EXCITE Vaccination Campaign: A student perspective on outreach work
During February through May, 2023, the Department of Innovative Media Research & Extension (IMRE) worked with Extension Collaborative on Immunization Teaching & Engagement (EXCITE), Esperanza Hope For All, and New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) in a campaign that encouraged farm workers and others to get vaccinated and to know the importance of vaccines. The work began by meeting with representatives to better understand audience, messaging, and cultural considerations. The campaign includes social media posts, live action videos and animated videos to spread the message and inform.
During this project, the IMRE social media team worked on promotional products for the campaign, writing and translating messages and scripts for animation and video, incorporating art created by the animators to illustrate the messages, as well as preparing posts and graphics to share in two languages, English and Spanish. When preparing graphics for social media, our team first established style guidelines to follow for consistency, accessibility, and visual appeal. We developed templates, showed them to the larger team and got feedback. Our style used three colors for the campaign derived from the branding of the partner organizations: turquoise, orange and white. The team also established preferred text sizes, fonts, background textures, and aspect ratios to be used in social media graphics. Before release, we checked color contrast on each graphic in order to ensure readability. We also included alt text and accessible hashtags for each of the planned social media posts.
The IMRE social media team includes two full time staff members and three New Mexico State University students. From our perspective as student assistants, this process brought a good amount of experience when it comes to understanding and participating in the planning process of a campaign, the different layers of feedback, and the closure of the campaign once the material has been produced. Collaborating with other units in the department is something we’ve never been able to do before, so it was exciting to be able to extend our knowledge.
Animation created by the IMRE Multimedia unit
In the end, working with the video production team and the studio developers not only gave us the experience of collaboration on this project, but also gave us a wider view of what we really do in our department. The most challenging part was getting started: determining our audience and planning for efficient points of interest. Our understanding of our target audience changed several times, and when we thought we had it down, we would realize that there was another obstacle or consideration blocking our path. Considering who has access to our social media platforms, how certain images might be received, and reviewing other modes for communication are just some of the issues we had to overcome. Working on this project wasn’t easy, but we all stepped away with new skills that we are prepared to bring forward to our next big project.
Live-action video created by the IMRE Video Unit
The full collection of materials produced for this project can be viewed from the New Mexico Health & Wellness page: https://nmhealthwellness.nmsu.edu/excite.html
Written by Jaqueline Magana, Joel Gonzalez Parra, and Emalie Hames, Student Assistants in the Department of Innovative Media Research & Extension.