As COVID-19 level panic continues to spread across the U.S., President Trump is seeking media assistance to help spread the word about critical changes and sacrifices needed to defeat this virus.
On Monday, the President announced the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will partner with the Ad Council and major media networks and digital platforms.
Together, they will launch a series of public service announcements (PSA) to deliver what the White House calls “urgent” messages to Americans that direct them to www.coronavirus.gov, a centralized resource with up-to-date information on the crisis.
The White House partnered directly with the Ad Council on two particular campaigns. The first will be a series PSAs featuring the Surgeon General Jerome Adams to communicate the most important ways Americans can protect themselves and those most at risk. That script, developed by Group SJR, will also be available as a template for media companies to create assets with their own public health officials.
In addition, the Ad Council and the White House worked with NBCUniversal to introduce several digital videos and social graphics in both English and Spanish addressing protection strategies with a special focus on high-risk populations.
The Ad Council is also working directly with media companies and platforms to create customized content targeting specific audiences.
ViacomCBS, for instance, is launching a multiplatform campaign led by MTV and the company’s Entertainment & Youth Brands to reach younger Americans about the importance of social distancing. This content will then be tailored and supported across the ViacomCBS portfolio and available to all media companies. ABC/Walt Disney Television is working on priority messaging for parents and families for distribution across its channels and platforms.
Despite the fact Trump oftentimes damns these organizations as “fake news” outlets and calls on Americans to ignore them, most of us think of ABC, CBS and NBC as credible mainstream news organizations.
No surprise they're helping out here. That's one of the things they do best, support the public interest by disseminating important information. And they've committed to use their respective channels to support consistent messaging across TV, radio, social media, outdoor and digital media in support of assisting in the current crisis.
But don't worry, no doubt Trump will call them out again as spreaders of "fake news" when they challenge him for telling a big fat lie.
Most likely today. It's still early.