The COVID-19 pandemic created universal fear and uncertainty across the globe. During this unsettled time, Güd Marketing partnered with Oakland County (OAKC) for two separate campaigns — both to provide residents with clear and consistent information — to combat the virus and minimize its impacts.
Oakland County, the second-most-populous county in Michigan, is a community of suburbs and home to a greatly diverse population. Conflicting information — and outright misinformation, combined with panic — led to an overall state of confusion, resistance and inconsistent practice of safety precautions. As the pandemic raged on, it quickly became clear that the havoc wrought by COVID-19 manifested differently and stemmed from disparate factors across Oakland County’s communities.
In October 2020, with the holiday season looming, Oakland County residents had strong yet capricious feelings about COVID-19 and available measures to mitigate its spread. A litany of unclear and contradictory messages compounded the issue, burying science-based guidance. In anticipation of increased social gathering resulting from shopping, holiday get-togethers and cold weather, OAKC partnered with Güd Marketing to propel safety and social distancing practices to the forefront to slow viral spread until a vaccine became available.
The obstacles included message fatigue, skepticism and wildly varying perceptions. Time was of the essence and our strategy required creative tactics that adhered to COVID-19 restrictions and addressed audiences who were not engaged in normal routines, as well as measures that would resonate with broadly diverse communities. Güd Marketing developed the “Face It” campaign — an appellation referring both to the fact that facing a problem is the first step toward solving it and that a face mask was an effective means of preventing the spread of the virus. Campaign messaging rose above myriad negative stories by presenting fact-based and practical information delivered by trusted messengers — local partners, stakeholders, health and government officials, and celebrities.
“One By One”
The creation of a vaccine presented the best means of combating COVID-19 and putting a halt to the pandemic, but its distribution proved problematic. Vaccine eligibility and availability changed frequently and vaccine hesitancy emerged, particularly within socially vulnerable populations. Güd Marketing continued our work with Oakland County to provide residents with accurate, up-to-date and easily accessible information about how they could obtain a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and to combat misinformation and skepticism surrounding its safety and effectiveness.
Güd Marketing based our approach on a strong and evolving understanding of COVID-19’s impact within Oakland County and the success of the local approach to disseminating information and promoting action regarding safety and social distancing measures. A website and organic social media campaign streamlined information for residents and encouraged them to reserve their dose. Using the Social Vulnerability Index to identify Oakland County’s most resistant communities, we presented clear, fact-based information through trusted sources to promote vaccine attainment.
Social Media Influencers & Community Partners
Meaningful, Measurable Results
Both campaigns achieved great success throughout Oakland County and drew an impressive amount of attention, both locally and nationally. Highlights include:
In added (free) media coverage through earned media efforts
Paid media added value
In website traffic
Reach with 52 earned media stories
70% of Adults
With at least one dose by July 2021; Oakland County reached the national benchmark goal