Communication Strategy

How to talk to people about COVID precautions so that they’ll hear you.

Smiling kiddos. Image by Prawny from Pixabay.
We Know How to Curb
the Pandemic. How
Do We Make People Listen?
(NY Times, 12.10.20)

Critical guidance for administrators and student leaders creating messages about anti-COVID measures!

“How do you persuade people to do things that are beneficial to the community, like social distancing — or crucially, being vaccinated when the time comes — if such actions don’t immediately benefit those who take them or even put them at a disadvantage in some way? As it turns out, research suggests that we are more likely to engage in ‘prosocial behavior’ if we think lots of others are doing so, too.” (emphasis added)

“Wash Your Hands” poster.
Image by United Nations COVID-19 Response from Unsplash.
What The ‘Designated Driver’ Campaign Could Teach Us About How To Handle The Pandemic (WBUR, 02.07.21)

To be successful, public-health messaging needs to be consistent and transparent, and it needs to resonate with the audience it’s targeting.

Magnifying glass and fingerprint.
Image by bluebudgie from Pixabay
Instead of “negative” we should be saying “not detected”
(NY Times, 12.23.20)

“‘“Negative’ can mislead people into thinking they are safer from the virus than they actually are. . . . People who test negative one morning might be positive by the next, either simply because the test missed the virus, or because they were newly infected.”

Image by iXimus from Pixabay.
Posters Can Change Behaviors
(Lunn, P.D., et al., 11.2020)

This short scientific journal article showed two different techniques that can make people use more caution about social distancing: make them think about infecting vulnerable people, or make them think about infecting lots of people.


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