VAX: Working at cross-purposes?

Sometimes, it’s easier to just go with the flow…
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I think that practically everybody agrees that Blacks have been disproportionately crushed by COVID … and that, for understandable reasons, Blacks are disproportionately reluctant to get COVID vaccinations.

Preliminary data shows white Marylanders account for most of the inoculations, with Black people receiving about 16% of the total despite making up about 31% of the state’s population. Source

To compensate, Maryland Gov. Hogan has launched the GoVax PR campaign to “address a reluctance some people have to getting the vaccine, particularly those who don’t trust the medical system.” Source

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No quarreling with the objective … and, the approach is a classic marketing mass communications program.

OK, hold that thought …

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In a prior post, we flashed another Baltimore area headline:

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In the earlier post, we focused on the 2nd dose part of the headline, and coined the  2nd dose aftershock effect

Today, let’s think about the link sharing part…

The problem: Some Baltimore City folks who score vax appointments are sharing their ‘come & get it” links with friends & family … who are trying to use the “loophole” to get vaccinated.

Ordinarily, I’d be ranting & raving against line-cutters, but…

Consider this: Almost 2/3s of the Baltimore City population is Black .. and an explicit goal is to encourage more Blacks to get vaccinated.

What’s more likely to get that mission accomplished?

Option A; Circulate videos and posters of an old white guy pitching “vax are safe, get your’s”.

Option B: Somebody who has bought in to the need to get vaccinated sends a link to friends or family members, nudging them to “get your’s, too”.

My money’s on Option B !

Every marketer knows that person-to-person recommendations are more powerful than glossy ads and videos … especially when the recommendation is coming from a trusted friend or family member.

And, it’s common sense, that serving somebody who is already “converted” is easier than converting a skeptic (and then serving them).

So, if members of a vulnerable, underserved community want to share their links with other vulnerable people in that community … I say: “Go for it.”

This strikes me as one of those cases.

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P.S. I also might question the wisdom of a GoVax PR campaign when many vax-eager Marylanders are confronted with NoVax.

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