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Your COVID-19 Vaccine Communications Plan

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Communicating the COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout with Multicultural Communities

Melinda Jennings

Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and other countries within South-East Asia have incredibly diverse populations. With that comes the need to create equally diverse communication strategies. This is even more imperative when delivering messages about COVID-19, as it’s something that affects every member of the community.

As South-East Asian countries roll out COVID-19 vaccines, it’s imperative that governments and healthcare providers carefully consider inclusive communication strategies for everyone. We’ve put together four key ways that governments and organisations can achieve that.

1. Write messages in multiple languages

More than 700 languages are spoken in Indonesia - the second-highest number in the world (after Papua New Guinea). Singapore has four official languages, but many more are spoken across the city-state.

So that no one is left in the dark, it’s imperative to identify the main languages that need to be catered for, and translate important COVID-19 vaccine rollout information into those languages. Across each language, the message needs to be clear, factual, and consistent. 

Through Whispir, you can segment your audience and send tailored messages to each group. That way, tailoring messages according to demographic or language spoken is easy to do.

Learn more by downloading our COVID-19 vaccine communications guide.

2. Use proactive messaging

A major obstacle in communicating information about the COVID-19 pandemic has been the spread of misinformation. With multicultural communities not getting clear and direct information from trusted sources, the potential for false narratives to be passed around is heightened further.

While it’s an overwhelming task to curb this altogether, being proactive in your messaging can certainly mitigate it. That means sending out updates frequently and sharing news early - even when the whole picture isn’t clear. It’s better to over-communicate than to allow silence and rumours to fill the void.  

Being proactive also means you can employ a strategy known as call deflection. This is used to decrease the amount of calls coming through to your help desk or contact centre, by ensuring people have the information they need before they even think to pick up the phone.

Through Whispir and Vonage, you can create rich web forms, SMS prompts and web pages that provide information to people in a dynamic and easy-to-understand way. With automated two-way communication, your community can feel engaged with your message without tying up resources by speaking to an actual team member.

3. Diversify your message across channels and mediums

To make sure you reach the widest audience possible, you can utilise different channels. For example, Whispir’s workflow using Vonage APIs lets you seamlessly connect with customers over their preferred channels, including SMS, social media and more. Vonage’s proprietary global compliance engine adheres to the constantly-shifting, country-specific regulations and individual carrier policies.

Because people consume information in different ways, it’s a good idea to leverage different mediums, as well. This can include linking to videos, adding infographics to longer-form content, and facilitating phone conversations for those who prefer it.

4. Engage with leaders in the community

The best source of information about a community is always the members within it. Governments can greatly benefit from working with leaders in communities to figure out which communication strategies will be most effective.

This method is most impactful if you include leaders from the ground level, rather than just bringing them in to sign off fully formed ideas at the end.

Learn more about communicating the COVID-19 vaccine rollout and how Whispir can help you.