This article explores how Birmingham City Council’s Public Health Division produced accessible and tailored communication for different groups during the COVID-19 pandemic. The report explores how the COVINFORM and PROACTIVE projects identified communication challenges and proposed ways to address them, such as transparency, trust, and co-production.


Birmingham is unique and renowned for its diversity, however, the pandemic highlighted the challenges and gaps in communication with vulnerable groups that can result in disproportionate impacts from crises and emergencies. The article explores how the Birmingham City Council used various methods and partnerships to understand different communities’ needs and concerns, such as surveys, ethnographic research, community champions, and community radio. The article then delves into how Birmingham City Council’s inclusive and accessible communication approach has improved relationships with partners, increased uptake of testing and vaccination, and saved lives in Birmingham.


Key learning for communications professionals with regards to helping the public to prepare and respond to emergencies is that;

  • Communication should be inclusive and accessible to different groups
  • Communication should be tailored to different groups’ needs and concerns
  • Communication should be transparent, trustworthy, and co-produced with communities
  • Engagement methods should include surveys, ethnographic research, community champions, and community radio
  • Partnerships with different sectors and organisations can help reach different groups
  • Inclusive communication can improve relationships with partners, increase uptake of testing and vaccination, and save lives


Read the full article from COVINFORM.

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