Thameslink Programme win GCS campaign of the month

Monday 13 November 2017

Congratulations to the Thameslink Programme team who have won October's GCS campaign of the month.

Between 26 August and 2 September, there was major disruption and no Southeastern trains to or from London Bridge, Charing Cross and Waterloo East while essential upgrades as part of the Thameslink Programme were carried out.

Over 9 months, a fully integrated Thameslink Programme comms delivery team (NR, TOC, TfL and DfT) designed and delivered an effective, phased campaign to:

  • notify passengers of the blockade
  • raise awareness of resulting service change and encourage behaviour change
  • identify relevant industry stakeholders and keep them informed
  • manage the impact on passengers, employers and businesses
  • engage with NR and TOC staff
  • develop water-tight contingency communications

The sheer scale of the task (it affected 170 stations) and the complexity of messaging required an integrated campaign delivered collaboratively with industry partners over the course of nine months.

The bold and consistent repetitive messaging, tailored to segmented audiences gained the required cut through. These messages were split into four areas:

  • Passenger communication, the Thameslink “road show” provided personal engagement with passengers at over 120 regional and central London stations
  • Digital, using all partner and TFL websites to keep the public informed about the planned engineering works and closures, including a comprehensive journey planning microsite reaching over 200,000 passengers
  • Stakeholder, using prepared bespoke presentations and stakeholder information packs, the team ran over 30 MP drop-in sessions and stakeholder tours
  • Media, the team co-ordinated a series of carefully targeted media interviews, site tours, press releases and thought leadership blogs linked to key programme milestones, resulting in over 40 high profile media features in the run-up.

As a result of these activities the outcomes were:

  • Insight tracking showed 52% national awareness of our campaign, 98% Southeastern passenger awareness and 44% behaviour change among targeted passengers
  • 67% awareness amongst business stakeholder groups
  • Excellent feedback from passengers and key stakeholders alike, including the Rail Minister Paul Maynard MP, Sir Peter Hendy and ExCom members.

The team behind the campaign are:
Thameslink Programme communications team (NR, DfT, Southeastern, TfL and GTR communications managers), supported by the Network Rail South East route and wider Network Rail communications group.

The campaign of the month competition for November is now open. Please complete the template and send it to bonnie.melton@cabinetoffice.gov.uk by 5pm on 24th November.