Lilly Singh’s hilarious TikTok video driving home the importance of masking up (and doing it correctly) reached millions of social media users. California Governor Gavin Newsom and others went on to share her video on other channels with the hashtag #YourActionsSaveLives. This type of collaboration among public health, government, and local and national influencers is a powerful tool in that celebrities can give authenticity and “trendiness” to vital public health practices and help reach a more diverse audience.
School is starting again but for many it looks very different.— Office of the Governor of California (@CAgovernor) September 8, 2020
We teamed up with @SesameWorkshop @SkollFoundation & @Participant to teach kids healthy habits for staying safe during #COVID19.
Join @Elmo in getting ready for school! #CaringForEachOther pic.twitter.com/qGKYYKFvpl
This 1-minute video features Sesame Street’s Elmo wearing a mask and speaking to kids as they get ready to go back to school—whether they’re remote learning or attending in-person. Elmo is a universally recognized and loved character among kids and parents. Showing him wearing a mask normalizes the preventive behavior and models when and how it should be worn. Elmo’s reaction to remote learning says that it’s okay for kids to be disappointed or have uncertain feelings about these changes. It also secondarily supports parents, showing them how to respond to kids’ questions and gives tips on staying calm amid the chaos. Public health professionals should consider using local and regional influencers to help deliver prevention and resilience messages to their audiences.
Last week I was got tested for #COVID19 thanks to the Black Doctors Consortium and Dr. @alastanford. I had no symptoms but wanted to get tested. I tested negative! We do this for ourselves, our family and our community. When it comes to your own health, knowledge truly is power. pic.twitter.com/m8BOcotD1P— Jordan A. Harris (@RepHarris) May 24, 2020
Representative Harris posted a short video via Twitter of him receiving a COVID-19 test. The video featured a voiceover of Rep Harris sharing his reflections during which he provided a calm account of his experience, concerns, and how he felt after. Rep Harris’s video allows viewers to see firsthand what testing may be like for them and to be encouraged to get tested by a trusted member of their community.
Casa de Salud, a nonprofit focused on healthcare equity – created and shared promotional materials for COVID-19 testing in Spanish and English as a way to reach all members of its communities. Providing testing information in multiple languages at the outset of any campaign helps ensure that all populations have access to your messages and know about the testing opportunities. Partnering with non-English-speaking community liaisons and partners and building translation into your strategy furthers the reach and impact of your campaign.
It’s not always realistic or feasible to get a celebrity or influencer to record a video or create in-depth content for your campaign. This example shows the power of an interim ask of influencers: sharing your campaign’s messages with their followers. As part of the #ArtistsForBlackLives campaign, Dua Lipa highlighted the important work of the Black Doctors Consortium and their efforts to expand testing within Back communities. Dua Lipa’s post makes the connection between the current #BLM movement, COVID-19, and the power of testing to stop the spread. Dua Lipa’s post received nearly 10k likes, reaching audiences potentially unfamiliar with the consortium and COVID-19 testing facts.
Andrew Cuomo has shared several tweets promoting testing to New Yorkers and the country. What’s special about his tweets is that he keeps his messages informative, concise, and clear: COVID positive rates are increasing; testing is available across the state; it’s easy to find a testing site; go get tested. The governor’s distillation of key messages provides clear direction for New Yorkers.
📢Claremont residents – @VRHealthcare is part of our community-based COVID-19 testing network. Click on the link below to read how to get a test. For other NH residents, look at the map to see the community-based testing location near you! https://t.co/ESRYKZgky8 pic.twitter.com/smHBcxCM2w— DHHS PIO (@NHDHHSPIO) September 11, 2020
The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services Twitter post accomplishes something rare in the world of social media: it provides a one-stop-shop for testing site information. The dual action of the post’s graphic listing testing sites and showing them on a map leaves users with memorable and instantly actionable info—even if they’re just scrolling by.
What can you expect @ a pop-up testing site? Anyone who is symptom-free gets tested for #COVID-19. If your test result is + a Public Health Nurse will call you in a few days. If your test result is – look for a letter in the mail within a week. https://t.co/9EaXrr1WBV #VT #BTV pic.twitter.com/35zEpwu1Qt— VT Dept of Health (@healthvermont) June 21, 2020
Fear and uncertainty are significant barriers to people getting tested. The Vermont Department of Health showed residents exactly what to expect at one of their free, community-based pop-up testing sites. This simple video, also posted on Facebook, is shot from the first-person perspective and deconstructs the process, humanizes the testing staff, and demystifies testing itself by showing what people can expect to see, hear and do during an appointment.