award–winning back to school & student vaccination campaign
UAEExpertise Integrated Communications Industry Education
After two academic years that had been significantly impacted by Covid-19, Private and Charter Schools the UAE Capital – Abu Dhabi were looking forward to welcoming all students back to physical learning for the start of the 2021/22 academic year. Some students had not been in a physical classroom setting since schools were forced to close in March 2020 and there was still a reluctance from some 25% of parents to send their children back to in-person learning.
Action UAE was tasked by the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK), the regulator of the Private and Charter Schools sector in the Emirate, to devise and deliver a back to school campaign to raise awareness of revised reopening policies, aimed at ensuring a safe return to physical school for all students, encourage higher vaccination rates among students and reinforce ADEK’s collaboration with Abu Dhabi government stakeholders including National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority.
Leveraging ADEK’s parents survey, which canvased the opinions of more than 100,000 parents, Action UAE used survey responses to identify issues and shape a communications strategy.
The survey highlighted potential trust issues in reopening policies, although the decision to welcome students back to physical school was widely viewed as ‘in the best interests’ of all stakeholders.
The survey also shed light on parents’ views on vaccinating their children prior to returning to school. Subsequently, Action worked with ADEK to optimize a student vaccination drive via an ADEK-organized pop-up vaccination centre at Yas Mall.
After identifying and understanding the challenges at hand, Action set the following objectives for the campaign:
• win hearts and minds by demonstrating how schools could only reopen if they adhered to strict regulations and passed a compliance inspection
• promote high vaccine uptake amongst school staff and students
• promote ADEK as a trustworthy entity that listens and responds to the needs of its stakeholders.
- Action led from the front in all communications, managing a complex stakeholder mix which included Private Schools, Charter Schools, ADEK internal stakeholders, government entities (DOH, ADPHC, SEHA), and Abu Dhabi Government Media Office (ADGMO)
- 522 x pieces of coverage generated from 6 x pieces of content and 7 x exclusive features
- 34 x media opportunities (including broadcast, print, and digital interviews)
- 18 x social media posts (video, animation and static) and 96 x stories
- Over 1,800 vaccines were administered prompting a second pop-up three weeks later. The campaign directly translated into the creation of three dedicated ADEK/SEHA student vaccination centers, with all communications directed by Action.
- Zero paid media activities with all reach organic across PR and social media channels.
- two golds at the 2021 Middle East Public Relations Association Awards: Best Social Impact Campaign in Response to COVID-19 & Best Government Communications & Public Affairs Campaign
- PR Week Global Awards winner in the Best Campaign in the Middle East category