COVID-19 COMMS #47: Reminder: National messages delivered in a local voice can have 800 times more reach

And like that, England is back to earnest COVID-19 communications.

Over the last few days, UK Government announced the need to wear masks in shops in England as part of a range of measures. This follows the spotting of the Omnicrom variant of the virus which is suspected to be more virulent.

The emphasis now falls on the public sector to communicate and enforce the new rules.

So, UK Government led the way with this post…

Intrigued to see how the public sector local to me had communicated it. Looking around online they hadn’t.

There was no re-sharing of the Government content.

That in itself isn’t that bad.

I don’t say that because I think wearing a mask to help stop the spread is an appalling infringement of my civil liberties.

I say that because of some research I did earlier on in the pandemic which showed clearly that national messaging at this stage of the pandemic was failing in England.

The numbers then showed an average of two shares for UK Government or England NHS messaging.

Looking at it objectively, post-Cummings’ trip to Barnard Castle trust was never quite the same.

However, what has been more successful in being shared was a local voice delivering a national message.

For example, the A&E staff of Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust were featured in a video asking people to observe the rules. How did that fare? Superbly. The content was shared 800 times.

For me, there were three reasons for this.

Firstly, it was video and this content is proven to do well on Facebook.

Secondly, it was delivered in a human voice and a local accent by people who work in the area.

Thirdly, it was given a power-up by comms teams actively sharing it in Facebook groups in Sandwell and West Birmingham.

You can see the video here.

For me, a local delivery of a national message is essential.

The data shows that more people share a message that’s identifiably local to them.

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