Five COVID-19 Vaccination Communication Tips
The fight against COVID-19 has lasted nearly a year, and while there is some light at the end of the tunnel, it isn’t quite over, yet. Thankfully, senior living and other long-term care communities are first in line for the COVID-19 vaccines. In the meantime, we wanted to share five communication tips to assist your sales and marketing team, and help keep your community safe.
1. Clear is Kind
Due to the disproportionate risk of COVID-19 to residents, there is continued fear and uncertainty surrounding residents’ health and safety. Communicate clearly with your residents and their loved ones about your community’s vaccination rollout plans. Seniors and their families may have questions about the vaccines and vaccination timelines for your staff.
Your staff is taking on a huge responsibility in an uncertain time. They could be experiencing pandemic fatigue. It is important to check-in regularly with your staff and ensures they’re equipped to provide empathy and comfort, while answering questions that arise.
2. Look to the Experts
Be sure that you’re sharing factual information with residents, their family members, and staff. Researchers and scientists are hard at work learning as much as they can about COVID-19, vaccines, proper treatments if infected, and other protocols. Look to experts like the CDC and WHO for verified information.
In fact, the CDC has many valuable resources available for your vaccine communication efforts including:
- A Letter to Seniors about COVID-19 Vaccinations
- A Letter to Seniors and their Families
- FAQs about the COVID-19 Vaccinations for Seniors, their families, and your staff.
- A Letter to your Staff about COVID-19 Vaccinations
- FAQs for your staff about COVID-19 Vaccinations
The truth is, some people are hesitant about the COVID-19 vaccines. Sharing the facts is important, but sometimes talking over concerns doesn’t always address some of the underlying fears or beliefs that might be at the heart of it. Be sure to create open dialogue with residents and their families, to ensure you’re able to answer all their questions.
3. Hope + Good News
We’ve been seeing articles like this in the national media where “Sally Senior, age 87, becomes the first resident in *your community name here* to receive the COVID-19 vaccination.” We all need a little bit of good news. So don’t shy away from sharing things like this with residents and their families. By communicating your community’s approach to vaccines, and how you’re keeping your residents safe until we truly reach safe immunization levels, you’re sharing hope and a sense of coming normalcy. This can go a long way in easing the hearts and minds of residents’ families. Social media, community emails, your blog, and other parts of your website are all great places to post this kind of information.
4. Message + Timing = Impact
Great marketers understand people. According to Marketing Week, “Marketing is about finding a universal truth about how people behave and how they react to different things.” Think about what you’re communicating, and if your customers have the space to read and understand what you’re sharing. Put yourself in the shoes of your residents and their loved ones to anticipate the impact of your communication efforts.
5. Be Trustworthy
Is it over? Not quite, but this is a step in the right direction. Being a clear, honest, voice of reason can build trust with seniors and their families. In fact, 85% of Americans are likely to stick with a business during a brand crisis, if it has a history of being transparent. Therefore, this honest approach may provide long term marketing success for your community.
Here to Help
To learn more about how G5 can help your marketing stay strong through this last phase of the pandemic — from making necessary website updates to reputation management workflows — contact us, and download our Vaccination Communication Checklist.