The 2020-2021 academic year was one of many different challenges as the COVID pandemic ravaged the world. Classes at Bridgewater College were HyFlex, which meant some students were present, in-person, masked, while other students participated online via Zoom. This split arrangement presented significant challenges for everyone – those on campus and those remote. The college experience, needless to say, was totally rewritten and this importantly included communication efforts.
The 2021 Strategic Public Relations class (COMM 347) identified the need of educating their peers about the availability—and advantages—of getting the COVID vaccine. (At this point in March, the College had not issued a vaccination policy; later that spring they did release a requirement for the 2021-2022 academic year.) The developed problem statement reflected the fractured experience they were having not being together on campus as well as the rumors and unfounded speculation about the vaccine that they themselves were seeing on social media.
The class identified three distinct groups among the student body that they wanted to reach: athletes, working students, and those who had chosen to be remote. The 16 class members mirrored the HyFlex class, meaning the work was completed with some team members on campus and others remote. They conducted interviews and developed goals, objectives, strategies and tactics. The final products included stickers, floor signs, emails, an infographic, and a video that particularly spoke to the athletes. Their recommendations to the administration included sponsoring vaccine clinics and providing incentives.
Dewey, Ady, "Educating and Motivating Students to Get the COVID Vaccine" (2021). Strategic Public Relations Projects. 6.