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COVID-19 communications and building collective responsibility

by tim

As the world continues to navigate the global coronavirus pandemic, many organisations are working in agile, creative ways to coordinate their responses, while also ensuring their audiences are engaged and supported.

We’ve seen a great example of this recently, through our work with Essex County Council on communications and targeted interventions to create a Covid-safe culture by establishing new behavioural norms and habits among citizens.

Engaging communities in ongoing safe behaviours

Council communications aim to motivate continuing compliance with national guidance and unite residents behind a collective responsibility to maintain Covid-safe behaviours as we learn to live with the ongoing risk. Following a review of insight and best practice, we pinpointed priority audiences and behaviours, and created an integrated strategy to drive motivation and guide specific action by highlighting the freedom and peace of mind we enjoy when we act to protect each other.

Our creative approach uses simple, directional behavioural messaging, delivered in a way that is personal and ‘uniquely Essex’. ‘Let’s Keep Covid in Check’ acts as the overarching framework within which Essex residents share their stories of how they are acting in specific ways. The creative outputs are quirky and human, which draws on the character of the area and leverages the bizarreness effect in order to gain attention and capture hearts as well as minds.

Talking to your stakeholders

This community-focused work illustrates how talking to your external stakeholders about COVID-19, wider wellbeing, or any important issue works best when you understand their specific needs and motivations.

It’s about building on the behavioural insight to find the perfect blend of concept, personalised messaging and targeted visual language that will engage people and take them with you on the behavioural journey.

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