University of Michigan Research Instrumental in Shaping Communications to Overcome COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy

July 28, 2021

// By Brian Griffin //

Brian GriffinAs the COVID-19 Delta variant spreads rapidly across the country, there is an increasingly urgent need to overcome vaccine hesitancy and access to care issues among the unvaccinated. Michigan Medicine’s communications strategy is based on research that shows patients want empathy, not lectures or bullying.

Healthcare providers on the frontlines of the massive effort to increase COVID-19 vaccination rates are bolstering efforts to “get shots in arms,” with marketers often leading the way. Michigan Medicine is fielding a comprehensive vaccine hesitancy communications initiative that is strongly influenced by University of Michigan (U-M) research stressing the importance of being empathetic to the unvaccinated.

Rose Glenn

Rose Glenn, chief communications and marketing officer, Michigan Medicine

“Clearly, the Delta variant and the dramatic increase in cases nationally is raising the stakes and making it even more critical to address issues related to vaccine hesitancy and access to care,” says Rose Glenn, chief communications and marketing officer for Ann Arbor-based Michigan Medicine. “We’re redoubling our efforts to boost vaccinations among patients, the community, and university and health system employees, and the communication department is playing a crucial role.”

The communications initiative is designed to persuade unvaccinated residents in the health system’s service area to get vaccinated,” explains Glenn. “From a branding standpoint, we’re focused on positioning Michigan Medicine as a trusted source for reliable information and communicating that our facilities and medical practices are key points of access for the vaccines.”

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