I worked with a public health communications team to deliver a creative and low-cost campaign to effectively honour British Columbia’s nurses and boost retention and recruitment efforts.
Background: The Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) is a unique health authority in British Columbia (BC), Canada, that provides almost five million residents with a provincial network of high quality, specialized health care services.
With more than 22,000 employees and an annual budget of $2.7 billion* in public funding, PHSA operates BC Children’s Hospital, BC Women’s Hospital + Health Centre, six BC Cancer centres and the ambulance service for the province, along with provincial programs including the BC Centre for Disease Control.
Challenge: PHSA leadership wanted to focus its strategic efforts becoming an employer of choice, where current employees feel valued and other health care providers want to come to work.
Internal surveys found that while 75% of staff felt a strong sense of team, only 48% agreed that they were recognized for good work.
Externally, recruiting qualified health professionals is a major operational challenge facing PHSA and other health organizations, with nursing shortages being the most acute.
National Nursing Week (May 6 to 12, 2019) offered a higher-visibility opportunity to try something different than a traditional thank-you message from executive and position PHSA as a choice employer who recognizes the contributions of nursing staff and values the profession.
Actions: I worked on an in-house campaign that brought together a cross-functional team from internal communications, external communications, human resources and talent acquisition marketing.
The team created “I am your nurse,” a 140-second film featuring a spoken word performance based on the words, feelings and experiences of nurses, interspersed with images of nurses who work across PHSA’s programs and services.
With the goal of improving workplace engagement and advancing our reputation as an employer of choice, the film was the centerpiece for a three-week campaign to say thank you to the nurses of British Columbia.
Throughout, I supported the team with audience research, project management, influencer outreach, and campaign content development and dissemination.
Results: I am your nurse became PHSA’s most popular Facebook post ever, reaching 1.2 million people during the campaign, with very high engagement rates.
The campaign generated a significant spike in traffic to the nursing jobs landing page, including an increase in new users (894 up from 47).Clicks to apply for nursing jobs increased 85% during the campaign period.
Internally, the I am your nurse content on PHSA’s staff intranet and newsletter broke all-time records for views and engagement (comments and likes).
Our team was recognized with a 2020 Gold Quill award of excellence from the International Association of Business Communicators.