With autumn already here and winter well on its way – it is officially ‘flu season’. For NHS pharmacists, this means it is time to provide the invaluable annual flu vaccination service to thousands of patients. Running a successful flu vaccination campaign is crucial to getting as many patients booked in and through the pharmacy door as possible.
This year, the free flu vaccination service will be available to more people than ever – with 25 million people in England eligible for the jab.
Those offered the service include:
- Those aged 65 years and over
- Those aged 6 months to under 65 years in clinical risk groups
- Pregnant women
- Those living in a residential or nursing home
- The main carer of an older or disabled person
- Children aged 2-3 (on 31 August 2019) and all primary school-aged children
Getting such a large number and wide variety of patients to book flu jabs, isn’t always straightforward. Contacting and informing these different socio-demographic groups of people requires effective campaigning.
Here are some of our top tips for delivering a successful flu vaccination campaign:
Review Your Previous Flu Vaccination Campaigns
By reviewing the previous year’s efforts, you can gain insight into how to best run and improve the upcoming campaign. Evaluate and review the success of the campaign, what worked best and what didn’t work as well. Is there anything you didn’t try last year that you could implement this time around? With these insights in mind, you can put together an improved strategy for this year’s campaign.
Plan and Prepare
Although flu season comes every year, it can still easily creep up all too quickly, so planning well in advance is essential. The NHS recommend that the best time to get a flu jab is between early October and the end of November, so schedule a date for early to mid-summer to start planning this year’s flu vaccination campaign, to make sure you are well prepared. From establishing your message and branding to deciding on a campaign strategy, to your letter printing and posting, in-store posters and leaflets; make sure these are ordered and ready to go in plenty of time.
Promote in Advance
Don’t wait until mid-winter to start promoting your flu vaccination service! Make sure that customers are aware of this service early so they can book their appointments as soon as possible. Prior booking will also help the team with managing time and scheduling appointments effectively – avoiding a rush in winter.
Make Sure Your Team is in The Know
Try to ensure that all staff members are informed and knowledgeable about the flu vaccine and who should be receiving it. This means they will be able to identify eligible patients, reinforce the importance of the service, answer any questions and help push your flu vaccination campaign in the run-up to flu season.
Strong and Clear Messaging
Your promotional material needs to be encouraging and drive patients to action (in booking their appointments). To do this, the message needs to be both strong and clear. Ensure the message reinforces the importance of the service and why they should book, as well as clear instructions on how to do this. With a wide variety of people able to use the service, this message has to resonate with a wide audience and so shouldn’t focus on just one demographic.
Strong Creative Approach to Developing Marketing Materials
To make your message stand out and drive action from patients, you need a strong creative approach to developing your marketing materials. For a successful flu vaccination campaign, the material needs to be both engaging and attractive whilst still communicating the message and a strong call to action. Ensure the creative is universally engaging, rather than tailored to a single demographic.
Identify and Utilise Champions and Partners
To help spread your message effectively, consider identifying partners or influencers who can help to champion your campaign and increase reach and visibility. These could range from organisations including local or national health boards such as Public Health England (PHE) to publications promoting your campaign to highly regarded public figures in the community. This extra promotion will help spread your message further, gain reach across social media, as well as adding gravitas to your campaign.
Use a Reliable Printing and Posting Service
A great way to reach patients and ensure your flu vaccination campaign is in safe hands is through a high-quality mail service. Latcham Hybrid mailing service is the cost-effective, secure and efficient way to send mail to patients. The free account means you can have your bulk printing and post easily taken care of by our expert team and hybrid mail service. The hybrid mail service puts you in full control of your mail and can be organised, all without even leaving your desk.
Data Accuracy and Security
Be sure that your flu vaccination letters are reaching the right people, on time and in a secure manner. Latcham Hybrid ensure that letters are delivered to the accurate address details on time, by looking on the Royal Mail Database. Latcham Hybrid ensure data security and secure patient communication as the highest priority. All documents are encrypted and transferred through a secure data connection to ensure peace of mind for you and your patients.