Photo: I got vaccinated

Amplifying What Works — COVID-19 Response Communications

Posted on June 16, 2021 by Hannah Saeger Karnei, Inaugural TPF Fellow
In March of 2021, The Patterson Foundation launched a new arm of its COVID-19 Response team, focused solely on communications. The obvious reaction is: isn't that a year too late? The reality our team (including the amazing Abby Rolland and Kiarra Louis) discovered is that for many reasons...our community is just as confused now as it was last March, although thankfully less fearful.

The COVID-19 Response Communications Team is tasked with 1) amplifying what's working in Charlotte, DeSoto, Manatee, and Sarasota Counties, 2) sharing critical information from our partners at the county health departments, 3) helping everyone in the community understand what they can do to make the Suncoast a healthy and safe place.

Over many initiatives, but especially the Census 2020 Education Project, The Patterson Foundation has been working to establish a network of communication partners across all sectors. These are, in the simplest terms, community advocates and influencers who are interested, engaged, and have access to the local community. When we considered where to start with our COVID-19 Response newsletter, "Amplifying What Works," we started there.

Local businesses, nonprofits, government, and media partners have been adapting and innovating throughout the pandemic. They are ready to share information that is straightforward and makes solutions to pandemic-related issues easy to understand. TPF is fortunate to have an ongoing relationship with the Sarasota Herald-Tribune and quality partnerships with other local media outlets that are embraced by communities most vulnerable to COVID-19, like Tempo News in North Sarasota and Solmart Media Spanish radio stations.

The "Amplifying What Works" weekly newsletter was first published in March 2021. By June 1, subscribers had tripled to more than 300. It isn't realistic to think that TPF can reach every person in four counties no matter how many avenues we pursue. However, it is possible that by spreading accurate, trusted information through trusted community partners of all shapes and sizes, that we will reach enough people to make considerable progress towards a healthy and safe Suncoast.

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