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Challenge 

As the prime contractor for the COVID-19 Public Education Campaign, or We Can Do This, FMG has navigated a complex messaging environment throughout the pandemic, tackling challenges in accurate reporting of cases and infections, rapidly changing virus behaviors, and emerging science. Data soon showed that vulnerable groups experienced the greatest exposure risk, such as frontline workers who are not able to quarantine and/or work remotely without significant financial hardship. The health inequities for those with the least capacity to adapt their lifestyles led to increased infections, more hospitalizations, and ultimately higher deaths. 

Process 

On a weekly basis, FMG reviews emerging data and applies that analysis to segment populations, then updates our list of targeted geographies and refines our tactics in digital advertising, earned media, and influencer marketing. Using the population data, we develop and publish toolkits in multiple languages (including Arabic, Chinese, Haitian Creole, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog, and more) to address the needs of specific audiences and communities. More than 50 free outreach guides are available for specific audiences including parents and teachers of specific age groups, school and summer camp administrators, American Indian/Alaska Native tribal leaders, Appalachian Region employers, LGBTQ+, pharmacists and nurses, and community health care workers. 

Impact 

In January 2021, over half of U.S. adults said they would wait and see or would not get a COVID-19 vaccine; as of April 2022, more than three in four adults have gotten vaccinated1. Early in the pandemic, one quarter of the U.S. population was refusing to vaccinate, but today only about 10 percent remain unvaccinated as we near the endemic phase of COVID-19. Many variables, efforts and organizations contributed to the increase in vaccination rates over time and influenced the changing confidence in vaccine safety and adoption.  

FMG measures success in the lessons learned and best practices for marketing tactics and decision-making that evolved throughout this campaign of unprecedented proportions. We partner with influential community organizations and trusted voices and invest media budget in minority-owned and operated media channels. We are continuously tailoring and reinforcing messaging to target communities with the highest risk, who are often the most difficult to reach and least apt to trust government and health care institutions. By improving our ability to capture and analyze data, interpret the impact of campaign efforts, and segment messaging by audience, we align media placement and delivery to be most impactful. 

Learn more in our blog, Segmentation and Optimization: FMG’s Data-driven Approach to Building Vaccine Confidence. 

1In January 2021, over half of U.S. adults said they would wait and see or would not get a COVID-19 vaccine; as of April 2022, more than three in four adults have gotten vaccinated.

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Sam Hagedorn

Segmentation Lead, COVID-19 Research

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