Thank You North East

Killing Covid with kindness

With the world reeling from the Covid pandemic, seven local authorities joined forces to fight the spread of Covid-19 in the North-East of England.

Ambition

Despite knowing what to do to reduce the spread of Covid, some people felt either unable, or unwilling, to follow all of the rules, all of the time. They weren’t sure why they were doing it. 

Our mission was to help people rediscover the ‘why’, and deliver a campaign that changes behaviours. Our goal was to deliver an empathetic reminder of why following the guidance is important in the region’s fight against Covid.

 

Strategy

We changed the Covid comms narrative from top-down, authoritarian, rule-giver, to a kinder and more personal approach – thanking locals for their efforts in a plea to encourage them to keep going.

Solution

We delivered a campaign for, and from, the people of the region. A campaign that was instantly relatable and would represent frontline workers who were contributing to the North East’s Covid response, alongside everyday folk who were also doing their bit. 

Featuring ten local people – from schoolgirl Emily who was shielding due to medical conditions, to Jas the bus driver, who kept frontline workers moving – our solution quickly established emotional connections by putting a friendly face to what was usually CAPS ON Covid comms from the government.

To support North East residents in knowing what was being asked of them, we designed and built BeatCovidNE.co.uk – a hub which collates and simplifies national guidance and delivers it through a regional lens. This meant that residents no longer had to decipher what the rules were for them.

Results

The campaign actually had to change behaviour to help save lives:

  • Over the campaign period the per 100,000 case rate in the region tracked at, or below, the UK average, and the Christmas peak, fell at a faster rate in the region vs the UK average.
  • Nearly half of those who saw the campaign took at least one desired action, most commonly related to their own social distancing behaviour.

The campaign was clear and easy to understand:

  • 94% took a clear message from the campaign.
  • 92% of people who saw the campaign agreed they had the information they needed to keep themselves and others safe vs 83% of people who hadn’t seen the campaign.

The campaign motivated the region:

  • 90% of the region who saw the campaign agreed that they need to persevere to get through the crisis.
  • 92% of people who saw the campaign agreed that they had the information they need to keep themselves and others safe vs only 83% of people who hadn’t seen the campaign.

The campaign motivated the region:

  • 90% of the region who had seen the campaign agreed that they need to persevere to get through the crisis.

To support the region with the up-to-date and locally relevant information they needed, we designed and developed BeatCovidNE.co.uk, an online platform as the source of helpful guidance that would help individuals who were struggling to keep up with changes in guidance stay informed and adopt the right behaviours when it mattered most.

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