Businesses are trusted sources of information. They can help persuade employees and customers to get the COVID-19 vaccine. This is especially important right now given the state of the pandemic and the hesitation some people have about receiving one of the approved COVID-19 vaccines.
Best Practices For Covid-19 Communications
We know from research conducted on behalf of the Rockefeller Foundation and others that effective messaging about testing, tracing, and vaccination is built on empathy and emphasizes three important points:
- Do Your Part: Show local leaders and neighbors being vaccinated to build social proof. An example message includes, “Think of your closest friends and family – they'd take action.” 70% of adults in the U.S. find this message to be convincing.
- Do It For Them: Vaccination isn’t just for you—it's to make the community safe for the people you care about. An example message includes, “Protect your friends, family, and loved ones.” 70% of adults in the U.S. find this message to be convincing.
- Before It’s Too Late: We’re in a race against the new variants—and time matters. An example message includes, “There is a short window of time to pinpoint who else might have the virus before they could lose their health and their job.” 77% of adults in the U.S. find this message to be convincing.
Messages That Work From Employers
Civis Analytics, a data science company, worked with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation to test five potential vaccine message themes from employers. Given that six in ten people believe employers should be encouraging vaccination, the goal was to identify which messages made employees more—or less—likely to want the shot. Among the findings:
The Big Takeaway
Vaccination is a personal decision, so it’s logical that when employers show a personal willingness to be vaccinated, they are more likely to increase the willingness of their employees—across all demographic groups – to follow their lead and get the shot.
- Message Testing: How Employers Should Talk About the COVID-19 Vaccine (Civis Analytics)
- COVID-19 Vaccine Communication Guide (National Institutes of Health)
- A Communicator’s Guide To COVID-19 Vaccination (Institute for Public Relations)
- Language that Works to Improve Vaccine Acceptance (de Beaumont Institute)
- COVID-19 Vaccination Communication Toolkit (CDC)
- Conversation Guide for Managers: Talking with Employees about COVID-19 Vaccines (Health Action Alliance)
- How can we help employees get vaccinated? (U.S. Chamber of Commerce)
- STAT Vaccine Confidence Message Brief 3.29.21 FIN (rockefellerfoundation.org)
- How to Talk About COVID-19 Vaccines With Friends and Family (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)