The COVID-19 pandemic has made a devasting impact on families across the world. My heart goes out to all who were hospitalized or lost loved ones. On the business side, the associated COVID lockdown put many industries at a near standstill. There is much to unpack, and concerns remain today regarding new COVID variants, reinfection rates, vaccination/booster schedules, and more. As of this writing, the Washington Post reported that six million died, with as many as 20 million indirectly.
Health communication, in particular, took a significant hit. If there is one thing that the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed to the world is that communication is powerful! Communication not only entertains and informs, but it also persuades. Mixing persuasion with health advice - especially from unprofessionals with a platform and an audience - can make for a disaster. The World Health Organization classifies the spread of misinformation and disinformation during a public health crisis as an infodemic.
Infodemic (World Health Organization): Too much information, including false or misleading information in digital and physical environments during a disease outbreak.
The use of social media (knowingly or unknowingly) has caused misinformation and disinformation to spread in real-time, sometimes going viral and reaching impressionable people who may not fact-check. A digital environment is an excellent tool for information sharing, but not when it can cause confusion or prolong a pandemic. Through posts, blogs, memes, reels, podcasts, and more, people with opinions and a keyboard or camera have the potential to influence thousands, if not millions.
It is essential to maintain a sense of responsibility and ethical principles in all that we create or share so that we are not contributing to confusion and misleading content.
This leads us to where your organization is significant in uncertain times like today. What is your brand truth, and how can your thought leadership contribute to a more ethical society? Every brand has a story and a mission that solves problems. It is time to shine a light on your brand narrative! In part two of this blog, I will share three tips to do just that!
Learn about how Ivey Media Agency promotes social solutions through storytelling by visiting iveymediaagency.com.