Launching a new chapter for mental health prescriptions in Wales with a media and online campaign showing how books can make you better.
Health professionals in Wales are now able to prescribe free library books to assist people in managing their mental health or dealing with difficult feelings and experiences.
Our role was to raise awareness of the scheme in Wales, and to do so we developed an integrated communications strategy which focused on targeting Welsh national and regional media.
Journalists get 100s of emails a day, and in the days of the 24-hour newsroom with staff shrinking, we always need to think of new ways to grab attention. Our approach to cut through the noise was to create a desk drop which put the books in the hands of the media, but in a way that communicated the campaign’s key messages. Our design team created bespoke wrapping paper inspired by a prescription which we wrapped around some of the books available on the service, like Matt Haig’s Reasons to Stay Alive. This meant media already had a good idea about the launch when our team followed up to discuss details.
Events and media
We invited media along to two events: one, a campaign launch at the Cardiff Central Library, and another at the National Eisteddfod in Llanrwst. At both events, authors from the books available on prescription read from their work and we made sure case studies of people who had been helped through mental health issues were available to share their story.
S4C’s Heno attended the event in Cardiff and BBC Radio Cymru in Llanrwst, covering it on the news with interviews and key messages shared. In addition, BBC Wales Today did an extensive piece which we arranged interviews with key case studies who suffered from mental health and found books very helpful in managing it.
Bloggers and online influencers
We brought on board social media influencers to talk about their mental health experiences and share how books have benefited them. Scott McGlynn is an activist, writer and presenter with over 100k followers on social media. He promoted the campaign to his followers through a mixture of podcast, blog and social media posts. Malan Wilkinson is a Welsh language mental health advocate and author. To promote the campaign to her followers bilingually, Malan wrote blog posts and social media posts. She also did media interviews sharing her personal experiences and opinions on the service.