Anne Arundel County COVID-19

Bringing awareness and support to help underserved communities get vaccinated

Award Winner


Barriers to access and concerns about the COVID-19 vaccine led Maryland’s Anne Arundel County toThe Hatcher Group for support with its COVID-19 communications in 2020. For this work, we drew on our expertise in developing public health awareness campaigns to encourage behavioral change for better health, as well as reach communities across the country, including Black and Hispanic communities. Our work continued in spring 2021 to support the county’s COVID-19 vaccination rollout campaign.


Strategic Communications


Digital Engagement



Across the two campaigns, Hatcher developed multi-faceted ad strategies focused on outreach materials, programmatic and Facebook ad campaigns, digital media, PSAs, motion graphic videos and streaming radio. Our research indicated that the pandemic hit Black and Hispanic communities significantly harder than white communities, elevating the urgency to help the most underserved communities get vaccinated. We developed flexible, thoughtful communications assets to break down these barriers with straightforward information on how to get vaccinated, where to access the vaccine and to reach residents where they lived and spent their time, specifically social media.

Messaging Map

We began the campaign with a detailed messaging map, targeting each group’s motivations, concerns, and most trusted sources, with a focus on helping, inspiring, and informing residents about COVID-19 vaccines. We created messaging in both English and Spanish, and then designed collateral in easily adaptable formats (PowerPoint Presentation, Canva, etc.) to allow us to change the copy as frequently as needed. With COVID-19 vaccine messaging, this is every week, if not every day. The messaging map became our “North Star,” allowing us to rapidly adjust messages based on new information.

Social Media Toolkit

We developed a social media toolkit for an organic social campaign on Facebook and Twitter, as well as digital and programmatic ads, and streaming radio. We filmed five :30 PSAs with community leaders, like state delegates, pastors, and community organizers, and we continually adjust our messages to reach audiences who we predict would become high priority in upcoming weeks.

Outreach Materials

We created materials that could reach residents in every corner, from bus shelters and posters in local businesses to postcard mailers and door hangers.

Our Impact

  • The most current data shows that more than 70% of all eligible residents have received at least one vaccine, and the county has reached target audiences and successfully closed racial equity gaps in vaccination rates.  
  • We’re continuing to confront changing barriers to increasing vaccination rates, such as political beliefs, age, and misinformation.  
  • Given our success in reaching communities with disproportionately low vaccination rates, we’re confident that we can continue to adjust according to shifting needs and encourage new groups to reconsider their stance on vaccination. Above all else, at least we can make it easy for them to access a vaccine.  

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