We are very proud to have won Best work by an agency in the UnAwards 17 for this project. After considering such possibilities as ‘meeting in a marquee’, ‘yelling in a yurt’, and ‘canvassing under canvas’ – Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust went quite rightly with the promotion of ‘Event in the Tent’ – an internal staff communications initiative...

Are all design agencies the same? And what makes us a little different? In any design agency you might expect to see a smattering of shiny Apple Macs, there may be the odd hipster beard on an odd hipster, there might be the archetypal table football game. Throw in some exposed brickwork, maybe stripped floors and some cool artwork...

@NHScommsorg was set up by Antony Tiernan (@AntonyTiernan) in 2014 to support NHS and other health communicators to share best practice. Following a number of successful events, they have teamed up with Touch Design to organise an event focused on internal communications and staff engagement...

We’ve given smokers the red card at Milton Keynes University Hospital in an eye-catching campaign, developed with colleagues in the NHS Foundation Trust’s communications team...

For many months now Touch Design has been hosting ‘Open Space’ sessions for communications and marketing professionals, bringing together colleagues and collaborators for a hugely enjoyable sharing and learning experience...

We are very proud to have been shortlisted for Partnership Engagement of the Year and Consultation and Engagement Campaign for The UK Public Sector Communications Awards 2017 and Best Partnership Working and Best Engagement or Consultation for Association for Healthcare Communications & Marketing awards 2017 #AHCM17 for this project. Like leaves on train tracks, a lit match and an open box of fireworks, or a lost clown wandering around the streets at night, there are a number of things in life that don’t go together terribly well...

For anyone involved in local government, health or voluntary sector communications we would strongly recommend registering to attend a future Commscamp – the ‘unconference’ for public sector communicators...

After considering such possibilities as ‘meeting in a marquee’, ‘yelling in a yurt’, and ‘canvassing under canvas’ – Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust went quite rightly with the promotion of ‘Event in the Tent’ – an internal staff communications initiative...

There are likely to be times in your life when you have watched a TV advert or stood staring at the bus stop poster and wondered ‘what’s that all about?’ Some marketing campaigns are developed in order to engineer discussion and debate, to develop a buzz about trying to puzzle out the nature of the product or service...

We had a great time at #Commscampnorth17, so much cake, coffee and conversation. Scott, our creative director, held a session on celebrating great campaigns. Lots of interesting ideas were shared around and here is a list of the thinking that came from the session...

We had a great time at #Commscampnorth, so much cake, coffee and conversation. Kirstie, our managing director held a session on Nudge Theory. Lots of interesting ideas were shared around and these are some notes that came from the session...

When was the last time you purchased something as a direct result of a piece of advertising, marketing, PR? Maybe you had seen an advert on the bus or Tube, been prompted by an email based on loyalty card membership, or read an article in a magazine?

New health partnerships, methods of delivering care and new structures are being developed on an almost constant basis within the health and care sector as the winds of change spread across providers and commissioners...

Later this month and further into the summer Touch Design will be hitting the road again taking our conference stand to this year’s two gatherings of Commscamp...

We are very proud sponsors of #CommsCampNorth, the first up North CommsCamp, an unconference for public sector communicators to talk, share, experiment and eat cake... 

The NHS is one of the most cherished and recognised brands in the world according to NHS Identity, yet it is also one of the most mis-used in terms of its design application...

There are likely to be times in your life when you have watched a TV advert or stood staring at the bus stop poster and wondered ‘what’s that all about?’ Some marketing campaigns are developed in order to engineer discussion and debate, to develop a buzz about trying to puzzle out the nature of the product or service...

We are very proud to have been shortlisted for Best Partnership Working and Best Engagement or Consultation for Association for Healthcare Communications & Marketing awards 2017 #AHCM17 for this project. Like leaves on train tracks, a lit match and an open box of fireworks, or a lost clown wandering around the streets at night, there are a number of things in life that don’t go together terribly well...

I’ve been involved in lots of annual reports before with other design agencies and the creative thinking hasn’t always been applied in the final publication. Working with Touch Design has been different and ‘wow’ did they get it right! Our new annual report produced with Touch was one of those rare occasions when it just worked. The creative has really come through, the collaboration was great and we’re all really proud of the end result.” Rebecca Beedie, media and copywriting manager, Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust...

Public sector comms folk are great at putting on conferences, ‘unconferences’ and Open Space events, yet sometimes it can take a little time to work out what is happening, where and when... 

There are likely to be times in your life when you have watched a TV advert or stood staring at the bus stop poster and wondered ‘what’s that all about?’ Some marketing campaigns are developed in order to engineer discussion and debate, to develop a buzz about trying to puzzle out the nature of the product or service...

The NHS, Britain’s most recognisable brand, and equally most mis-applied - just check out the shop frontage of your local pharmacist or the latest report from your spin-out NHS organisation annexing itself from the parent brand. Easy to get right using the guidelines but easier to get wrong using ‘guess-lines’... 

It’s the stuff of dreams. Or more accurately, nightmares. You’re at work, you’ve remembered everything you need, ready to launch into another successful working day; computer switched on, posh coffee sitting on the desk, papers arranged. Then you look down. You’re in your boxer shorts having forgot to put your trousers on! Fashion disaster...

Like leaves on train tracks, a lit match and an open box of fireworks, or a lost clown wandering around the streets at night, there are a number of things in life that don’t go together terribly well. Another example could be the NHS and information technology. While we have a health service that is the envy of the world, we’ve never quite cracked the IT aspect...

Back in the day when we used to watch black and white films on black and white TVs, when there was no social media only newspapers and the radio, in the immediate decades not long after the invention of the National Health Service, our healthcare system was a very much different affair. If you were too poorly to get out of bed, the doctor would come and visit you, and no matter what you thought of your symptoms the doctor knew best...

It’s the stuff of dreams. Or more accurately, nightmares. You’re at work, you’ve remembered everything you need, ready to launch into another successful working day; computer switched on, posh coffee sitting on the desk, papers arranged. Then you look down. You’re in your boxer shorts having forgot to put your trousers on! Fashion disaster...

The rush to digital has left some creatives down a dark alley blindly tweeting and liking for no apparent reason or purpose. Similarly there can be a tendency to add social to existing or new campaigns with no great insight into the complementary nature and sometimes unique demands of the digital world...

How critical is employee engagement to the success of your organisation? It sounds a fairly daft question with an obvious answer but you may be wrong. In a survey of global business HR, internal communications and corporate communications functions with 566 respondents, four out of every five (82%) said employee engagement is very important to the performance of their organisation. So far, so good. But when asked in the survey (Edelman, April 2015) whether their organisation has an employee engagement strategy, only a little over half (55%) of them did...

I’ve been involved in lots of annual reports before with other design agencies and the creative thinking hasn’t always been applied in the final publication. Working with Touch Design has been different and ‘wow’ did they get it right! Our new annual report produced with Touch was one of those rare occasions when it just worked. The creative has really come through, the collaboration was great and we’re all really proud of the end result.” Rebecca Beedie, media and copywriting manager, Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust...

How critical is employee engagement to the success of your organisation? It sounds a fairly daft question with an obvious answer but you may be wrong. In a survey of global business HR, internal communications and corporate communications functions with 566 respondents, four out of every five (82%) said employee engagement is very important to the performance of their organisation. So far, so good. But when asked in the survey (Edelman, April 2015) whether their organisation has an employee engagement strategy, only a little over half (55%) of them did...

We’ve just been talking about partnerships here in the Touch Design office. Our focus is on achieving effective client partnerships but the conversation happened to go off on a tangent, as it’s so prone to do. It meandered to the consideration of other types of (more comical) partnerships: Morecambe and Wise, Little and Large, Hale and Pace, French and Saunders, Mitchell and Webb (including Chip and Pin!), the Two Ronnies, the Chuckle Brothers (!) – great comedy acts all, some greater than others, and, actually, some not very great at all, but each demonstrates the need for a partnership that works...

“We have always had a WI-style cake table where people could contribute their home baked cakes. We encourage people to do some baking and bring it along and it’s worked really well. It gets people talking online about things beforehand – it gets all a bit ‘Bake Off’. Cake has the uncanny ability to bring people together to strike up a conversation. They walk into the room and compare notes about home baking. It’s a social lubricant.” This is the view from the kitchen of Dan Slee...

Image-led and based on content with attention-grabbing personal stories, the national This Girl Can campaign has won hearts and minds in unprecedented numbers. The campaign is a celebration that women across the country are becoming more active, taking up sport, no matter how proficient their skill levels, how they look or how red their face gets.

I recently went along to Touch Design’s Open Space event. I was keen to think through, with colleagues, how as communicators we need to adapt our style and skill set to work smarter, and if necessary with fewer resources. The session I convened explored these ideas. This is what we came up with. It’s not rocket science; you’d probably come up with similar things yourself. But I thought it might be useful to share it anyway…

In devising your corporate communications strategy who would you say is your most important audience? Many would probably point to their customers, those who pay for your goods or services, either by handing over money or through taxation. Some, possibly a smaller number, would mention their staff. Our latest campaign, involving video, blogs and posters, has focused on this latter group, celebrating the brand ambassadors who have the biggest potential to forge an organisational reputation.

We love a great healthcare campaign at Touch Design – one that touches hearts and minds and results in meeting and beating tough targets. Our work with Health Education East Midlands - #loveourlearners – is one of our favourites. We are also aware that our clients and potential clients also love something else – they love a freebie and that is why we are offering an amazing prize at this year’s AHCM conference and awards in Birmingham. 

According to national research, 79 per cent of disposable wealth is in the hands of people aged over 50, yet only five per cent of advertising spend focuses on this important group. Very often when communicating with older people, using such terminology as ‘silver surfers’ or ‘seniors’, we risk reinforcing stereotypes and excluding the very people we are trying to reach.

Some of the most interesting and useful times at conferences and seminars are during the breaks. Delegates have sat through a couple of hours of speakers presenting and what may feel like a couple of years’ worth of PowerPoints and now they can stretch their legs and begin conversing again. It is at refreshment breaks and lunchtimes that much of the business gets done, that contacts are made and plans hatched. So, when you are staffing a display stand, what sort of things should you do to attract attention, to get those conversations started, to make a good impression and stand out from the crowd?

NHS England’s medical director Professor Bruce Keogh recently predicted a ‘”revolution in self-care” with new developments in wearable technology at is heart. The way that technology has developed over the last 30 years has impacted almost everyone on the planet. With the recent introduction of personal technology, this brings the revolution directly to individuals and one sector that will evolve dramatically because of this is healthcare.

How are you communicating online? Is it mainly through your website or are you more active on social media channels? It may surprise you to know that the latest trend in social media is to become ‘anti-social’. Rather than opening our conversations to the wider world, more and more people are taking to private messaging apps to personalise and protect their dialogue. For all businesses and organisations using social media it’s important to keep aware of how the times are changing.

So we’re into February already. How are those New Year resolutions holding up?  90% of the time they last for a week or at the most a month. Or maybe you’re still getting over the rigours of a ‘dry January’? Why do we put ourselves through this every year? Why is it that we start the New Year with some ambitious resolutions only to fail miserably by February? So…

…how about thinking about a re-solution instead? Thinking differently…..