Mask and Healthy Behavior Adoption
Most “healthy behaviors” that can stem viral spread (e.g., mask adoption, social distancing, sanitizing, limiting social distancing) are new to people living in the United States. Getting people to adopt these behaviors requires enacting new public health policies and changing public perceptions and social norms about these behaviors. Providing people with up-to-date science and policy information is very important, but changing behavior also involves building trust, listening to the unique perspectives of various communities, and creating messaging that is relevant and accessible to those communities. We initially focused on changing behavioral norms around mask use, social distancing, and avoiding social gatherings. We believe that this strategy can be used in a wide range of other contexts.
Restart Adoption Strategy Toolkit
We were informed by theory and evidence to targeted message development basing our work on metrics from available primary and secondary research, academic literature, input from communication experts, the results of a national survey we designed and implemented, as well as informal interviews with community and business leaders, and policymakers at the state and local levels.
Our team developed an 8-step methodology for encouraging mask use, which can be used by other stakeholders and extended to encompass a larger array of public health interventions.
Our Early Work
State of Washington
In June of 2020, Restart Partners was asked by the Governor of the State of Washington, Jay Inslee, to launch the “Wear a Mask WA campaign” (link to press release and/or video – #WearAMaskWA Initiative – YouTube). Modeled after New York State’s campaign, the Restart adoption team employed the help of University of Washington Communications Leadership and a team of graduate students to create and run the initiative. Over 600 submissions in multiple languages throughout WA state were posted to #WearAMaskWA social media. It shortly after evolved to #MaskUpWA in response to Gov. Inslee’s state-wide mask mandate.
University of Washington
Population Health Grant
Also in June 2020, University of Washington Population Health Initiative awarded Restart additional funding to continue its work on safe economic recovery. We have and continue to work closely with the University of Washington, Washington State Department of Health and other government agencies
National mask survey
With the support and expertise from Kantar, a national market research firm, we surveyed over 1,000 participants from across the US to identify common motivations for wearing masks, barriers to mask use, and the best ways to encourage mask use. Our messaging strategy was informed by our survey findings and by other recognized primary and secondary research data.
Restart Partners contracted a team of graduate student consultants from the University of Washington Evans School of Public Policy & Governance to create a Washington State COVID-19 vaccine adoption strategy as their culminating Capstone project. Their work will include stakeholder interviews, a stakeholder analysis, a policy landscape analysis, and public health communication strategy recommendations, which will inform our social media messaging campaign.