Suffolk Resilience Forum (SRF) partners are working tirelessly to tackle the spread of the virus in the county. Public messaging is a hugely important part of the SRF’s work and we all have a part to play in the dissemination of these messages.
With the most recent government announcement there has been some relaxation of the rules and it’s clear that we’re now entering a different phase; however, the general principles have not changed and it is important that locally, people understand what is expected of them.
The SRF’s public response to this next phase - the ‘Stick With It Suffolk’ campaign - was launched yesterday, (Monday 18 May) to encourage Suffolk residents to continue to do the right thing. We’d like to explain our thinking behind the campaign so you can help us to spread these very important messages.
It is crucially important that Suffolk hears a consistent message regardless of where they access their information, so the SRF messages reflect the government’s Stay Alert, Control The Virus, Save Lives message but makes it more relevant to our residents.
The ‘Stick With It Suffolk’ campaign builds on existing levels of public cooperation and compliance, acknowledging that it’s already successfully happening and encouraging people to keep doing it. It plays on people’s pride in having, and exercising, common sens
An essential element of the campaign is demonstrating, clearly, why we are asking people to follow the key messages. Personal stories of loss, commitment and effort will help bring to life the human-interest aspect of campaign. Every message will call for a clear action, all of which need to be as well-defined as possible. The core messages are:
Keep staying at home
Keep working from home where you can
Keep 2 metres apart if you go out
Keep exercising safely
Keep washing your hands with soap and water
Keep self-isolating if you or anyone in your household has symptoms
Keep travelling by car, bike or walking
Keep staying safe at work
Keep shielding yourself if you’re vulnerable
Keep supporting local businesses
Keep looking out for each other
We have led with the word ‘keep’ because we want people to maintain the behaviours that they are already doing. People are more likely to act if it’s simple – we all know that continuing an existing behaviour is easier than changing or starting a new behaviour.
Asking people to ‘keep doing something’ is proactive and positive, and it reinforces the government position of everyone has a role to play. ‘Keep’ also has a continuity of message that builds on our previous communications that have worked well in Suffolk.
Our plea to you, as a local councillor, is to help us encourage your communities to #StickWithItSuffolk and if possible, share their stories using the hashtag on social media.
On behalf of the Suffolk Resilience Forum