It is helpful for PSPs to create a communications plan which will apply throughout the process and particularly at the launch of the PSP, launch of the survey and announcement of results. This helps to make the best use of websites, social media, announcements, press releases, events and presentations.
For an example of a communications plan, please see the Key Documents section of the Dementia PSP on the JLA website.
The individual PSP pages on the JLA website contain links to PSP websites where they are available. These 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. In the Key Documents section of the Preterm Birth PSP there is an example of their newsletter
- articles for the JLA newsletter, see the archive of JLA newsletters
- social media updates using Twitter, Facebook or YouTube. For example:https://twitter.com/PretermBirth and https://twitter.com/JLAPUP and https://twitter.com/JLAEMPSP and a video from the Emergency Medicine PSP
We encourage the use of the JLA brand in PSP communications and advice on using the JLA logo is available.
It is important to ensure that information is relevant and accessible, written in plain English and suitable for anyone without medical or technical knowledge. Materials should be produced and distributed in formats which are accessible and appropriate to the audiences that a PSP wishes to engage with.
It is important that the Steering Group takes steps to retain the interest and engagement of the partner organisations throughout the process, especially during the stages when Partner input is not actively required, for example emailing them to let them know what is happening when the survey data is being analysed and checked against the evidence base.
Partners should be aware of how the work of a PSP will affect them, and 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 and is important for priority setting but also at the next stage: raising research funders’ awareness of the outcomes of the PSPs work.