Pandemic Responses Around the World: Who’s Doing it Right?

Photo of Carolyn Grisko

BY Carolyn Grisko

August 11, 2020

Public Affairs Public Relations

The steady drumbeat of big news stories in Chicago can make it difficult to step back and contemplate events on a global scale. But with the pandemic continuing to taking a heavy toll and no effective solutions (i.e., fast, widespread testing, a vaccine) at hand, our team understood the unique and important opportunity to participate in a study that would provide valuable insights on the success of the COVID response around the world.

Grisko is fortunate to be part an international network of independent agencies – IPREX,  which compiled views (https://www.iprex.com/covid19report/) from 14 IPREX partners around the world. “What’s Working to Calm Hearts Worldwide” provides real-time case studies on communications best practices and a unique comparison of how different countries responded to the pandemic.

For the report, Grisko’s Bill Utter provided an overview and insights about the regional, political and cultural differences across the 50 states that have shaped the story of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States.

Bill’s primary finding is disheartening at best: The Trump Factor – mixed messages coming from President Trump and his administration have skewed the perspectives of many Americans, endangering lives and dividing our country. After failing to acknowledge the threat early on, the President and his team continue to downplay the danger and refused to develop a national plan. The result: more than 5 million COVID cases and counting in the U.S. and 160,000 dead. Even now, as the administration continues to push for schools to open, we learn that 97,000 U.S. children tested positive for the coronavirus in the last two weeks of July, according to data from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association.

But it’s not all bad on the communications front. Effective leadership and clear direction from a few standout governors helped their states control the virus and flatten the curve. And here at home, Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s tough mom approach across social channels was effective in reaching an initially receptive audience with the important stay-at-home message, although lockdown fatigue has resulted in parties, beachgoers and bar patrons flaunting the rules.

If you want to better understand why some countries have contained the virus and are now opening up, while the U.S. falls further behind, I encourage you to read this report.

And we’re here if you want to learn how our IPREX partnership can benefit you.

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Photo of Carolyn Grisko

BY Carolyn Grisko

August 11, 2020

Public Affairs Public Relations