Social media strategy and management
Bereavement Services, Lambeth [BSL] are an essential public service department run by local government. They look after and manage three cemeteries and two crematoria in the borough of Lambeth, one of which is West Norwood, one of London’s legendary "Magnificent Seven" cemeteries.
We began to work with BSL in 2018 as the first official photographic chronographers in the last 100 years to detail West Norwood Cemetery, its grounds and its history as well as both Lambeth and Streatham Cemetery.
As well as a fresh look at their grounds, facilities and printed literature assets, BSL needed to establish themselves in the public sphere for the first time, mostly for statutory reasons, so that Lambeth residents as well as the funeral sector at large could access key information regarding any changes or updates to essential services.
We worked with BSL on simple branding and helped to lay out what their core goals for establishing a presence on social media in the local community were and then worked to carve out several distinct kinds of messaging types ahead of setting up channels on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.
We started to post content on a weekly basis which relied almost completely on the photography we'd been doing for them, building a consistent presence within the local community and relevant sectors and then, shortly after establishing an initial sense of rhythm, the COVID 19 lockdown struck.
We conferred with BSL as soon as the lockdown was announced in order to work out exactly what the new necessity for emergency comms around these essential service would look and function like - particularly since face-to-face contact was no longer an option for the foreseeable future. Remote contact, increased demand, staff shortages and social distancing put a huge strain on the service, so one of the things we did was to provide daily capacity updates on service availability and response times across all channels [eg email, telephone and DMs].
We helped to reassure the local community and relevant sectors and remained visible throughout a time when many local services and channels of communication simply disappeared.
This period of increased intensity of digital communication also helped us to really focus on exactly what content was relevant to what sections of our audience and we were able to identify and delineate even more specific and effective content types as well as being more targeted regarding our different audience segments.
We then systemised how our different content types were related and then targeted to our audience segments across all of our channels and in a very short time we saw huge spikes in both impressions and engagement. We also learned how each of the channels we were using had different kinds of relevance and influence.
Our work with BSL has inspired other government services to work with us - particularly regarding emergency public information messaging.