In my post What do you mean communication is the biggest challenge?, I observed social contexts antithetical to effective communication directed towards serving public health objectives, contexts like distrust of science, proliferation of misinformation like conspiracy theories, and politicization of health policy. I asserted that effective health messaging must establish credibility and foster a receptive environment. I suggested leveraging techniques of public relations and advertising towards those ends in order to achieve desirable outcomes of healthy choices made by informed communities.
Vital Strategies, a global health organization is doing just that, working with Association pour la Defense des Droits des Consommateaurs (ADC), a civil society group that has partnered with Ministries of Health in Chad, Togo, Benin, Niger and Burkina Faso. Each country is mounting a campaign of radio spots to encourage behaviors to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
This article presents more about the communication project: Fighting COVID-19 on the Airwaves and in the Markets: Coordinated Campaigns for Protective Behaviors. Community engagement is a cornerstone of successful risk communication.
We need more such engagement in the United States.