The only truth is what is released at the 1 pm briefing, that is according to Minister of Health Chris Hipkins, but the truth is with the abundance of conspiracy theories, social media is awash with false information and very few kernels of truth.
COVID-19 news is saturating media coverage again as fears rise of how bad this second wave of Coronavirus in New Zealand will be. For conspiracy theorists, the Government did move up the level of advertising in the two weeks before this cluster outbreak, also pushing the use of masks. But far from knowing that a cluster was coming its more likely they were watching Australia and thought time to get organised. Let's be honest, we were all pretty complacent over the 100 days we were virus free in the community, but when it's on the Government's watch far better it's a watched pot perhaps without the distraction of an imminent election.
Credible news media are seeing big jumps in online traffic, but social media misinformation is here to stay. This does affect the clear messaging that the Government want to push and for those out in Auckland over the last couple of days it was clear the message is just not getting through.
The Auckland team of 1.65 million, this time around, seem sceptical of the level of risk. The sunny weather drew people out and it was evident that the social distancing, wearing of masks message is down to a two-thirds split against.
How to engage the team to get on board with the message, that it's not optional but vital, if not this time then next because we are not over having community transfer until there is a vaccine. Lockdown level 3 will come again, and hopefully not be upped to level 4, but the Government will need to address with more energy and drive than has been evident up until now to keep the team of 5 million on board.
In the ’60s the “tidy kiwi” programme was launched to get kiwis to put their rubbish in the bin, the buy-in was excellent and this engaging campaign has been around for 60 years, but the COVID-19 yellow stripe dull advertising needs to go – on television at least.
There have been a few engaging brand tv advertisements since March, those from the supermarkets asking us to be kind, buy normally and the brand of soap that doesn’t care what soap you use, just wash your hands. Now it is the Government’s turn to step up the creative, get the team of 5 million’s buy-in and engagement using every platform they can, from radio to print, social media to television. People relate to people - get some people into the advertising to engage with the audience and buy-in will follow.
Oh, and tell retailers to put the contact posters at a reasonable height – no one is that short or that tall, in the middle is just fine.