Arkansas Children’s Vaccine Communications Campaign

Arkansas Children’s Vaccine Communications Campaign

Fostering COVID-19 vaccination conversations with hesitant community members

How we engaged a reluctant community to reconsider vaccinations.

Prioritizing child health
As summer 2021 was ending, the state of Arkansas reported the third lowest COVID-19 vaccination rate in the country, with under 36% of residents having received both doses. With COVID-19 infections surging across the state, Arkansas Children’s started to see child infection rates greater than they’d seen at any point during the pandemic. Driven to deliver “unprecedented child health,” Arkansas Children’s knew it was time to get vocal about vaccinations and actively engage their communities. They looked to Core Health for support.

Understanding the target audience
When we began planning, Gallup said only 20% of people were somewhat or very open to reconsidering receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. These individuals were cautious about the vaccine, but would be more open to it if their needs and questions were to be addressed. That defined our target audience – the "moveable middle."

Our strategy centered around encouraging people to engage in conversations with their healthcare providers about vaccinations. For a more detailed exploration of our research and strategy, please visit this article.


Creative Theme

We created an empathetic, non-threatening theme, aligning needs for both internal and external audiences, that:

  • Disarms people on a heated topic
  • Is inviting and conversational
  • Leverages the trust people already place in the institution and its providers
  • Encourages healthy dialogue
  • Is empathetic to the concerns of the community
  • Can be used across communication tactics
  • Can extend beyond COVID-19 to address vaccinations in general, a strategic pillar for the organization
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Connecting People with Answers

We began with fundamental key messaging — organizing everything around our core strategies so our message was targeted and strategic in all communications. We worked with clinical experts at Arkansas Children’s to develop comprehensive, easy-to-read Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) that would live on their website and guide all communications.

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Internal Engagement

To equip providers to facilitate the conversations we were encouraging our audience to have with them, we created:

  • Tools to make it easier to address common questions about COVID-19 vaccines
  • Branded t-shirts for team members to encourage conversations among Arkansas Children’s staff and generate advocacy in the community
  • Internal communication pieces to encourage and increase vaccine acceptance among staff
  • Signage throughout the facilities to encourage dialogue between patients/parents and providers
  • Internal operational enhancements to discuss and offer parents vaccines on-site when they bring children in for care

Radio & TV

We took an educational approach to delivering our message like a public service announcement in broadcast media, which included Connected TV. We selected a well-known Arkansas Children’s pediatrician who was best poised to deliver our message – an invitation to speak with us – in a warm, empathetic way.

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