Promoting Self-Care: The Hardest Part of the Self-Care Puzzle?

The commitment from Kirklees Council Public Health Department, North Kirklees CCG and Greater Huddersfield CCG to My Health Tools in terms of budget, time and development has delivered a significant, valuable and scalable self-care portal for people with long-term conditions in Kirklees.


As with many digital services, the key to really unlock potential, encourage usage and empower people - in this case to self care - is driven by marketing and promotion. This is often the hardest part of the equation; encouraging people to change their habits, to try something new and for people to really trust and believe that it will deliver a similar - if not better - experience and outcome.


My Health Tools went live in late September and a range of promotional activity has supported it every step of the way. Here is a ‘show and tell’ of My Health Tools marketing to date:


Large advertising signs have been placed on roundabouts in Huddersfield and Dewsbury, showing the My Health Tools logo, strapline and website address. Key roundabouts were targeted for the weight of traffic, such as one leading to a retail park, the local football stadium, near to the cinema and possibly the most valuable of all, the roundabout leading to Ikea!


Word of mouth promotion is often cited as the most powerful promotion of all. Having a personal recommendation from friends, family or in the case of My Health Tools, a healthcare professional, was seen as key not only to take up, but ongoing usage. Internal and external briefing sessions were organised with a wide range of stakeholders so that they could understand the purpose of My Health Tools, what it was trying to achieve (and why), how it works, how the digital service will support frontline services, how it will help not only with patient care but also with workloads and much more.

Demonstrations to date have included health trainers, the Practice Activity & Leisure Scheme, Huddersfield University Health Centre, Clinical Strategy Groups, Kirklees Community Partnership, Patient Reference Groups, telehealth staff, Adult Social Care Staff, elected members, customer service staff, Kirklees Assistive Technology Staff, Community Engagement Teams, Council Directors and others. Whilst demonstrations take a lot of time to organise, the results have shown real value in terms of cross-sector support, word of mouth promotion as well as generating great feedback around content and future development.



Posters have been placed across council buildings as well as in GP surgeries and health settings. Business cards are available to frontline staff and care workers on home visits et al, to give out to potential users. Also all letters out of Kirklees have been franked with the My Health Tools logo and web address.









Short user videos showing how the service works, highlighting the ease of use, trust and personalisation issues and more to help people to understand what the service is about and hear it from a ‘real person’.


The range of promotion across traditional and online press, both locally and nationally, has meant that the My Health Tools messages have reached a wide audience both from a consumer and industry perspective; the press release was also picked up by a number of local community groups.



All marketing materials have been designed by Kirklees Council Graphic Design Service.