Episode 19 – COVID-19 Crisis Communications Lessons

PSM Show Ep 19 BlogYT


COVID-19 presented government and public sector agencies with some of the greatest challenges of the modern era.

But in this episode, I’m going to share real-life case studies of how agile they proved to be. And also, how in the absence of a vaccine, they succeeded in containing a virus and winning public trust with digital communications

Coming up in Episode 19 of the Public Sector Marketing Show:

  • > The role of digital communications during COVID-19
  • > Why we will never revert to pre-Covid communications
  • > Lessons learned from a pandemic: hear from the World Health Organisation, Ireland’s national health service, a Greek MEP in the European Parliament and higher education in Ireland and find out how they managed public engagement during lockdown
  • > Take our Certificate in Digital Crisis Communication

Stay tuned and hear remarkable public sector professionals share great insights which will provide important case studies in the annals of history.

Before we get into today’s show I want to share some good news on our podcast. We were listed in the top 20 Best Public Sector Podcasts of 2021 by Welp Magazine

I also want to let you know about a new feature on our podcast website page. You can now leave me a voice note and ask me a question. I will answer it live on the show!


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Joanne’s Column

The role of digital communications during COVID-19

Over 200 countries, thousands of national and federal governments and tens of thousands of public sector agencies experienced a global pandemic of novel coronavirus.

With no pharmaceutical intervention for COVID-19, it was vital that organisations prioritises crisis communications plans to ensure their citizens are informed, single sources of truth are identified, and information is updated in real-time.

The COVID-19 pandemic effectively put the world on pause, apart from a number of key sectors including healthcare, food manufacturing and retail along with policing and security.

However, one sector of society that did not shut down was our government and public sector agencies. The public were facing a crisis of compromised health, confidence and their financial and mental well-being. Meanwhile, our healthcare services and national governments had to deal with a public health crisis not seen in our lifetime. And it continues today.

Tweet me your views on digital communications during COVID-19 to @JSTweetsDigital.


Why we will never revert to pre-Covid communications

  • > Public behaviour has changed–social messaging use increased by 50%
  • > Virtual meetings are now the norm and not the exception
  • > The level of public sector and government transparency on Covid-19 will be expected on all other issues also

Case Studies

COVID-19 Digital Crisis Communications Case Studies

At the outset of pandemic I launched a special series on The Public Sector Marketing Show YouTube Channel series called COVID-19 Crisis Communications conversations. In these interviews, I ask political, government and public sector professionals about how they are navigating this new normal, from a communications perspective.

So I want to re-share the highlights from the conversations with you now.

Case Study #1 Social Media for the World Health Organisation during COVID-19

Aleksandra Kuzmanovic who has served as Social Media Manager at the World Health Organization (WHO) Headquarters since July 2018. She is co-managing WHO’s presence on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, TikTok and Snapchat, supporting WHO top leaders in social media activities, and leading social media-related partnerships including those on fighting COVID-19 misinformation. She shares their processes, favourite tools and how she is managing mass messaging to help save lives.

Case Study #2 Managing Digital Crisis Communications in Healthcare During a Pandemic

Muiriosa Ryan, Social Media Manager for the Health Service Executive, Ireland’s national health service. We discuss their social media response to COVID-19 crisis communications. Muiriosa shares how social media is helping them connect with the public and update public health messages in real-time as well as collaborate with traditional media. She shares her learnings so far during this pandemic.

Case Study #3 Higher Education in Isolation

When the Irish university sector closed its doors and its students and staff found themselves studying and working from home, Kate Wood, Communication Officer with the IrishUniversities Association (IUA) spotted an opportunity to share their personal stories.

Case Study #4 Political Communications During Lockdown

In this COVID-19 Crisis Communications I speak to Greek MEP, Anna Michelle Asimakopoulou from her home in Athens as the European Parliament and Brussels was in lockdown.



Certificate Modules

  • Module 1: Understanding Crisis Communications and Online Activity during a Pandemic
  • Module 2: Defining Your Role and Responsibilities during the Crisis
  • Module 3: How to Deepen Your Digital Footprint to Keep Citizens Informed
  • Module 4: How Social Listening Can Add the Slowdown of Misinformation
  • Module 5: Mastering Digital PR and Live Press Conferences
  • Module 6: A Social Media Strategy for Pandemic Communications
  • Module 7: A Live Blog Strategy for Pandemic Communications
  • Module 8: A Community Management Plan for Pandemic Communications
  • Module 9: Essential Software, Apps & Tools for Crisis Digital Communications

WIN our Weekly Show Prize

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel or Podcast, leave a comment on any social network about the episode, use the hashtag #PublicSectorMarketingShow

Also, get a 50% discount on a course of your choice with us!

Thank You for Listening!

Thank you for tuning into episode #19. If you are a regular listener, please rate and review our show.

Don’t forget to get in touch with your questions. I love hearing from my listeners, don’t be a social media stranger. Tweet me at @JSTweetsDigital

If you would like to be a guest on the show, please get in touch. Email Joanne at [email protected].

If you haven’t already, please subscribe to The Public Sector Marketing Show or your preferred podcast platform.


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