UKCP has powerful digital tools to promote the vital work its members do and the uniqueness of the UKCP qualification. Helen Willingham, UKCP’s Head of Content and Engagement, explains how we do it.
According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), 92.1 per cent of the UK adult population have used the internet in the last three months and are considered ‘recent internet users’. This makes the online space a vital arena for raising awareness of UKCP, our members and psychotherapy.
Having worked in digital agencies creating digital products for corporate clients, I joined UKCP as the Head of Content and Engagement towards the end of 2019. My expertise is in digital production and I saw the real opportunity to develop UKCP’s online presence and to promote psychotherapy.
Our members, organisations and colleges are a vital part of this. Working together, we are developing our content across all channels covering social media, blogs on the website, podcasts, events, PR and New Psychotherapist magazine.
We launched our new website just under a year ago in December 2020, with some much-needed improvements to the user experience. The eye-catching design and sophisticated functionality mean that we were shortlisted for Best Website in the prestigious 2021 Memcom Awards, which recognise excellence in professional membership.
Already we can see how the new website is outperforming the old. When comparing the ten months since the new website has launched with the previous ten months, we begin to see how much of an effect the new website has had.
Many registrants are updating their Find a Therapist profile – we know that those who have added contact details, a statement explaining their approach and a photo to their profile page receive better engagement. Our guide on how to update your profile has been updated for the new website.
There are opportunities for members – both individual and organisational – to feature on our website by helping create blog posts. If you’re interested in becoming involved, do get in touch.
But having a good website is not enough. It’s vital that we raise awareness on a range of platforms and services. And one of the most used platforms on the web is Google. That’s why we recently launched an advertising campaign using Google Ads to build on the success of our new website. The campaign focusses on Find a Therapist and in its first month achieved 31,600 impressions and 1350 click-throughs, bringing people seeking therapy directly to Find a Therapist.
We continue to raise awareness on social media, concentrating our attention on the big four: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram which have a combined following of over 30,000. We use these channels to increase the visibility of UKCP and our members demonstrating how psychotherapy can help people with a range of issues from addiction to trauma and everything in between.
In response to the growing number of student and trainee members at UKCP, we have launched our new podcast ‘My psychotherapy career’. This podcast series aims to draw people interested in a psychotherapy career to becoming a UKCP therapist by showcasing our members, providing career advice and an insight into the profession.
Our podcasts are uploaded to a range of the most popular hosting sites to enable people to both find us and subscribe: Audioboom, Spotify, Apple Podcast, Google and Deezer. We are also working with podcast specialists to help hone this content and understand how best to promote it externally.
We now send a digital copy of our magazine to news desks to show how we can support news outlets with their mental health stories. We have also welcomed our new editor, Catharine Arnold, to the New Psychotherapist team. We look forward to sharing her first issue with you in early 2022.
Our new digital initiatives are focussed on people seeking therapy and those considering a career in psychotherapy or psychotherapeutic counselling, as well as helping promote our policy and public affairs work.
It’s vital to keep our initiative fresh and try new things. But with limited resources this sadly means that we can’t support everything that we’d like to. This is why it is time to say goodbye to our partnership with Psychologies and invest the time and resource into our digital channels to build our online presence and develop UKCP’s profile to a wider audience.
After four years working with the Psychologies team, we have recorded 43 episodes of the Talking Therapies podcast; created monthly sponsored editorial content that featured in the print magazine and our members have contributed over 700 blogposts to the Psychologies LifeLabs UKCP Therapists’ Channel!
We want to thank our members who have been involved in creating content; the Psychologies team for their support in promoting psychotherapy; and the Psychologies readership for engaging with this content. All the work that has been put into the Psychologies partnership has enabled UKCP to develop our in-house skills and create content that speaks to a wider audience.
Using the resources that we have within the UKCP staff team, digital platforms and our ever-growing membership, there is a wealth of potential to create new content, experiences and partnerships that further our vision to enable a world in which emotional and mental wellness is a human right.
The most important thing registrants can do to help raise awareness is to complete your Find a Therapist profile. It is vital that when people use it, whether they are people seeking therapy, journalists or influencers, that they find profiles which explain how our members can help.
If you are working on any research or have an article that you wish to present, then please send details to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The news section of our website boasts a range of blogs and articles from members, partners and the UKCP staff team. New blogs and articles appear regularly and if you have written a blog that you wish to share then please get in touch and send to email@example.com.