NHSBT generated some very successful results within mainstream and social media. Volumes for mainstream coverage saw a threefold increase on last year’s results due to the huge buzz created by the social media campaign (19,749 mentions across social media spaces during June 2015).
Message delivery, which was a key metric for NHSBT, increased by 16 percentage points to 97 percent. It became clear that the strong stats NHSBT used were crucial in forming an effective news hook for the campaign. This was reflected in the Gorkana evaluation report. The message that 40 percent fewer new volunteers had come forward to give blood last year compared to a decade ago featured in 78 percent of all content, while the message that 204,000 new volunteers needed to come forward featured in 63 percent of all coverage. These research figures informed NHSBT’s subsequent strategy and the organisation continues to use them to garner support for campaigns.
As mentioned previously, it was also crucially important that people knew where to go to register as a blood donor. Website analytics showed that between 5 and 14 June, 10,933 people visited the main campaign page, and 1,805 people (16.5 percent) clicked through to book an appointment to give blood. This resulted in just 90 appointments (a 5 percent conversion rate). This led NHSBT to investigate whether there were enough appointments available for the public or if people were being notified that their local clinic operated a walk-in system to give blood. These learnings are being used to inform future campaign activity in order to improve the conversion rates. Overall, NHSBT concluded that investing more time and resource into web analytics would be useful going forward given all the insights and learnings it provided during the missing type campaign.
The part of our evaluation report illustrating which media tactics worked well was also used to inform future planning. One of the key insights for NHSBT was the effectiveness of a press release to regional/local media to highlight the number of people who had signed up in the area compared to the same period last year. This was an experimental PR tactic which resulted in a great response from the local media, producing 83 articles in total, leading NHSBT to employ this again when launching subsequent campaigns.
A key learning was also gained through the second campaign press release to national and regional media. The release focused on the results of a survey about people’s knowledge of their own blood group and random facts they were not likely to know. The media failed to respond to this because they were still covering the national and regional story from the initial launch. This led NHSBT to be more flexible with their pre-planned media tactics and re-evaluate the timings for each activity.
The social media element of the campaign also did exceptionally well. Our data showed that Facebook accounted for over 46 percent of total referring traffic, and 29 percent of total referring traffic was from Facebook mobile. This statistic will be used to justify why additional budget should be allocated to optimise web pages for mobile audiences when launching future campaigns. NHSBT also concluded that they should allow more time in planning social media campaigns in order to be as creative as possible and allow more resource for manual twitter outreach, which aided support for the campaign from major brands and influencers. This was a more effective way for supporters to convey the correct message and hashtag (see Appendix 4).
The integration of data on donor registrations with data on media coverage provided a range of important insights. We showed that there was a direct correlation between mainstream/social coverage and new donor registration across June 2015 with registrations peaking on the 5th – the day the main story of the campaign hit the media.
We also used data obtained from a survey of 10,000 people across the UK to compare the relationship between mainstream media and the percentage of coverage reaching the BAME and young adults audience groups. We then used correlation analysis to identify key trends and patterns. Findings revealed a strong correlation with the young adults audience group on 8 June when NHSBT gained coverage in publications including Metro.co.uk and Yahoo (when 46 percent of this target audience were reached). The most effective part of the campaign to reach the BAME audience group was on 5 June, when NHSBT successfully targeted 70 percent of the BAME audience. It seems likely that the BAME PR activity which was launched on 5 June explains this spike. Ultimately the main aim of the campaign was to get people to donate blood. Results revealed that:
- From 1 June to 21 June 2014 registrations were 22,489; for the same period in 2015 they were 46,756. The total for June was 56,877.
- From 5 to 14 June 2014 BAME registrations were 1,390; for the same period in 2015 they were 2,113 – a 141 percent increase. The highest responses came from the Indian and Black Caribbean communities.
- In 2014, 3,442 young adults registered; in 2015, the same group had 7,856 registrations. Andrea Ttofa, Head of Media and PR at NHBT says Gorkana’s analysis has been indispensable to their
“We see Gorkana as a vital ingredient of our campaigns. Their evaluation reports give us a real understanding of both the media, social media and, more importantly, the business impact of campaigns such as #MissingType and valuable insights for future activity. Knowing what works well and taking learning forward is vital as the media and social media landscape is constantly changing and we absolutely must constantly evolve to ensure we publicly promote donation as effectively as possible to continue saving lives.”
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