Review: Strategic thinking in a pandemic: A blueprint for government-led national hygiene communication campaigns to combat COVID-19

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Review: Strategic thinking in a pandemic: A blueprint for government-led national hygiene communication campaigns to combat COVID-19

Review: Strategic thinking in a pandemic: A blueprint for government-led national hygiene communication campaigns to combat COVID-19

This paper provides a guide for government to coordinate and resource communication efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Strategic planning to combat COVID-19 must be taken quickly. The authors use guiding principles of behavior change theories to provide suggestions for developing a communication strategy for COVID-19 prevention. They offer 10 steps in this development:

  1. Set up a task force and appoint a focal person
  2. Mobilize resources & involve the private sector
  3. Define exactly which behaviors need changed and by whom
  4. Review what is already being done internationally, nationally, and locally
  5. Review what is known about the drivers of the behaviors and quickly fill in gaps in knowledge
  6. Produce a creative brief and theory of change
  7. Develop a unifying brand
  8. Develop executions employing the most relevant channels for target audiences
  9. Quickly pre-test and continually revise messages
  10. Deliver, monitor, evaluate, and share lessons

In addition to these 10 steps, six behavioral principles are provided to guide the development of communication strategies:

  1. Do it for others
  2. Act together
  3. Facilitate trust
  4. Make it possible
  5. Get attention
  6. Emphasize reward

Although emergencies make it difficult to engage in strategic thinking, the current COVID-19 pandemic demonstrates that it is vital for government to take responsibility for the organization and coordination of behavior change strategies.

|2020-05-12T12:39:12-04:00May 12th, 2020|COVID-19 Literature|0 Comments

About the Author: Maria Brann

Maria Brann
Dr. Maria Brann, PhD, MPH, is a professor in the Department of Communication Studies in the School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI and affiliate faculty with the Injury Control Research Center at West Virginia University. She explores the integration of health, interpersonal, and gender communication. Her translational focus and mixed methods approach are woven throughout her health vulnerabilities research, which advocates for more effective communication to improve people’s health and safety. Her primary research interests focus on the study of women’s and ethical issues in health communication contexts and promotion of healthy lifestyle behaviors to improve personal and public health and safety. She researches communication at both the micro and macro levels and studies how communication influences relationships among individuals and with the social world.

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