on campaigns and communications for their local Healthwatch and want to help deliver campaigning activity and messaging in a more coordinated and impactful way. You don’t need any particular qualifications or job title – just real enthusiasm for raising Healthwatch’s profile and making more people engage with us.
The CAN will provide a regular opportunity for you and your local Healthwatch to:
- Find out first about upcoming national campaigns to participate in
- Identify opportunities for collaboration between Healthwatch (both locally and with HWE)
- Learn about innovation and best practice in the campaigns and communications disciplines
- Help strengthen Healthwatch’s collective reach and profile
Why have we created CAN?
We already have an active communications group and regularly see most local Healthwatch supporting our national campaigns but we want to take this further by providing a forum to build campaigning skills, improve planning and encourage joint campaigns across the network.
What is a campaign?
A campaign is a planned sequence of communications and interactions that uses a compelling narrative over time to deliver a defined and measurable outcome.
What commitment will be involved?
CAN will meet bi-monthly – with four of those six annual meetings providing learning opportunities, and additional opportunities for updates. We would ask CAN members to attend these meetings where possible but making each one is not essential (the first meeting is on 9 June - please find details here).
What we would ask is that CAN members do generally keep up to speed with the updates shared with the group and help your Healthwatch participate in coordinated campaigns and communications activity as you will be the named contact at your Healthwatch who we can update on campaign activity. We are fully aware of the staffing and resource constraints many Healthwatch face so as much or as little time you are able to devote to the network is fine.
What else are we doing to raise the profile of Healthwatch?
The CAN’s creation comes alongside other work we are doing to strengthen the profile and impact of Healthwatch’s campaigning activity, including the identification of a network of selected Healthwatch media spokespeople. These individuals (generally chief officers and chairs who have previous media experience) will be our go-to representatives for regional media interviews relating to national campaigns.
We may also be able to offer opportunities on an ad hoc basis when the media approach Healthwatch England for spokespeople on particular topics or regional issues. We are planning to deliver some external training to help prepare those involved.
We are also planning a number of improvements to the Healthwatch brand and the resources we provide to you, to strengthen our ability to engage the communities we serve.
How do I get involved?
You can sign-up to the CAN using our short online form.
To find out more about the CAN, email Chris Gorman, Campaigns and Regional Manager: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will also be holding our first workshop on 9 June, which will help delegates understand the key ingredients to plan effective communications and provide a platform to share learning, best practice and future campaign plans.