The coronavirus pandemic can wreak havoc on every American, no matter the age, so efforts to reach every generation need to be strong. As COVID cases continue to spike during the winter months, New York City’s hospital network is supporting its ongoing Test and Trace COVID campaign with an influencer strategy to get more young Americans tested and following regulations.
Seven New York City-based social media influencers are involved in the initiative, including professional ballet dancer Misty Copeland, former Miss USA and "Extra" correspondent Cheslie Kryst, lifestyle and fitness influencer Trevor Bell, pre-med student Gage Gomez and even Maltese dog influencer duo The Doogie Days.
Leaning on influencers as a marketing tactic is a first for NYC Health+Hospitals, which operates all of the 11 public hospitals and more than 70 community clinics in New York City, as well as the new Citi Field vaccination site New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced last week.
The new approach could not come at a better time, says Caroline Wallace, VP of New York marketing at ad agency Sherry Matthews Group, which worked with the network as well as influencer marketing platform Markerly on the new strategy.
“As the media landscape shifts, Health+Hospitals wanted to supplement traditional advertising with new channels, especially for audiences that are more difficult to reach,” says Wallace. “Young adults, who at times during the pandemic have been less diligent about COVID safety behaviors and testing, needed to hear from trusted messengers they follow actively.”