Impact Canada

COVID-19 Communications to Drive Positive Behaviour Change

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Campaigns

Informed by the insights put forward, Impact Canada has developed two waves of materials for a social media campaign intended to enhance nationwide physical distancing compliance (#StayHomeSaveLives), in particular. Thus far, the behaviourally-informed materials below have been shared in over 250 posts across social media channels by over 30 departments.

Wave 1

Posted: April 4-6, 2020

Stay Home. Save Lives. To get through this together, we must all stay apart. #PhysicalDistancing saves lives – do your part! #StayHomeSaveLives. Canada.ca/coronavirus #COVID19 #FlattenTheCurve Icon of a heart inside of a house with text saying to stay home and save lives.
  • Emphasizing collective action, moral responsibility, civic duty
  • Including concrete call to action (i.e., clear and actionable language)
  • Demonstrating efficacy of physical distancing
Groceries To get through this together, we must all stay apart. #PhysicalDistancing means you can still go to the grocery store, but limit it to once per week. Otherwise, #StayHomeSaveLives. Canada.ca/coronavirus #COVID19 #FlattenTheCurve icon of a grocery basket and text saying to get groceries once per week.
  • Emphasizing collective action, moral responsibility, civic duty
  • Including concrete call to action (i.e., clear and actionable language)
  • Demonstrating adaptiveness and emphasizing a sense of control during physical distancing
Connect Virtually To get through this together, we must all stay apart. #PhysicalDistancing means you can still connect with loved ones, but do it virtually. #StayHomeSaveLives. Canada.ca/coronavirus #COVID19 #FlattenTheCurve icon of a laptop with text saying to connect with loved ones virtually.
  • Emphasizing collective action, moral responsibility, civic duty
  • Including concrete call to action (i.e., clear and actionable language)
  • Demonstrating adaptiveness and emphasizing a sense of control during physical distancing

Wave 2

Posted: April 10-13, 2020

Avoid Parks

More and more Canadians are avoiding public spaces.

If your friends or family members are still going to parks and playgrounds, they are risking lives. Tell them to stop.

#StayHomeSaveLives. Canada.ca/coronavirus #COVID19 #FlattenTheCurve Empty swing set with text saying this weekend, don't hang out in parks or playgrounds.

  • Making social norms and desired behaviour salient (photo of empty park)
  • Leveraging dynamic norms (i.e., information about how other people’s behaviour is changing overtime)
  • including concrete call to action (i.e., clear and actionable language)
Celebrate Virtually

Don’t put lives at risk this weekend.

#PhysicalDistancing means finding new ways to connect with loved ones, especially over the holidays.

#StayHomeSaveLives. Canada.ca/coronavirus #COVID19 #FlattenTheCurve

young woman and elderly man video chatting. The woman has covid-19 but isn't showing symptoms yet. The elderly man is protected because of physical distancing.
  • Evoking strong emotional response (empathy)
  • Emphasizing collective action, moral responsibility, civic duty
  • Demonstrating efficacy of virtual connections
Hand Washing

When was the last time you washed your hands?

REMEMBER: Wash your hands for 20 seconds frequently throughout the day.

Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water isn’t available. Canada.ca/coronavirus #COVID19

A hand touching an elevator button and getting contaminated. Text says that anyone can get it, anyone can spread it. Wash your habds for 20 seconds.
  • Evoking strong emotional response (disgust)
  • Including concrete call to action (i.e., clear and actionable)
  • Prompting cognitive elaboration (i.e., encouraging conscious reflection) via question posing
Self-Assess

If you think you might have symptoms of COVID-19, watch this video.

Then, use the self-assessment tool to see if you need medical assistance: https://ca.thrive.health/covid19/en

#StayHome #SaveLives #FlattenTheCurve

Transcript

Think you might have symptoms of COVID-19?

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Difficulty Breathing

Stay home. Use the self-assessment too to see if you need further medical assistance. Save lives.

Stay home. Self-assess. Save lives..

  • Prioritize salience and simplicity
  • Including concrete call to action (i.e., clear and actionable language)
  • Demonstrating efficacy of the self-assessment tool

What is next?

More campaign waves are coming! Impact Canada continues to dedicate resources and behavioural science expertise to develop behaviourally-informed messaging and visuals. Simultaneously, rigorous data collection and testing is underway that take communications initiatives in the pipeline from ‘insights-informed’ (i.e., based on literature and international findings, as described) to ‘data-driven’ (i.e., built upon the findings of robust research in the current Canadian context).

Summary

Objective

Support the development of federal COVID-19 communications to drive positive behavioural change.

Approach

Application of the principles of behavioural insights and what is working internationally to the development of federal COVID-19 communications campaigns.

Contact Us

For more information, contact the Impact and Innovation Unit of the Privy Council Office.