City Health Department’s “Playful” Tone Promoting Vaccination

The Baltimore City Health Department, the nation’s oldest local health department, is taking a new approach to its social media presence – adopting an informal and sometimes flippant tone as they seek to reach residents to promote vaccination.

twitter logoSocial media branding has become a fascinating facet of corporate public profiles. Many companies stick to the basics – information about products or services, and similar direct (but impersonal) outreach to potential customers. Some push the envelope, and develop more personal, approachable, or even “caricature” social media efforts as an alternative means to expand their message more broadly.

The Baltimore City Health Department, facing a great challenge to reach many residents who have not yet been vaccinated, has taken a turn for the informal of late… to the delight of many followers (and apparently the dismay of some others).

A few examples from the City’s social media efforts are below… in each case, promoting vaccination using slang, shorthand, amusing terms, and a bit of Baltimore “sass”

Follow the Baltimore City Health Department on Twitter

The Baltimore Sun profiled the effort this week, citing the Department’s new “authentically Baltimore” social media approach to spreading the word about COVID and the importance of the inoculations:

The health department is trying be as authentically Baltimore as it can be… both in its more serious public health messaging but also with its funny tweets.

“Baltimore is a city that has honestly been through a lot at different points in its history. And the way that it responds to those kinds of things is by binding together, making sure that we all take care of each other, and with humor,” Jancewicz said.

“The pandemic is a really difficult trial for Baltimore to come through. And so to speak with humor, and to speak with that kind of authenticity and to speak with that kind of, ‘We’ve got each other’s back,’ is who we are as a people, is who we are as a city. And as the Baltimore City Health Department, we’re just trying to reflect that.”

Read the full article in the Sun.

Michael Sanderson

Executive Director Maryland Association of Counties