Toolkit Provides Media With Best Messaging Practices, Guidance On COVID-19 Vaccine Education

The National Association of Broadcasters, the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute (RJI) and the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) today announced the launch of an online toolkit to help local journalists craft COVID-19 vaccine education messages that best resonate with their audiences. The toolkit is designed to provide journalists with information and resources to create news reports, public service announcements and other messages related to vaccine safety, effectiveness and distribution.

The toolkit provides in-depth insights into exclusive nationwide research regarding Americans’ attitudes towards the vaccines, what information the public is seeking about the vaccine and the potential effectiveness of various vaccine education messages. The research, sponsored by NAB and RJI, found a strong majority of Americans are eager for a COVID-19 vaccine and interested in news coverage that provides expert testimony on the safety and efficacy of vaccination. The research also found that a desire to get back to normal is the biggest motivator for getting vaccinated, and that the most motivational messages about the vaccine focus on reducing loss of life and helping others.

The toolkit also includes information from the Kaiser Family Foundation and others on how to reach key audiences, including African American, Latinx and rural communities.

Informational webinars are among the resources available, kicking off with a webinar featuring researchers from SmithGeiger, Randy Picht, executive director of the Reynolds Journalism Institute and NAB Executive Vice President of Public Affairs Michelle Lehman discussing how journalists can utilize research to customize their coverage.

The toolkit also provides connections to reputable national and local healthcare experts who are available to share information with audiences related to COVID-19 and vaccine deployment, as well as to local pharmacists for live reports, interviews and information about vaccinations in local communities. Resources providing COVID-19 data and vaccine tracking are also available through the toolkit, along with access to federal and academic sources providing further research about COVID-19 vaccines.

NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith said: “As our nation turns to vaccines to help our communities recover from the pandemic, radio and TV broadcasters can play an indelible role in educating Americans about the benefits of vaccination, where to get inoculated and how to encourage friends and family to protect themselves and others. With millions of Americans relying on local media every day for valuable information, NAB is proud to offer this toolkit to help journalists provide expert guidance on vaccine deployment and adoption.”

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“The research provided in the toolkit covers a lot of ground to help newsrooms as they think about how they’ll cover this important story,” Picht said. “We think the abundance of data will be especially helpful to newsrooms because, as more people become eligible to receive the vaccine, the rollout story is going to evolve and present new challenges that the results will be able to address.”

NACDS President and CEO Steven C. Anderson said: “Throughout the pandemic, NACDS has engaged with the media to convey information to all Americans about COVID-19 testing, flu vaccinations, and other important storylines. Now, with the hope provided by safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines and by the initiative to provide them to Americans efficiently and equitably, it remains essential to bring about productive conversations and accurate information. Just as NACDS members provide trusted and accessible health and wellness solutions locally, NACDS appreciates the chance to work with NAB to share insights with all communities throughout the nation.”

The toolkit is available in English and Spanish and will be shared with local radio and television stations, journalists and partner groups serving culturally diverse communities.

The toolkit is available at https://www.nab.org/vaccine.


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