Creating the HHS COVID-19 Public Education Media Campaign: Applying Learnings in System Change
This article was originally published here
J Common Health. 2022 April 25:1-7. doi: 10.1080/10810730.2022.2067272. Online ahead of print.
The COVID-19 public education media campaign was launched in July 2020 by the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The process by which the campaign was developed and implemented by the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs (ASPA) was different from other HHS campaigns. Nine lessons learned from recent ASPA systems change efforts were used to guide the development and implementation of the campaign. The learnings, based on communication science as well as experience, have not been applied or have been applied inconsistently in other HHS campaigns. In this case, their application kept campaign work focused on public health needs, not political diversions. Separable from the content and media aspects of the campaign, the development and operational process guided by the nine learnings resulted in accomplishments such as: (1) consulting and operating a team of federal employees from across the US government; (2) awarding large federal contracts in a much shorter time frame than usual, (3) proactively responding to congressional concerns, driven largely by the news media, (4) being able to make campaign revisions in the context of rapidly evolving science on the pandemic, and (5) the ability to transcend the unusual political realities of a presidential election season and the transition of administrations. How the nine learnings were applied to the creation and operation of the campaign can provide useful guidance to US government officials and others planning and conducting similar efforts in politically charged environments.
PMID:35467495 | DOI:10.1080/10810730.2022.2067272