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Virginia Department of Health Turbocharges Vaccine Communications

How Granicus Helped

The distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine is the challenge of a lifetime for many state and local governments. With the urgency of the problem, and unprecedented hunger for information among citizens, an effective communication strategy represents the first step to delivering maximum impact, at maximum efficiency.

But vaccine communication is a unique and complex challenge that requires sophisticated capabilities. Unlike the blanket messaging that did the trick in the early days of the pandemic—on matters like evolving restrictions and case numbers—vaccine distribution requires targeted, consistent, multi-channel communication. Communicators must ensure their audiences receive both the mass education and awareness messaging, and the more targeted reminders to pre-register, make an appointment, and (in some cases), receive second doses. To meet this thorny challenge, Granicus has collaborated closely with hundreds of government agencies at the local, state, and federal level to deliver clear, consistent communication about vaccine eligibility, locations, appointments, and more.

Successful Vaccine Communication Campaigns

One standout example is our work with the Virginia Department of Health (VDH). As the vaccine became available, VDH needed to ramp up its mass communication efforts to address the intricacies of distribution and ensure a smooth rollout. To do that, they shared a number of requirements with us including:

  • A unified, statewide communication strategy to avoid fragmented or inconsistent messaging
  • A platform that could be activated quickly to meet residents’ urgent need for information.

Already a Granicus customer of several years, VDH expanded their partnership with us to tackle this next hurdle. During our conversations with the VDH team, we emphasized Granicus’ ease of use, ability to integrate with existing systems, and 24/7 customer service team.

Which Channels are the Most Critical?

With our govDelivery solution, Granicus helped VDH quickly roll out a multi-channel communication strategy, focused on digital channels like text and email, and complemented by other channels, like phone, to get in touch with harder-to-reach populations. The platform allowed the Department to not just communicate at scale—with more than 7 million vaccine-related emails sent to date—but also target citizens for multiple messages and reminders to ensure complete inoculation. The response from citizens was immediate; hungry for information, they opened communications at record engagement rates that exceeded 79%.

“Granicus has been an effective digital communication tool to use during the COVID-19 pandemic response efforts,” said Marian Hunter, public relations coordinator, Virginia Department of Health. “This platform has enabled the Virginia Department of Health to reach millions of people in the commonwealth through a strategic and targeted mass messaging approach. Additionally, the training and customer service that has been available to guide us through this process has been very helpful.”

To learn more about Granicus’ vaccine communication tools, visit: https://granicus.com/covid-vaccine/.