Older Adult Vaccine
August 10, 2022

Sullivan County Fosters Community Approach in Vaccine Outreach Campaign

Sullivan County Fosters Community Approach in Vaccine Outreach Campaign

“We’re Sullivan County, and it’s up to all of us.”

That’s the message of a COVID-19 vaccination campaign launched earlier this year by the Sullivan County Office for the Aging in coordination with the county’s public health department.

Office for the Aging Director Lise-Anne Deoul spoke to NYSOFA about the effort, calling it a success on many counts – in large part because the campaign further reinforced strong existing relationships across county department in their public outreach efforts. 

The campaign ran from March to June. It was made possible using VAC 5 funds (Expanding Access to COVID-19 Vaccines via the Aging Network) and ADRC Vaccine Access stimulus funds.

At the heart of the campaign are two videos: one that is over a minute long, and another 15-second spot that ran on social media. The segments featured trusted individuals in the community explaining the various reasons why they got vaccinated. Each person spoke personally, reflecting broadly some of the motivations that might help others make a similar decision. 

"We wanted to show a diverse cross section of people – folks who are well known,” Deoul said. This includes outspoken members of the community, a Pastor and Rabbi speaking from the convictions of their respective faiths, a physician with her son, and two Spanish-speaking community leaders involved in neighborhood revitalization, local health initiatives, and other civic leadership roles.

“We knew the right people to ask,” said Deoul. “Everyone we asked was so on board and so excited.”

As for the public, “the feedback I got from people was really positive,” she added. “They really appreciated seeing people that were local well-known faces.”

At first the ads were shown countywide, but then Sullivan County worked with the contracted media company to adjust the campaign and reach more specific geo-targets. (“Geo-targeting” means the use of location data to reach consumers with messaging.)

The ads had nearly 350,000 impressions. (“Impressions” means the number of times an ad is displayed.) The process revealed to Sullivan County just how much could be accomplished with available resources and the help of a digital media company, making future campaigns seem less daunting. 

“It was a learning experience for us to better articulate what we were hoping to hear and see [in the design of the campaign],” Deoul added. “Everybody worked well together.”