Beat Covid campaign hailed a success

A campaign set up to help stamp out Covid-19 in Northumberland and its neighbouring areas has been hailed a success.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 5th April 2021, 9:00 am

Beat Covid NE was launched on December 9 2020 by the seven regional councils in the LA7 group to help keep the public informed around Covid-19 restrictions and developments.

It aims to tackle confusion around Covid-19 restrictions after research found many people “find it hard” to stick to social distancing measures and other restrictions.

A report prepared for Northumberland County Council’s Health and Wellbeing Board said: “Our campaign has been seen as relevant and there has been a groundswell of public support for it. Almost half the region recalled or recognised the campaign.”

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The report states 25 per cent of people recognised the Beat Covid NE campaign from TV, with social media coming in at 14 per cent and local news at 17 per cent.

By February 2021, 78 per cent of those surveyed said the campaign was relevant to their local area, as opposed to 55 per cent in December 2020.

The report also claimed the campaign “also motivated those who saw the adverts to go further and remind people that they need to persevere to get through the crisis”.

Figures show 92 per cent of those surveyed said they knew they needed to persevere.

The report said Beat Covid NE has succeeded in reducing people’s doubt in the need for Covid restrictions.

The number of people who doubted the importance of the restrictions was cut from 29 per cent in December to 16 per cent by February by those who engaged in some way with the effort.

The report acknowledged it can be difficult to draw exact correlation between a communications campaign and behavioural change it did note some correlations.

But it indicated that half the people who saw the campaign did seem to persevere with social distancing, according to survey data.

However household mixing remained a concern. The Health and Wellbeing board was told this was something the campaign needed to develop.

The survey informing campaign had a sample size of 500 people around all seven authorities, which the Board was told was relatively large considering political polling for the whole country would typically survey 1,000.

It was noted that given that it would be still difficult to use this data in order to obtain stastisitically meaningful data about individual population groups or hard-to-reach groups.