NW ADASS – Be a care hero

A recruitment campaign for social care during COVID-19

The challenge

It was identified that, as a result of the pandemic, local Authorities were anticipating a 25-50% reduction in adult social care staffing due to isolation and sickness, leading to a potential loss of up to half of the workforce. This would put some of the most vulnerable people in our communities at risk. It was decided by NW ADASS to try and do something about this and fast.

Think were approached to create a campaign to recruit an auxiliary social care workforce to support the main workforce. The campaign needed to target specific groups of people:

  • Those who can’t work but wanted to – hospitality, events, travel.
  • Those who normally work in other caring sectors – nursery workers, teachers and school staff.
  • People who used to work in health or social care.
  • And students – something to do / experience CV.

The approach

We did our research as many individual authorities had already launched lots of localised campaigns and we needed to create something that would cut through the visual noise of stock images next to some text.

NW ADASS needed a higher impact wider reaching campaign.

Presenting a number of creative concepts, the preferred approach, coined ‘be a care hero’ told the story of a number of imaginary people (from the above sectors) bringing to life before and after scenarios on how (for example), they used to look after people in aeroplanes, now they look after people in care homes.

On approval of concept we developed 2-3 design styles. It was our preference to use illustration and after several discussions and a wider stakeholder engagement, the choice was to go down an illustrative route which appealed directly to the reader and cut through all the noise.

These were paired with a badge and hashtag as a call to action and it was implemented across all communications to help gain momentum on social platforms.

We produced 9 animated gifs, static graphics and a toolbox – which included copywriting suggestions – to maximise the limited budget and reach. These were sent to all 23 local authorities, independent care providers and all supporters, partners and director networks to share on social media. The social media posts all linked to www.greater.jobs, where they could submit a quick application to their local authority.

These assets ran alongside a hugely successful PR campaign (interviews on BBC Radio Manchester and Merseyside were conducted as a result) and regional radio advert that had a projected reach of 1.2 million listeners.

The results

The campaign went live just before Easter and to date of publishing this post we have had 12,408 visits to the landing page and nearly 700 applicants, with over 100 positions filled in Oldham alone.

It’s notoriously difficult to recruit for social care positions. It’s a hard, unglamorous, low income employment, so this is a fantastic achievement in a very short space of time and fingers crossed the campaign continues momentum to help plug the work force gap.

“We consider the Be a Care Hero campaign to be a hugely successful one. 4 weeks in and nearly 700 applications received was more than we could ever expected or hoped for. Have to say this is all down to the brilliant campaign concept and creative execution by Think Design and their insistence that using graphics over photography was the way forward.”

Matt Emerson, Programme Director, NW ADASS

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