As data continued to show the disproportionate impact COVID-19 was having on Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities, it was vital these disparities were addressed. Influential was commissioned by Cheshire and Merseyside Health and Care Partnership (CMHCP) to ‘get under the skin’ and discover more about: the impact coronavirus was having on ethnic communities across the region; what messaging, routes and channels would be most effective in truly connecting with them; and most importantly how to quickly address high levels of vaccine hesitance.
Using a variety of data sources we developed a unique interactive mapping tool, which allowed us to create an updated and accurate geographic profile of the region’s ethnic communities. This enabled us to adopt a highly targeted strategy from the outset.
Detailed community engagement was then undertaken using multiple methods to gain valuable insights from ethnic communities about their attitudes and views of COVID-19 and the key barriers to vaccination. This bespoke research was quickly turned into a campaign to address hesitancy. ‘Let’s Get Vaccinated’ was targeted to directly address the main barriers from each ethnic group, using the communication methods which had been identified as having the highest levels of reach and trust.
To bring the insights to life in an impactful, authentic and engaging way we partnered with representatives from different ethnic groups and created a suite of assets which were hosted on a micro-site and shared within the Cheshire & Merseyside partnership to use on organic channels.
Digital channels were key to reaching our target audience. Using our interactive tool we launched a micro-targeted digital campaign that posted relevant content in each area ensuring it featured representatives from each individual community. Our mapping tool also allowed us to identify the most deprived populations which were reporting lower levels of vaccine take-up, so we weighted our digital campaign to enable extra exposure in these core areas.
Alongside the digital activity, we led a central campaign across multiple media platforms, executing a series of radio adverts, advertising in local community publications and a strong PR campaign.
To further address concerns about accessing hard-to-reach communities, we also launched a vaccination bus which visited targeted locations offering advice and support to residents, as well as the chance to get vaccinated on-site.
Our integrated campaign delivered over 1m impressions, reached each of our ethnic groups and covered all of the four main barriers identified. A targeted door drop in the most deprived postcodes -who we had identified they trusted this form of media – reached nearly 40k households.
We secured widespread media coverage for both phases of the campaign across key regional and national outlets, including Daily Mail, ITV and BBC Breakfast. In total, the campaign achieved 225 pieces of coverage up and down the country and reached over 7.7m viewers.
A pre and post survey showed an increase in likelihood to take vaccination from 68% to 79%. NHS data backed this up by showing that there was a remarkable rise in vaccine uptake within the campaign period.
Our bespoke approach and innovative data also led to effective recommendations which will be instrumental in successfully improving future services, interventions, communications and engagement between the NHS and different ethnic groups across the country.
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