Student Summit Session Perspective: Changing behaviour, protecting the NHS, saving lives

The past year has been absolutely challenging for the state government. That’s why this panel was all about their Covid-19 communication activities. Talking about how the government needed to change its behavior, protected the NHS and saved lives. The topic was presented by: Alex Aiken, Executive Director of Government Communication; Catherine Hunt, Head of Insight and Evaluation and Matthew Walmsley, Deputy Director Insight, Evaluation and Behavioural Science from the UK Government Communication Service. 

As in many other countries, the Coronavirus crisis led to changes, especially in communications. Within strategic communications, the government used e.g. business partnerships, marketing and external affairs and stakeholders to move and inform people. The overall strategy included: plan, implement, evaluate and report. In this context, the prime minister’s office and the cabinet office communications developed a new evaluation program. The goal was to assess the impact of the UK government’s response to the coronavirus. By establishing KPIs and innovatively collecting and analyzing data, they were able to link the largest ever paid campaign and communication to lives saved. Matthew Walmsley once again highlighted the lessons learned and reminded “we are still learning”. Collaborating with all teams and the importance of data and it’s use is getting even more important. 

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