It is helpful for PSPs to create a communications plan that will be used throughout the process and particularly at the launch of the PSP, launch of the surveys and announcement of results. This helps to make the best use of websites, social media, press releases, events and presentations. It could include a list of organisations and individuals to be contacted, the names of the Steering Group members responsible for contacting them, and draft text to be used either in emails, social media, presentations or newsletters.
For an example of a communications plan, please see the Key Documents section of the Dementia PSP.
The JLA website contains links to individual PSP websites. Individual PSP websites range in size from a standalone site to a page or section on an existing website belonging to the charity or group initiating the PSP. The PSP website will usually host a description of the project, a description of the Steering Group and supporters, a link to the survey, relevant updates and documents, and contacts. It is a place where results can be announced and stored and future updates of what has happened to the priorities can be published.
As well as a website, examples of other communications that PSPs have undertaken to keep people involved and informed at every stage of the process are:
- regular updates via email from the PSP Coordinator or Lead, or email/postal newsletters from organisations that are represented on the Steering Group.
- news items for the JLA website
- social media updates using Twitter, Facebook or YouTube. For example: https://twitter.com/HeartSurgeryPSP and https://twitter.com/TYAPSP and https://twitter.com/JLAEMPSP and a video from the Emergency Medicine PSP.
We encourage the use of the JLA brand in PSP communications.
Information about the PSP should be relevant and accessible, written in plain English and suitable for anyone without medical or technical knowledge. Materials should be produced and distributed in formats that are accessible and appropriate to the audiences that a PSP wishes to engage with.
It is important that the Steering Group retains the interest and engagement of the wider community throughout the process. This is especially important during the stages when input from the wider community is not actively required, for example emailing them or using social media to let them know what is happening when the survey data is being analysed and checked against the evidence base.
Partners in the PSP should be reminded that they are playing key roles in ensuring patients’, carers’ and clinicians’ concerns become integrated into the research agenda. This will encourage them to continue to be actively engaged in the process. This is important for priority setting but also at the next stage: raising research funders’ awareness of the outcomes of the PSPs work.