One of the things I learned on the job is that the local community is not very trusting of what is being said in the mainstream media. They depend on community leaders with whom they have built trust over time for credible information. The community-based organization is therefore tasked with reassuring the grass-roots communities especially if an action needs to be taken.
The COVID pandemic has had a devastating effect on the economy and people are suffering as a result. The message that is put out there needs to be data-driven but empathetic and optimistic. I learn that people are seeking answers and calm in the midst of chaos and uncertainty. Being able to change behavior is paramount to saving lives and our messaging must be persuasive enough to effectuate that change.