I have really enjoyed being heavily involved in social media throughout my 12 months at Leicester’s Hospitals and working on some fun campaigns. You can be really creative with social media so there’s never a dull moment like taking pictures and videos from behind the scenes! I did use social media personally before I started at the Trust but I have learnt so much more about how to use social media on behalf of an organisation. I engage with people and identify what content works well and what doesn’t work so well. A highlight was the Social media day campaign where we visited the Imaging departments at all 3 hospitals and took photos and videos of some of the x-ray machines and scanners that are used there, giving the public the chance to find out a bit more about these services.
Before I joined Leicester’s Hospitals I had never written a press release before. This is our official story that we send to the local media to let them know the hospitals’ good news. I never fully understood the work that goes into getting an article published in a newspaper or a story shown on the news before. I have drafted quite a few press releases for colleagues who then read through them and made changes if they thought it was necessary. This was rare, as most of the team said my drafts were really good. The first press release I wrote on my own was for the Princes Trust programme which helps get young people into NHS employment and this was published in the Leicester Mercury which was so rewarding to see.
I have assisted in the running of many events during my time here but the one that sticks out is the Caring at its best awards which were a lot of fun to be a part of. These awards recognised staff members who went above and beyond to help their patients and colleagues. It’s a great opportunity for staff to dress up, socialise and be recognised for the things they do that they think go largely unnoticed. My role at the event was to manage the social media output. I live tweeted pictures of the winners as they were receiving their awards which meant the general public were kept up to date with what was going on as it was happening.
I just couldn’t create this list without mentioning this. One of the best experiences I have had not only working here, but in my life, was when I had the opportunity to assist with the Leicester City players Christmas visit to the hospitals. This was absolutely amazing to be a part of. As a Leicester City fan it was just so surreal to meet and talk to some of my favourite players in a casual environment away from a football stadium. I helped by taking pictures of the players when they interacted with patients and then posted these onto our social media channels which had an extraordinary reaction with us receiving a record number of retweets and likes.
Something that is less work based but nevertheless something I loved being a part of was the monthly lunches that we hold in the Medical Illustrations and Communications office. This gives everyone in the team from photography, graphics, the web team, the engagement team and the communications team that I work in the chance to socialise with each other and enjoy a variety of different foods. Each month we choose a different theme for food that we bring in. So far we have had Mexican, Halloween, Christmas and American themed lunches.
Over past 12 months I have had a fantastic time and have learned so much working with the Communications team. I have now been offered a permanent communications assistant position within the NHS. I wish the next Communications apprentice the best of luck and hope their experience is as good as mine was.