Research and Reports

The severity of the rapidly-evolving COVID-19 pandemic warrants a creative, novel, and sustained approach to encourage public health protocol, keeping people safe and the economy open. With support from the Washington State Department of Commerce, Facebook, and Upswell partners, Restart partners was able to undertake three major social media campaigns to improve public health outcomes and more safely reopen the economy: Mask Adoption, Small Businesses, and Vaccine Adoption. 

Our campaigns and stakeholder analyses demonstrate the power that social media holds to effect positive social change and influence public health outcomes. This is significant as social media is concurrently being a vehicle for misinformation, threatening public health and costing lives. The primary objective of our research studies was to increase mask wearing, vaccine uptake, and awareness of safe business patronage through employing social media marketing techniques. 

In these reports, we demonstrate how social media marketing techniques, historically used to sell products, may be effective in encouraging people to adopt certain behaviors during the COVID-19 pandemic that lead to better physical and mental health, and eventually to wide-scale social change and improved public health. Organizations may leverage the lessons learned from these studies to create campaigns to optimally achieve organizational goals.

Masking Campaign in India Research Report: FINAL REPORT
Authors – Akhtar Badshah, Anushi Mandelecha, Alex Stonehill, Devika Kool, Ekta Dokania, Niharika Arora, Niharika Sikka, Shreya Garg Bajaj
Social Media Campaign To Encourage Mask Use, Support Small Businesses and Increase Vaccine Adoption: FINAL REPORT

Authors – Dr. Sandra Archibald, Dr. Akhtar Badshah, Lisa Goodman with Alex Stonehill, Genevieve Tremblay, Niharika Arora, Caitlin Bishop, Hanna Peterson

Mask, Small Business and Vaccine Behavior: FINAL REPORT

Authors – Dr. Sandra Archibald, Dr. Akhtar Badshah, Lisa Goodman with Alex Stonehill, Genevieve Tremblay, Caitlin Bishop, Julia Nussenbaum, Hanna Peterson, Alyssa Seng, Sarah Siddique

Stakeholder Analysis: Washington State COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution

Medium Link

As vaccine scarcity becomes less of a challenge in the distribution process, hesitancy and access emerge as the primary barriers to equitable vaccination efforts. This analysis uses national and local data regarding vaccine hesitancy to identify key geographies within Washington State that risk facing low vaccine uptake and recommends leveraging key partnerships to close these gaps.

Authors – Caitlin Bishop, Abby Minor, Hanna Peterson, Maggie Yuse
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Memo 1: COVID-19 Vaccine Communication Strategies for Wary and Underserved Groups

Medium Link –

Behavioral science, communication research, and emergency response best-practices were used to develop six strategies for communicating with the public regarding COVID-19 vaccines. Encouraging trust and removing barriers to vaccination were prioritized. 
Authors – Caitlin Bishop, Abby Minor, Hanna Peterson, Maggie Yuse
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Memo 2: Incentivization of COVID-19 Vaccines in WA Workplaces

Due to health benefits provided through employers, public and private businesses are uniquely positioned to encourage employees to get vaccinated. This memo provides several policy options and approaches for vaccinating the workforce. 
Authors – Caitlin Bishop, Abby Minor, Hanna Peterson, Maggie Yuse
Published – 

Memo 3: Vaccine Passports: Risks and Benefits of Requiring Proof of Vaccination 

As public and private entities contemplate how to move forward with the next phase of the COVID-19 pandemic many decision makers have considered the idea of a “vaccine passport”. This memo discusses the risks and benefits of such a policy option using a behavioral science lens, and reflects on recent related events and policies. 
Authors – Caitlin Bishop, Abby Minor, Hanna Peterson, Maggie Yuse
Published – 

Adoption Strategy Infographic:
8 Steps to Encourage Mask Use and COVID-19 Vaccine adoption

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. 

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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. 

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