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Clinical, Covid, Health, Health and wellbeing, Mental health

Delivering effective public health campaigns during Covid-19

This guidance aims to optimise public health messaging and its outcomes.

03 December 2020

The guidance is based on an evidence-based rapid review of the evidence1 of the factors that may influence people’s responses to public health messages for managing risks and preventing infectious diseases.

It draws upon real-life examples of key messaging during the crisis, including the iconic “Stay Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives” campaign, and the follow-up motto of “Stay Alert, Control the Virus, Save Lives”.  

Based on the evidence the team gathered, there are three key recommendations for improving the response to public health messaging.

Firstly, it’s important to reach people who do not perceive themselves at risk, secondly you need to communicate with diverse communities with different needs, and finally there needs to be an increase in trust to ensure the public adhere to recommended behaviours.

A team from Greater Manchester, Dr Daniela Ghio from the University of Salford and Dr Chris Keyworth from the University of Manchester, who worked on the guidance with Dr Epton developed a formula for effective communication with the acronym TRUST:

  • Transparency
  • Redibility
  • Unified messaging
  • Social responsibility
  • Timeliness

Download the guideline