It’s important to build evaluation into your campaign from the beginning. It can sometimes be the last thing we think about when it comes to running a successful communications campaign. However, it’s much easier to implement if, at the planning stage, you have already thought about what you want to measure.

It is important to understand what works, what doesn’t work and why, particularly when you are engaging with a diverse audience. Above all, don’t be afraid to change your approach if things aren’t working. Evaluation is not about highlighting mistakes but about identifying areas to improve and optimising your approach. You should periodically assess your materials and messages to understand what aspects work and what doesn’t to help make improvements to increase registration and uptake further.

Set clear objectives

Define your goals and objectives before you begin your campaign. Discuss these with your programme team to understand how many patients you expect to register during the first month, and so on. This will help you to set realistic targets. A clear measure of the effectiveness of your campaign could be your conversion rates i.e. how many people have registered and which communications strategy/medium was most popular in achieving this. However, you may also want to know the number of people who have viewed their information, or considered registering but did not complete the process. Understanding why they didn’t complete the process will help you to assess what, if any changes, need to be made to your approach.

Reasons why the process may not be completed

      • The benefits are not clearly communicated

      • The registration process is not clearly understood and the patient has problems completing the steps

      • Patient is unsure if this is a legitimate invitation.

Helpful evaluation tools to consider

  • Google Analytics – lets you measure web traffic and where it is coming from.

  • Social media monitoring tools, such as Twitter Analytics or Facebook Insights – you can measure link clicks, mentions, retweets, shares, video watches, and new followers. These measures can be important indications of how well your campaign is working.

  • Media monitoring services – a useful way to keep track of media coverage. You could use paid-for services or set up very simple search alerts to track mentions using Google Alerts. It's best to check with your PR team as it's likely they'll already have a subscription to this type of service.

  • Surveys – you can build questions into the application process to find out where people first heard about the opportunity to access their record, for example; you could use tools such as SurveyMonkey to find out what attracted them and what they thought of the campaign.

Top tip!

Use a scheduling tool like Hootsuite to plan and schedule your social media messages in advance. This will help to save a lot of time in the long run and ensure information is being shared on social media at regular intervals. Don’t be shy about reusing content! Post the same messages on different days and at varying intervals to ensure they have the best chance of being seen.