January 2014: Kian-Garin de Loach, Creative Lead, Diabetes UK

January 2014

Kian photo Jan 2014Kian-Garin de Loach, Creative Lead, Diabetes UK

I lead the Creative Services team at Diabetes UK. We’re a relatively new team and a key part of our output is information for people at risk of, and living with, diabetes.

With 3.2million people in the UK now diagnosed with diabetes, we have a hugely diverse range of audiences and a key part of my work is ensuring that our creative output has the ‘customer’ at its heart – that is, it speaks to the respective audience/s on their terms – and achieves measurable outcomes. Our information publications have a number of aims including helping people with diabetes to manage their condition and reduce their risk of developing potentially devastating complications.

Diabetes Balance is our flagship magazine for people living with diabetes, which we recently refreshed to make it more relevant both in terms of people’s needs and contemporary publishing. We worked closely with existing readers but also many people who don’t currently subscribe, to understand their needs and how we can reach even more people to empower them to live healthy lives with diabetes. For the first time, we have launched digital versions of the magazine, working across the key platforms and available in its entirety and as a ‘lite’ version available to everyone.

For many years we have produced a comic for children called Tadpole Times, which we are currently redeveloping. We’ve been engaging with children and parents for over six months to ensure we have strong insight into their needs and the approaches that work. In April we’ll be launching a new magazine called My Life, which is a development on from our long-established children’s website, and will work across platforms.

We also produce a series of companion guides, which are intended to support people newly diagnosed with, or looking to find out more about, diabetes. We refresh these annually but updates are published more frequently to ensure information is always current. Last year we distributed over 3million of our core suite of information in print. This year, we will publish new editions both in print and digitally, for tablets and e-readers, for the first time.

Everything we produce is collaborative in several respects. We work hard to engage with our target audiences from the very start. Our clinical, editorial and design & production teams work very closely to ensure that our magazines and guides are accurate, relevant and engaging.

Our information is available at www.diabetes.org.uk, where our printed guides can also be ordered. Digital versions of the guides will also be available from iTunes, Google Play and Kindle Store from February. We also distribute the guides through Roadshows and Living With Diabetes Days, which run up and down the country. And we work with partners, such as Tesco, to reach even more people affected by diabetes.