Shortcomings in public health authorities' videos on COVID-19 When lack of creativity kills the message
Marie Therese Shortt – University of Stavanger. Norway
Siv Hilde Berg – Centre for Resilience in Healthcare, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Stavanger Norway
Jo Rí¸islien – Centre for Resilience in Healthcare, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Stavanger Norway
Ionica Smeets – Leiden University Netherlands
Siri Wiig – Centre for Resilience in Healthcare, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Stavanger Norway
Video communication has played a key role in relaying important and complex information on the COVID-19 pandemic to the general public. The aim of the study was to compare videos on COVID-19 published by Norwegian Health Authorities, WHO and on YouTube as a first step towards identifying whether videos by health authorities measure up to contemporary creative practices and video consumer behaviour on YouTube. Through structured search on YouTube, we found that Norwegian health authorities have published 26 (unique) videos to relay information on COVID-19, and the WHO, of which Norway is a member, a total of 29 videos. Press conferences, live videos and interviews by external media outlets were not included. A content analysis comparing these 55 videos to the 27 most viewed videos on COVID-19 on YouTube in video and channel data, video category, and creative presentation means, demonstrates a wide creative gap between videos created by the healthcare authorities and contemporary practices utilised in the creative media industry. Health authorities and WHO’s COVID-19 videos appear out of sync with popular online culture. A more reflective approach to creative communication can help increase the uptake, recall and reach of audio-visual communication on pandemics by public healthcare authorities. The study suggests future research areas to grow the evidence relating to creative choices and how they impact reach, viewers’ behaviour and trust.
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