Vikings Shortlisted for Best Healthcare Campaign Award

Vikings Shortlisted for Best Healthcare Campaign Award widnesvikings.co.uk
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21st July 2017

Widnes Vikings 'Beat the Scrum' campaign has been shortlisted for the Best Healthcare Campaign Award at the Chartered Institute of PR (CIPR) Pride North West Awards.  

The Vikings teamed up with NHS Halton Clinical Commissioning Group to create a unique series of videos that creatively educated people on how to make the right choices when accessing NHS services. By helping people to select the services that are appropriate to their need, the campaign aimed to relieve pressures faced by vital NHS services, such as Accident and Emergency departments.

The campaign saw the Vikings squad take part in around 20 short features. These included members of the Vikings squad filling a corridor at Whiston Hospital’s A&E department, encouraging viewers to ‘beat the scrum at A&E’, as well as Vikings Head Coach, Denis Betts, giving his players a team talk on the ‘playing formation’ of the Halton’s NHS services.

In the space of just three weeks, the campaign delivered more than 100,000 video views, achieved coverage in a host of local newspapers and radio stations, and reached regional and national audiences with coverage on BBC North West News, Sky Sports, Sunday Politics (North West), BBC Radio 5 Live, Talksport and The Daily Mirror.

The CIPR Pride Awards are one of the UK's most prestigious public relations awards. The ceremony received over 950 entries from public relations teams, consultancies and individuals across the UK, and were judged by an independent panel of healthcare experts.

A key priority of the campaign was raising awareness of Halton’s two Urgent Care Centres in Widnes and Runcorn. These services provide treatment for injuries or conditions that require urgent attention but aren’t serious or life-threatening.

The average waiting time at a local A&E department is around 4 hours - in Halton’s Urgent Care services, people are treated in around 57 minutes. In 2015/16, over £250,000 was spent treating 4300 people in A&E who could have been treated at Urgent Care.

James Rule, CEO of Widnes Vikings, says: "The Beat The Scrum campaign was a unique example of public engagement in health. It was creative, ambitious, and delivered fantastic results - with unprecedented views and widespread media coverage.

Widnes Vikings are proud to have received international recognition for the impact that we have made in promoting health and wellbeing in our local community, working with NHS Halton CCG. The campaign represents another exciting chapter in this partnership.

We are delighted that this innovative approach of community engagement and digital marketing has been recognised with this nomination. I would like to thank everyone who helped made this campaign such a success." 

Vikings Shortlisted for Best Healthcare Campaign Award widnesvikings.co.uk