If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, does it make a sound? This philosophical question provides an important cautionary tale for the PARADIGM project. If PARADIGM delivers on the promised outputs, but no one knows about it, in essence, it fails. A critical part of success is awareness and transparency during the project, as well as uptake of the outputs upon its completion. Our remit involves not only the creation of content; it is about ensuring the target audience understands that content and its contextual underpinning.
Hence communication feeds into everything we do as part of this project. While this is true, the process for communication can be more complex and occur on a few different levels, as communication is ultimately everybody’s responsibility:
- Consortium members provide insights within their relevant organisations as well as taking the opportunity to engage externally
- Each workgroup within the project oversees outreach related to their work area and their outputs
- The group specifically working on communications liaises within the consortium as well as with external groups to produce material for different channels; this includes old media and new, as well as overseeing the website and LinkedIn interface
- Project management oversees routine internal communications, as well as engaging in external forums
- The storytelling team is comprised of members of each workgroup, the communications group and professional editors – they generate ideas and material for the various communication channels, while the editors ensure consistent high-quality outputs
To date, communication successes have included:
- Oversight for 13 blog posts and a further 9 in progress,
- 1,500 and growing newsletter subscribers
- Two published newsletters
- Engaged 500 twitter followers
- Engaged over 100 LinkedIn followers
As we turn our attention to 2019, and the project shifts from foundational work to the generation of outputs, our communication strategy will also shift. Communication goals will not simply focus on providing information, but will also seek to engage people and urge action. Patient engagement is in the doing, and our goal is to foster the uptake of an enhanced patient engagement framework in the interest of better health outcomes for all.