In need of learning opportunities but lacking in training budget?

In this issue we look at three best practice webinars – all free to attend – that will bolster your comms insight and skills in public health, social care recruitment and foster care recruitment respectively.

Recycling is also on our agenda this month. We’ve pooled our own knowledge from more than 70 local authority waste campaigns with that of a behaviour change specialist and the top creative agency behind ground-breaking police, fire service and council comms to craft a campaign to tackle the biggest barriers to your residents recycling the right way.

Read on…

CAN Lunch Bite Bulletin is a regular round-up of useful insights and information for public sector communicators. Email us at

For you this issue…

  • Free webinars: Improve public health outcomes & social care recruitment.

  • No time to waste: New campaign to reduce recycling contamination.

  • Front Foot: Spring clean fostering comms & consultations made easier.

  • Bitesize news: Public sector-only travel offers & Multiply update.

News you can use

Free webinar: improve public health outcomes with behavioural science

On any given day of the week, you can read news stories giving you another set of statistics that raise concerns about how the UK is dealing with public health issues. Recent government data revealed a huge drop in take-up among secondary school pupils of the HPV vaccine that helps prevent cervical cancer. While the Evening Standard reported that mental health referrals amongst teenagers in London had more than doubled in the past four years, with the lockdowns cited as a major cause.

We’re clearly storing up huge problems for the future. Could comms campaigns do more to help? So many of the public health issues that affect outcomes – smoking, alcohol, exercise – are about people making better choices for themselves. And this is where the science of behaviour change could shift our perspectives on what we communicate with residents about their health, as well as how and when we do.

Our John-Paul Danon is taking part in a free webinar hosted by the Behaviour Change Network on 3 March to offer public sector comms folk tips and techniques on applying behaviour change theory to your work. Amongst the other guests is clinical psychologist Dr Lucy Mersh, who has a background in complex mental health problems and behaviour change interventions.

No time to waste: new campaign to reduce recycling contamination

The Government has a lot in the pipeline to try and reduce the amount of waste going to landfill, with councils at the heart of most of it. Plans include the long-promised deposit return scheme for drinks containers and the introduction of consistent waste and recycling collections with minimum service standards.

Yet many local authorities are struggling to cope now with recycling contamination and overall recycle rates. WRAP’s latest Recycling Tracker Report on UK household recycling habits found:

  • 52% miss opportunities to recycle common items.

  • 84% dispose of an item in recycling that is not accepted.

  • The top barrier to recycling items correctly is uncertainty.

With our experience delivering 70-plus waste-related council campaigns over the past few years, we’ve set up a new partnership to deliver a campaign to help councils accelerate recycling behaviour change amongst their residents.

It is based on research into barriers, applying tried and tested behaviour change techniques to campaign creatives, specific targeting and meaningful metrics. Behaviour Change Network founder, Dominic Ridley-Moy, will supply the research and theory, leading public sector agency Alive With Ideas will supply the creative suite, and CAN will provide the expert audience-targeting and reporting. It is currently running successfully for a London borough council.

Free webinar: new way forward for social care recruitment

If you work in social care recruitment or comms, we’re taking part in a free best practice webinar on 1 March designed to look for a way forward for local government in this tricky area.

Social care staff recruitment remains one of the biggest challenges facing local government. According to Skills for Care, there were 165,000 vacancies in 2021/22 – an increase of 52% from the previous year.

Pooling budgets with other councils, particularly on the cost of recruitment platforms and creatives, saves time and money and also increases effectiveness, with the benefit of being able to use benchmarking and sharing insight on what does and doesn’t work in attracting applicants.

The session will also showcase a research project with the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services which aims to get a better understanding of perceptions around adult social care.

Front Foot

What’s coming down the line that communicators need to know about? Want insights into what’s been working (and not) in these and other public sector digital campaigns? Drop us a line to

Spring clean your fostering comms

With LGBTQ+ Adoption & Fostering Week coming up next month followed in May by Fostering Fortnight, you may be taking a fresh look at your comms campaigns to boost foster carer numbers over the next financial year.

The Government recently produced an enlightening report called “Applying behavioural insights into fostering and adoption in England” that included a tonne of research that would be a useful basis for fostering recruitment as a whole and especially the way you communicate with potential foster parents. But at 167 pages, who has the time to read it all?

Luckily, our fostering expert John Cooper and Jane Keenan from Kids In Care...How Can I Help? have made the time and will discuss how to put the recommendations into practice in the next of our free, regular Foster Care Recruitment Hub webinars on 28 February.

What’s on your consultation calendar?

Alongside campaign resets, the new financial year in local authorities inevitably brings with it a raft of consultations across many service areas for which you need to drive engagement. Our blog “Consultation stagnation – what it is and how councils can avoid it” explores the best ways to reach more than just the usual suspects.

Programmatic advertising on websites and social media is particularly useful for consultations, as well over 90% of the population are online and will be shown the ads wherever they are browsing or scrolling. It can be targeted to groups you find hardest to reach – and updated while live to plug gaps in responses from specific geographic areas or demographics.

  • If you want more insight into the council consultations we’ve amplified using programmatic recently, including landlord licensing, housing, transport, town centres, recycling, public health and cost of living, email Allan Watson at to arrange a chat.

Bitesize News

Multiply: supporting residents with numeracy skills

The DFE-funded numeracy scheme to improve maths skills in adults aged 19-plus is gathering momentum. It’s seen as vital for future employment prospects as well as for managing household finances and parents’ ability to support their children’s education.

We’re applying insights from our recent successful adult learning campaigns to amplify Multiply courses for local authorities and colleges. They are very much driven by local requirements – for example research by Essex Adult Learning College found there was a need for basic maths amongst retail workers in the county in particular – and we can tailor targeting wherever it’s required.

Travel club with up to 60% discounts

Do you work in internal comms or HR comms? We have a great “invitation only” travel club to add to your staff rewards portfolio. Tripbeat was set up by one of our long-term travel partners in the USA and is now being rolled out through us exclusively to public sector employees in the UK.

The online portal – for which organisations have a unique staff log-in – offers UK and worldwide deals of up to 60% off 600,000+ hotels plus resort stays from £299. There are also savings on car hire, flights, and activities. The club’s 4,000 trained travel guides are a phone call away.

For a limited time, you can get three months’ free premium membership (usually £69 a year) to enjoy even deeper discounts like these for Easter weekend (7-10 April) – based on three-night stays for two adults:

Rome – Hotel Accademia, Superior Double Room: Tripbeat Premium price £716.83; price £1,119 (saving £402.17)*.

Paris – Hôtel Chateaubriand, Champs Elysée, Classic Room: Tripbeat Premium price £636.91; Expedia price £1480.00 (saving £843.09)*.

*Prices and availability are subject to change. Correct as of 20.02.2023.

  • Southampton City Council is the latest local authority to join Tripbeat. If you want to find out more, email Karen Pagett at

Hope you’ve found something of interest in this issue.

Goodbye for now!

Copyright (C) 2023 CAN. All rights reserved.

Update Preferences | Unsubscribe

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp