Developments of the Essex Behaviour Change Campaign
This year has seen Active Essex further develop their Find Your Active campaign, with help from partners, system leaders and stakeholders across the county, to create opportunities and support residents to lead more active and healthy lifestyles by finding the activity that’s right for them.
Find Your Active (FYA) is Essex’s largest behaviour change campaign, launched in the summer of 2021. It is a fascinating blend of responding to Covid, responding to the latest behaviour change ideas, and most importantly, responding to the latest evidence of how vital an active lifestyle is to everyone’s physical and mental health in Essex.
The Marketing and Communication Element
FYA is a highly visual and story led behaviour change campaign, with videos and relatable content being integral in helping relay stories from individuals, groups and organisations. This has successfully ensured FYA can be adopted by everyone in their own way. Active Essex have tested multiple marketing methods using ‘faces’ of the campaign across TV commercials, street ads and direct mail.
The FYA website has been rooted as the call to action, providing a central hub of information, signposting people to physical activity opportunities, and sharing relatable stories. Specific pages such as 'how do I get started' have been particularly significant in supporting residents who are inactive or returning to physical activity.
In addition, the activity finder is a key function, helping residents to find activities locally. As one of the top 10 viewed pages, the number of sessions uploaded to the finder has more than quadrupled this year. To ensure FYA stays relevant, and in light of the cost-of-living crisis, the activity finder now has new filters where users can search for free or low-cost activities near them.
With a smaller budget this year, the Marketing and Communications team utilised platforms and methods which had previously been successful, such as the TV adverts, Facebook paid adverts and Google ads, as well as exploring a new social media platform. To pre-empt for a potential children and young people Find Your Active campaign to launch later in 2023, the team tried Snapchat adverts for the first time, targeting young people aged 13-25 through messaging around mental wellbeing, and socialising through physical activity. Both performed well, particularly among the 13-16-year-old aged group.
By capturing the attention of key stakeholders, local authorities and NHS Integrated Care Services (ICSs), the innovative Find Your Active messaging has started to become embedded across the system, changing the mindset of these organisations. Similarly, Active Essex have evidenced a major shift in the adoption of Find Your Active across Essex County Council services, with the branding and messaging particularly used by the services of active travel and sustainable transport, public health, and social care.
Since July 2021, Find Your Active has grown into a recognised brand, whereby the brand’s management team has responded quickly to the many challenges and opportunities presented. These include the impact of the cost-of-living crisis, heightened anxiety levels, and seasonal influences, to successfully manage Find Your Active to become an outstanding success story.
Investing into Community Activity
Building on last year’s funding opportunities through the FYA campaign, Active Essex were able to open up a new fund to support local organisations through the London Marathon Foundation, as a result of RideLondon-Essex 2022.
Read more about our partnership with London Marathon Foundation
Importance of Evaluation
The design of the evaluation framework was a new approach to collect real time data through a new digital impact tool, collecting vast amounts of quantitative and qualitive data. This was in addition to the deep dives carried out by behaviour change specialists from the National Centre for Social Marketing. Both of these avenues have provided clear evidence of the ongoing success and impact of Find You Active, and has brought about transformational changes in the way that Essex County Council Public Health team, and other services now design their own data collection and evaluation.
It's important to take time to reflect and understand the learnings from work undertaken, in order to focus on ways to improve in the future.
Embedding this across the system, and encouraging others to own the brand has led to it becoming ...
To keep some slight control over the behaviour change elements, the Find Your Active brand has be...
Key to evaluation
Evaluation is pivotal in steering the Find Your Active messaging and brand going forward in the f...
FYA helps bridge the gap between residents who are socially prescribed physical activity, with or...