Police Effectiveness in a Changing World

Bringing complex research to life

The challenge

The Police Foundation is the UK’s only independent think tank for policing and crime reduction. Under new leadership, it wanted to remain relevant and successfully access new audiences following a four year research project with two police forces which had reached some challenging conclusions. Crest Advisory was asked to help the Foundation disseminate the Police Effectiveness In a Changing World Report. In particular the Foundation wanted us to show value to the funder of the research, improve its standing among existing stakeholders and develop relationships with new ones.

The solution

Crest agreed campaign objectives to go beyond a simple dissemination of the research. Our strategy focused on the key lessons from the research and we developed communication campaigns around each theme. ‘Core’ briefing papers set out findings in detail and were used as a focus for more accessible comment pieces for online and print media. Crest refreshed the Foundation’s YouTube, Twitter and LinkedIn channels. To drive digital engagement, we delivered a Twitter Chat and produced a number of infographics summarising both quantitative and qualitative findings. In addition, we produced three short films each on a different key theme to raise awareness of the research and five thematic podcasts giving those interested a more detailed, academic discussion of the findings.

The results

The Foundation has achieved a 275% increase in downloads of its Police Effectiveness research (2,200 in July and August 2016 compared to 586 for similar research in July and August 2015) and a 560% increase in traffic to the dedicated Police Effectiveness web page (436 in July 2016 up from 66 in July 2015). Overall, traffic to the Foundation website was up 20% in July 2016 on July 2015. A total of 82 stakeholders engaged directly or indirectly in the first Twitter Chat including a number of new key stakeholders, including Police and Crime Commissioners. The Foundation is now regularly approached for comment on policing and crime-related issues and refers to its findings under the ‘Changing World’ banner. Feedback from the CEO and press officer was extremely positive, saying we have introduced them to new approaches and increased their confidence to develop similar future campaigns.


Research download increase


Webpage traffic increase


Overall website traffic increase

Twitter Chat participants

Digital engagement of stakeholders

Prioritisation paper downloaded 2,500 times in 2 weeks

Fresh content creation

We produced short films to raise awareness of the research

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