Ensuring every North Carolinian can take their shot. 

In November 2020, masking and social distancing were the only preventative measures for COVID-19. Effective vaccines were on the horizon, but with political polarization, deep distrust in government, fear and rampant misinformation, it was uncertain if people would get them.

Finding the right outreach and engagement strategy to get people to accept a new vaccine—especially Historically Marginalized Populations (HMPs)—was a matter of life or death.

“I was incredibly grateful to have Neimand Collaborative as a key partner to the state of North Carolina as we responded to the COVID-19 pandemic. They crafted a research-backed communications strategy and helped us execute a complex plan that built trust with historically marginalized communities. They rapidly delivered high-quality work in a crisis situation and embedded within our state team seamlessly.

Former NCDHHS Secretary Mandy K. Cohen, M.D.


Using motivational research, we built a campaign that understood people’s motivations, respected their fears, accounted for the barriers they faced and created culturally aligned outreach that provided people with confidence to get vaccinated. It was about doing the hard work of outreach and building relationships, not one magic message. Working 24/7 in collaboration with (now former) NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen’s exceptional COVID-19 response team, we quickly developed and implemented a bilingual communications and outreach effort that was recognized as a model for addressing the pandemic in an inclusive and effective manner. Hundreds of community events, millions of emails, more than 250 PSA videos in Spanish and English, regular Town Halls and constantly focusing on the smart use of data for more effective tactics delivered clear results. This project was done in coordination with our incredible partners: Artemis Strategy Group, Oak Hill Strategies, SeeBoundless and the AC&M Group.
NCDHHS COVID-19 Vaccines Campaign Thematic Coverage
Un Verano Saludable toolkit sample material

Thematic campaigns were developed to engage diverse sectors as COVID-19 vaccination ambassadors and were complemented with downloadable and print materials. Between June 2021 and May 2023, 2,115,000 printed COVID-19 materials were shipped to over 90 counties.


In just the first few months of the campaign, we moved the intent to vaccinate from an initial 59% to 79%. We’ve built a measurement pipeline for evaluating shifts in public perception as well as the effectiveness of our strategies. As a result, North Carolina has the highest vaccination rate of any southern state and its equitable approach to COVID-19 vaccination has closed the vaccination gap that existed between White and Hispanic populations; only a small gap remains between White and Black populations with no gap in some age groups. 

NCDHHS COVID-19 Public Messaging Review
Throughout the pandemic we developed 700 public service announcements and interviewed 289 North Carolinians on camera about their experience with COVID-19 and vaccination.


Creative Implementation
Message & Brand Development
Research & Analysis
Strategy & Campaigns

Let’s put strategy into action, together.