Orange County Receives Statewide Honor for #IGotMyShot Campaign
The Florida Association of Counties has recognized the Orange County Government Communications team for its innovative COVID-19 vaccine campaign, #IGotMyShot. The coronavirus vaccine campaign won the “2021 Best Practices Award” for the County’s efforts to create efficient and effective solutions to challenges facing local governments, and overcoming COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy was one of those challenges.
Senior Public Information Officer Despina McLaughlin and Communications Specialist Sarah Dillon led the 2021 Communications Division effort to inform Orange County residents on the importance of receiving the coronavirus vaccine as well as how easy it was to access. Section Manager Jane Watrel and Digital Communications Editor Marc Espeso further supported the campaign.
“We knew with how quickly the vaccine was developed and the speed at which the misinformation was spreading we needed to quickly develop a program that would deliver facts through trusted community members,” said Despina McLaughlin. “Research determined this would be our best route in helping residents overcome their hesitancy of getting the vaccine and moving the County towards reaching herd immunity.”
The team conducted research alongside Orange County’s Chief Innovation and Emerging Technologies Officer Andrea Wesser-Brawner that focused on interviewing a diverse group of residents through targeted focus groups. These results allowed the team to determine community concerns in real time.
Additionally, the team partnered with corporate and health leaders and utilized national health organizations data and survey information to better understand the community’s apprehension and determine how to best educate residents.
The #IGotMyShot campaign relied heavily on social media to spread the word and enable residents to become advocates. The award-winning campaign included social media contests, themed profile frames and PSA videos, and it also utilized influencers to amplify the message.
The #IGotMyShot vaccine campaign was highly successful, with currently more than 74 percent of Orange County residents aged 5 and older having received at least one dose of the vaccine.
Photo cutline: Orange County Government Communications team earns statewide award for COVID-19 communications campaign. From left to right: Jeff Williamson, Ph.D., Communications Director; Despina McLaughlin, Senior Public Information Officer; Sarah Dillon, Communications Specialist; Jane Watrel, Communications Section Manager; Marc Espeso, Digital Communications Editor.