Help Direct - Helping you to live independently

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Purpose During March 2012, the Communications Service ran a pilot marketing campaign for Help Direct, aimed at older people, and it wants to understand the target audience's overall impressions of the campaign images and messages, and also whether or not the campaign will encourage members of the target group to access Help Direct.
Subject Older people
Commissioned by Communications Service
Geographic area Hyndburn
West Lancashire
Method Focus group
Consultation with Older people (aged over 65)
Date 08/06/2012 - 28/06/2012
Undertaken by Corporate Research and Intelligence Team


Key findings - Most participants in Accrington were aware of Help Direct. Their group 'Friends in Unison', which they regularly attend, had been visited by a Help Direct representative who described the service to them and provided them with some promotional material, such as fridge magnets. Despite this, participants knew no specific details about what Help Direct did or how it was funded.
- Only one out of the seven participants in St Annes was aware of Help Direct, although one further member had heard of the Safe Trader scheme. This was despite them recently receiving a Living in Lancashire questionnaire which asked questions about Help Direct. Again the group did not know what Help Direct did or how it was funded.
- After attending the groups and learning more about Help Direct the majority of participants said they would consider contacting Help Direct, and would suggest Help Direct to any friends that they feel could benefit from some help and advice.
- Without prompting, two participants in the Accrington group could recall receiving postcards from the recent pilot.
- Although participants at both groups could clearly identify that the campaign is promoting services such as support with shopping, help around the home and in the garden, they felt some of the messages of the campaign were less clear. No one in the group saw themselves as represented by any of the images, despite a number of participants being in their eighties. Also, many participants felt the word 'independently' in the strapline implies that the service is for people with acute needs who are housebound.
- Participants also felt that the campaign could be clearer in identifying that Help Direct signposts people to services and does not provide services such as gardening itself.
- Participants felt it would be useful to promote the financial help and advice that Help Direct provides as many older people currently have concerns about their finances.
- Respondents felt the text included on the campaign images would be easier for the target audience to read if it was increased in size, especially the telephone number.
Outcomes The feedback proved very useful to pinpoint why the first campaign didn't work and why. It helped inform future ideas for the campaign, making it simpler and using a new audience to target the message at.

Project document(s)


Contact information

For more information about this research contact:

Rebecca Robinson
01772 537787

Mick Edwardson
01772 530290