Making the right call for Sussex Police


Do you know what a contact handler is? Unfortunately, neither did most of the people we wanted to attract and become one. And that was just one of the challenges. We also had a really short campaign window (applications were only open for three and a half weeks), a limited budget, and a target of 250 applications – all of which needed to be from people living less than an hour from Lewes. Phew. Luckily, we love a challenge.

So, how did we tackle it?

First, we had to learn what a contact handler was. In case you’re wondering, they’re the first point of contact between the public and the police – the reassuring voice at the other end of the line. It’s a vital role, but one that Sussex Police were finding hard to fill. Secondly, we needed to develop a plan to attract people with the right kinds of skills – even when most of those people weren’t aware such a job existed.

We love it when a plan comes together

We needed a paid media strategy that promoted Sussex Police to a more relevant audience using a renewed creative approach, developed by their own team. That meant high impact channels and formats, including well-placed paid social, programmatic display and job boards. We brought digital, social and other experts from across SMRS together to decide on, develop and deliver it all.

Making contact

More than 15,000 local users were reached on social media alone, 5,000+ people visited the campaign landing page in just over three weeks, and 560+ candidates made contact and applied! That’s double the number needed. All in all, it meant that Sussex Police increased applications by more than 181%. Our client said, “The campaign went better than expected… which is fantastic. Many thanks for helping us achieve this.” A lovely comment, and one we can’t help but feel has a great ring to it.