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Case study: CRN Greater Manchester core team blog series: Communications Team

The CRN Greater Manchester Communications Team comprises Head of Communications Janet Eastwood and Communications Officer David Pickthall. This blog forms part of a series looking at the various in-house departments in the organisation.

There isn’t a typical day for the communications team, we get involved in anything from writing press releases and case studies to organising events and answering enquiries. This month has been busy as we are just finalising our Strategic Impact Report brochure which is a great way for us to get an appreciation of all the amazing work happening across our core team and wider network. 

A lot of the role is about juggling different projects; CRN-wide campaigns such as Be Part of Research which is a ‘matchmaking’ service that lets people find out about research and Your Path in Research which is aimed at encouraging professionals to choose research as a career. We also recently worked on localising the CRN Annual Stats campaign which lets our partner organisations and the public know how research-active they have been over the 12 months. 

Interestingly, new data shows that during 2022/23 over 100 people in England were recruited every hour to take part in research, which is enough people to fill Wembley Stadium over 10 and a half times.

We've been promoting nominations for our Greater Manchester Health and Care Research Awards ceremony and have plenty of work over the coming weeks to get organised for the ceremony on 5 October 2023. The awards lets us celebrate research delivery achievements and is a way of getting the team together to celebrate.

We’re also working with our fellow northern CRNs on our first commercial research conference in November 2023 which is exciting. It’s being held at Concorde Conference Centre. We had the chance to visit when we were scoping venues, which is a perk of the job.

We are working with our wider CRN GM core team team on our local Health Research Festivals which are connecting us with communities to tell them about research, dispel myths and reassure people that by taking part they can help future generations and improve the health of the nation. 

Recently with our wellbeing group we organised a ‘family day’, giving children a chance to learn about what their parents do. They made ‘thank you’ cards for the NHS’ 75th birthday, name badges on NIHR lanyards, met our mannequin friend ‘Arnie’ and listened to a reading of the ‘Ready for Research’ book. They left with party bags containing BPoR balloons, stickers and other goodies - we never miss a chance to ’brand up’ anything! The children had a great time, made new friends, and got a taste of what it's like to be part of the CRN.

Janet Eastwood

Head of Communications

August 2023