Excellence in Engagement Through Digital Channels

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by Portland for Royal College of Paediatric and Child Health (RCPCH)

Summary of work

Recruitment into, and retention within, the NHS workforce is a significant and pressing challenge facing the UK health system. Medical students choosing to specialise in paediatrics fell by nearly 10% between 2016 and 2018. In 2017, The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) was forced to run a second recruitment round for paediatric training, marking a first time for the College.

The RCPCH challenged Portland to devise a communications campaign that both encouraged medical students to apply to, and experienced paediatricians to continue in, the profession.

Portland developed a digital, national campaign showcasing an authentic insight into the life of a paediatrician. Alongside this, dedicated content was produced aimed at experienced paediatricians, recognising their fundamental role in inspiring the next generation of doctors.

Based on this research Portland developed a series of emotive videos which flipped the interview approach: paediatricians were interviewed by children. Audience targeting ensured the digital launch succeeded in reaching critical audiences.

A month into the campaign, videos had been viewed more than 500,000 times with impressions of more than 1.7 million, with practising paediatricians saying the campaign achieved “…a hugely innovative spotlight to shine on an enormously important issue in the UK”.

Judges’ comments

#ChoosePaediatrics focused on highlighting the rewards of working in paediatrics, and set out to deliver clear objectives, with a creative campaign aimed at a well targeted audience, which is one we rarely see in a Communiqué entry. The results were impressive and well measured.