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IN THE NEWS THIS WEEK: ‘Hot vax summer’, world trip edition

With the global attitude towards the pandemic largely becoming “let’s learnt to live with it” – vaccination campaigns have rolled out over the past 8 months, with the UK leading the way and Australia one of the last nations to get on board. Whether our government thought we were no longer at risk, or whether the money was better spent elsewhere, the media industry has had a lot to say about the local public health campaign.

Although the ‘call to arms’ is creative, the Australian campaign relied largely on scare tactics to encourage society to get vaccinated. Overseas however, we saw countries like New Zealand, The Unites States of America and Singapore focusing on the freedoms a vaccinated society would allow. From “Ka kite, COVID”, “Mimosas with the girls? You still aren’t vaxxed Debra!” to “Let’s test, let’s trace, let’s vaccinate”, each of these ads successfully plays on the nations culture. A local team of creatives even went so far as to create their own guide of ‘The A-Z Of Things More Likely To Kill You Than The AZ’. Launching via an Instagram page, the campaign gained extensive media and social exposure organically. Their focus: putting risk into perspective and fighting fear with fact. Now with almost 13k followers and a huge update in young Australians getting the AZ jab, we think it was successful.

Whether showcasing different ethnic communities or using humour to convey the message in a catchy jingle or social stunt, there is a clear difference in approach to the Australian Government’s public health campaign.

Not only did Australia predominantly use fear mongering in their messaging, something the media industry has been accused of for some time now, but they also failed to cater the message to the minorities who are most concerned and often uneducated around vaccines.

Our work as the PR Agency involved for DonateLife in 2020 was a great example of the different tactics needed to effectively start a conversation with CALD groups around topics relating to their health and safety. Successfully, we changed the language used compared to mainstream media AND ensured we enlisted a trusted opinion leader to deliver these messages. It can often be taboo or scary to discuss certain topics within communities and religious groups, so finding the right spokesperson and platform to start the conversation was imperative to a successful campaign.

If we were to work with the Federal Government on the vaccination campaign, our first port of call would be to find advocates from within the communities that have the slowest uptake or most hesitance towards the vaccine, and work with them to craft the key messages that will resonate most with that target audience. It is PR/marketing 101, isn’t it?

By Rachel Demarco, PR/Marketing Manager, InsideOut PR and #AsSeenOn

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