This is going to be one of my most important posts. In October we analyzed the Rockefeller Foundation “Message Handbook – Covid-19 Testing & Tracing, September, 2020”. This post examines the UN [Share] Verified Guide to COVID-19 Vaccine Communications (released November 18, 2020).Before we begin, we need to understand who/what [Share] Verified is. Self-described as “the biggest team the world has ever seen” Verified is Purpose PR firm (sister org of Avaaz) partnered with the UN, Luminate (Omidyar) and Ikea. [And one must never lose sight that the World Economic Forum officially partnered with the United Nations in June 2019.][Share] Verified “Collaborators” include World Bank, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, etc. “Verified works with the support of Luminate, IKEA Foundation and UN Foundation and partners all over the world.”
“Combating misinformation… Verified, an initiative of the UN in collaboration with Purpose, to provide content that cuts through the noise to deliver life-saving information, fact-based advice and stories from the best of humanity.” This is storytelling that aligns with and serves capital.
This is storytelling that aligns with imperialism and serves empire. Purpose/Verified (paraphrasing Guterres) states “we must never lose sight of each and every individual life” – after assisting with the war on Syria – resulting in the hundreds of thousands of deaths; men, women and children.
The specialty of Purpose is driving Behavioural Change with storytelling and “New Power”. “Verified” is to create societal acquiescence (and even desire/demand) for the COVID-19 vaccines. Purpose works closely with Black Lives Matter and the Global Climate Strikes. The specialty of “movement building” for their very powerful corporate clients including the Gates Foundation, the United Nations and any others (see images in this set). Richard Branson’s B Team is registered to the offices of Purpose in headquarters in New York. Purpose has offices on six continents.
“New Power – The ability to harness the connected crowd to get what you want” – Jeremy Heimans, Purpose/Avaaz co-founder
That’s a short introduction. Let’s get to the manual. [See corresponding images/screenshots.]The research undertaken: “What drives vaccine hesitancy? Which frames will be most effective? What kinds of message strategies have been effective…””Principles for building trust” The key method for obtaining societal acceptance for COVID-19 vaccines will be the utilization of effective messengers. Tailored messages and timing [p. 7] is of critical importance – so we can expect to see a huge push via media and “influencers”.
“Change social norms to help gain acceptance. We are deeply affected by the behavior and choices of people in our networks—even people we may not have met.” [p. 7] “It all starts with trust” “Our willingness to put a foreign substance into our bodies is highly dependent on trust… It’s not surprising that hesitancy regarding a COVID-19 vaccine is so rampant…” [p. 8]”Stories of individuals being harmed by vaccines, whether they are true or not, can undermine larger campaigns.” “If a messenger appears to be motivated by factors that conflict with the recipient’s moral values  the recipients of the messages won’t trust the messenger…””During the COVID-19 pandemic who do you get reliable health advice from?” – “Scientists and health professionals are the most trusted sources of advice during the pandemic.” [p. 9] [For this reason – we have the launch of “Team Halo” – in partnership with TikTok and Facebook.][Team Halo: project of UN Verified (Purpose) and The Vaccine Confidence Project at the Univ. of London’s school of Hygiene & Tropical Med., w/ support from Luminate (Omidyar), IKEA, Global Challenges and UN Foundations. In partnership w/ TikTok and Facebook.]”The cues we take from messages and messengers help us quickly assess how we should feel about a particular issue. This is in contrast to slower, analytical thinking that requires more cognitive effort.” [p. 11] Breakdown on motivations (Conservative and Liberal) [p. 12]”Timing is critical” “By the time the  vaccine was available, concern was lower, and so a lot of people chose not to get it.” “An important aspect of timing is repetition.” “This makes it important that people hear similar messages from a range of messengers.” [COVID-19 Fatigue]”So we know that the willingness to take a risk with vaccination will increase if you feel vulnerable and if you feel the need. But when everything looks okay, like it’s under control, why subject yourself or your child to this unknown substance if everything looks calm?” [p. 18]”Repeat. While being first with a message is important, it’s also important that people continue to hear the same message from a variety of sources.” [p. 19]”the right messengers” “I couldn’t stress enough the importance of a message coming from within an in-group — someone that’s automatically on the inside. It’s almost like such messages even bypass deliberate cognition because they are coming from a trusted source…” [p. 21]“For the most part, we’re going to trust our in-groups until we’re forced otherwise. Right?…” “As much as we’re talking about trust in testing the actual messages, figuring out who the source is possibly just as much important.” [p. 21]”These anti-vaccine groups are getting traction because they are listening. They’re listening to the public.” “A campaign might benefit from a social influencer, social network model of communication, in addition to a mass media model.” [p. 22]”For Black Americans, for instance, barbershops turn out to be a really good place to get health info. and having doctors train the barbers  turns out to be quite effective… having this trusted source who the experts trained to talk about it also helps broader dissemination.”
“I imagine that you might be able to get corporations or governments or NGOs to get on board w/ vaccines. Say to them, ‘This is how your government reopens, or this is how your company reopens, once everybody’s vaccinated.'” [p. 25]”the regret angle is really important to leverage, because it’s something that parents really struggle with” “many parents are also anticipating the possible regret if they do vaccinate and there is a problem, ‘Yeah, but what happens if he gets autism from the vaccine?’…””the group who is most likely to purposefully choose to not vaccinate are highly educated. In speaking with them, these are people who have read the primary literature themselves, and they’re correctly interpreting it, so it’s not a misunderstanding.” [p. 26]”Build a narrative. Situate facts within stories of individuals reclaiming control of their lives to make them believable and relatable.” “Try flipping the themes of choice, regret and control and frame them in a positive way to increase vaccine uptake.” [p. 27]”[To reach them] go to communities, and [target] the people they trust. They’re not immune to social influence [and messaging them with] ‘You’re freely choosing to do whatever you want, and this is why [a vaccine is] a reasonable choice,’ [rather than] ‘You should do this.'” [p. 31]”Historically in the African American community concerns about experimentation are founded and symbolized by the Tuskegee Syphilis Study” [p. 31]”Where possible, get deeply immersed in both online and geographic communities to understand their specific fears and concerns” “Recognize that particular communities have significant and valid reasons to be fearful of new medical interventions and address these transparently” [p 33]”As humans—particularly those who live within collectivist societies—we are strongly influenced by our perceptions of what others will do, the informal and formal norms.” [p. 35] [“we know that information sticks, especially if it’s something we want to believe.” p. 17]”To apply social norms theory to driving change, it’s useful  to find the influencers and get them to change their mind, which can have big downstream effects” “for example, if you were working in schools, you would target the kids who have the most connections with other kids”
“it’s really coming down to working more at a community level and working with communities and finding spokespersons within those communities who are trusted, who can then share that message.”
“And that’s really how many people make these decisions. Most people are, for lack of a better word, lazy decision makers in terms of just, ‘I just want someone else to tell me what to do, someone that I trust.’ And so the social network component is a huge factor.” [p 36]”Particular emotions can motivate people to action or immobilize them. Using emotions intentionally can close the chasm between intention and action. “If people are seeing messages that suggest that the risks of COVID-19 are minimal, they’re unlikely to engage.” [p. 38, 39]”Fear can be very immediate, but it can also be counter argued. Parental love, who’s going to counter argue it?” “The call to action is not getting a vaccine that is available to you. The call to action is, ‘Protect your family, protect your loved ones. Help the world’…””A significant number of vaccine hesitant respondents responded positively to a hopeful message” “Respondents would feel regret if their child got COVID-19 and they chose not to vaccinate” [p 42-43] [“Human behavior responds to emotion, not science” – MIT Sloan Sustainability Initiative]”In today’s context questioning the motives of government is going to be one of the factors here [for a COVID-19 vaccine]. So let’s say we approve a vaccine early…what the motives are behind it is going to be in question, whether the government has everyone’s best interest at heart.” Nudge theory: “concept in behavioral econ., political theory, and the broader behav. sciences purporting positive reinforce., defaults, indirect suggestions,  still allowing freedom of choice,  that can influence behavior and decision making, esp. aimed at issues of compliance.
“END. Adding as my summary this article:
“Vaccination: Most Deceptive Tool of Imperialism” by Dr R Quijano who writes, “Vaccination is probably the most deceptive tool of imperialism that even anti-imperialists often fail to recognize. It displays a humanitarian face but has the soul of a beast.”http://www.wrongkindofgreen.org/…/vaccination-most…/