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Ramping up our comms about GOV.UK

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We’ve been doing lots of targeted comms about the move of the DH website to GOV.UK over the past six months and now with just 5 weeks to go we’ve really started going to town on it

Last week I published a news story to DH - Website to move to GOV.UK in March 2013 - which went out via email alert to everyone who is signed up to our news. There is also a ‘promo box’ on every page of the site now, pointing people at the news story. It’s had about 3,000 views so far.

A couple of weeks ago the Guardian Healthcare Network approached me to write a blog piece for their site, which should go out soon, and again hopefully reach a wider audience than our current comms has done.

The next steps are to get in touch with our top referrers - we know which websites link to which content - so we’ll be to tell them about redirects. Some people, like the team at NHS Evidence have already come to talk to us about the feeds they use from our site and how we can move without breaking things on their site.

And we’ve got a few more channels that we can utilise - all the bulletins that go out to the NHS, local government and providers - so we’ll do that a bit closer to the time.

Within DH I think most people are sick of hearing from us, but we’re not quite done yet!

The digital team will feature in the next DHLife the online magazine for staff, with a lighthearted feature about what digital is and isn’t, and with a Q&A from our very own Stephen Hale.

We’re continuing to use the digital health site to blog about GOV.UK and everything else we’re up to, but we’ve also been publishing blogs on our intranet ‘the hub” since the summer as well as using the traditional intranet news features and fortnightly staff round-up newsletter to keep people informed.

We found that for reaching the more senior people in the organisation, a submission to our Permanent Secretary and Director Generals has worked well. This got ‘cascaded’ down to many of the directors and team leaders with positive comments, which has certainly helped.

But in doing all this, we’ve been focused on quality not just quantity. When we started out we tested our messaging with a few people and adjusted the levels of carrot and stick accordingly. Expectation management is also a big part of this project for us and we’ve tried to make the who/ why/ where/ what as clear as possible.

Charlotte produced a simple evaluation form for the awareness roadshows she and Rob ran at the end of 2012. We found most people (81%) had already heard about GOV.UK - lots via the intranet. After the events 90% said they had a ‘medium’ or ‘comprehensive’ understanding of GOV.UK  - up from 53% at the beginning - and 92% said they’d had the right level of information and at the right speed.

You can’t please everyone but I think this is darned good!

So that’s what we’ve been doing... Surely we can’t have missed anyone?! Can we?

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  1. Comment by Lyndsey posted on

    I had used the quite a lot in the past, however found it was quite confusing with its multi-layered and deep hierarchy. Whilst I've not used the new site a vast amount, I personally have found the information to be much clearer and user friendly (especially on a mobile device). The good thing about it is that it simplifies the information but without being patronising, and you can always find out more detail using the links if required.

    Many thanks,