As 2020 drew to a close, there was one thing top-of-mind across the country: the COVID-19 vaccination rollout. After nearly a year of this global pandemic, hope was on the horizon for a return to “normal” life. In December 2021, our client, Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, approached us about creating a campaign to encourage as many Arkansans as possible to get the COVID-19 vaccine – we couldn’t think of anything more important than helping to end the pandemic in Arkansas.
Just two months later, the Vaccinate The Natural State campaign was born.
Arm in Arm for Arkansas
Vaccinate the Natural State is far more than your average media or public relations campaign. Arkansas Blue Cross knew in order to make a real impact, they needed partners across the state. The Arkansas Department of Health, the Arkansas Minority Health Commission, AFMC, the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce/Associated Industries of Arkansas, the Northwest Arkansas Council, UAMS, Walmart and a host of community partners stepped up and threw their hats in the ring to help Vaccinate The Natural State.
A Strategy for Success
With the goals of busting COVID-19 myths, educating on the safety and importance of the COVID-19 vaccine, and providing valuable resources for the public and businesses alike, we developed a comprehensive plan that includes everything from public relations and paid media strategies to organic social media content, website development and analytics.
Through this multi-channel approach, we have created countless assets – including educational video modules for businesses, two comprehensive websites, numerous handouts, fact sheets and other materials – to help Arkansas Blue Cross and its partners provide Arkansans with the answers and information they need to get vaccinated.
We aimed to create a campaign that could stand on its own and be used by all partners, businesses, community organizations and individuals; and truly take on an identity of its own—no small feat in just a few short months.
Developing creative messaging for the campaign presented a unique challenge, as the initiative has two primary focuses: business-to-business engagement and community engagement. We needed to be sure the campaign aesthetic and messaging we created could adapt to both of those audiences.
For the business-to-business arm of the campaign, we created assets encouraging Arkansas businesses to join together as one to fight COVID-19 and get their workforces vaccinated. While education and support were our main focuses, the creation of a business pledge encouraged local business leaders to do their part to end the pandemic.
The community engagement part of the campaign presented a different challenge: How do we cut through the many messages Arkansans were being exposed to every day regarding the COVID-19 vaccine and encourage them to join the movement to end the pandemic? The spoken-word approach to all our creative assets made the message informative and inspiring in an entertaining way.
Ultimately, both audiences of the campaign were inspired to join the movement and get involved in making our businesses and communities stronger.
Doing Our Part for a Healthier Arkansas
At Stone Ward, we believe in building good not only for our clients, but for our communities and for the state our Little Rock team calls home. The COVID-19 pandemic may not be over yet, but the end is finally in sight, and we are proud to work alongside Arkansas Blue Cross on such a meaningful campaign.