Reaching over 50s with blood message

Skill area: Media relations

Objective: Crystallise marketing direction

A new form of hospital treatment had been developed enabling patients facing blood transfusions during transplant operations to opt, before surgery, to be re-infused with their own blood instead of donated blood, to avoid dangers of mis-matching and infection.

However our research showed the public and their medical advisers were unaware of this blood option. The brief was to raise awareness among the 50+ age community, GPs and nurses.

Given the health media were reporting more newsworthy hospital scandals we opted for an integrated communications campaign using mailshots, web portals, media relations, and the support of the Patients’Association. 

We created the campaign “Your Blood, Your Choice”, and produced leaflets mailing them to every UK GP surgery, hospital consultant and pre-admission nurse. The Patients’ Association promoted it too and helped issue media packs.

We included a strong human interest case study from a patient who had fought to get her own blood back. We promoted hospitals already offering this new form of treatment as “national beacons”.


We placed editorials in most of the GP and nursing press and in Good Housekeeping and Health Which? We also secured over 30 in-depth regional press and broadcast reports across the country. The campaign reached about 25% of the UK’s 50+ population. 

Eighteen months after ourwork started, UK hospitals were widely offering patients this option and the nation’s limited supplies of bankblood were protected.