Case Story Consumer Health Forum of Australia

Using creative story to free difficult conversations.

Inviting people to discuss, share or even engage with sensitive issues isn’t easy at the best of times. But during this pandemic, it presents a whole lot of new challenges.

Throughout 2021 we worked with the Consumer Health Forum and LMS Consulting to develop a story based community engagement strategy around vaccine hesitancy in regional Australia. It was called It’s Worth the Shot and was delivered by PHN’s, community leaders and local health professionals.

The strategy was based on the growing body of research that shows how trust, rapport and community cohesion is best built through ‘caring and sharing’ rather than ‘telling and selling’ – especially for issues such as COVID-19.

Vaccine hesitancy begins with a reluctance to openly discuss concerns, fears and choices. And is compounded by a lack of trusted channels within the community to get that assurance. 

There’s no better way to do this than to create a safe, open and non-judgemental space to share individual stories, experiences and perspectives. 

We developed two sets of cards to encourage conversation, curiosity and confidence. One set was focussed on eliciting reflection and stories around the parts of our lives that we most treasure and want to protect. And the second set aimed to bring questions and concerns to the fore – those things that are barriers to making a decision to vaccinate.

Moya worked with artist Tennyson Nobel to create the visual messaging and Public Health consultant Meriel Schulz to develop the thinking points and story cues. The session plans and training were developed to be delivered in person and online. Part of the strategy including trickle down dissemination through beautiful take home merchandise to share and display.

The project was supported by DSS and delivered in conjunction with PHNs around Australia.