How the American Red Cross launched a multilingual, high impact PSA campaign

2020 made it apparent that our ‘be good to the town’ motto needed to come to life in new ways. Kristin Hess, principal product partner at Innovatemap, reached out to community leaders to see what they needed and if Innovatemap could support their efforts. The Indiana Chapter of the American Red Cross took her up on the offer. This is the story of that partnership.

Many of us know of the American Red Cross through their blood drives, but the organization has been there to provide disaster relief since 1881. The Indiana chapter, founded in 1916, serving Indiana, and parts of Ohio, Kentucky and Illinois, has followed in those footsteps and supported us through natural and other man-made disasters.

The role of the American Red Cross and the Indiana Chapter didn’t change when COVID-19 arrived in the United States. The organization knew what it needed to do – develop a public awareness campaign to communicate potentially life-saving information.

“If you don’t have access to the Internet or television, or if you don’t speak or read English, it’s possible you don’t have any idea that there is a threat,” says Duchess Adjei, Regional Communication Director at the Indiana Region of the American Red Cross. “There are huge populations of people across Indiana who do not speak or read English, and it’s important that those individuals and families feel part of our extended communication strategy. Our goal is to help build an army—one that includes us all, encouraging all of us to commit to actions that may seem small, but that are truly powerful.”

The Red Cross’ #DoingMyPart public awareness campaign supplements the State of Indiana’s #INThisTogether campaign by identifying tasks individuals can do in their daily lives to help combat COVID-19. The campaign was officially launched on April 13 with the website redcross.org/doingmypart.

To eliminate language barriers for Hoosiers navigating this public health crisis, as well as to spread awareness about the opportunities and need, the Red Cross was generously supported by LUNA Language Services for translations of the campaign messages into at least six translated seven languages, including Arabic, Burmese, Chinese, French, Hakha Chin, and Spanish, which were selected based on Indiana demographics across Indiana.

“The whole organization has worked around the clock for weeks with all of our programs and services, so when I received a call from Kristin Hess at Innovatemap offering support, I was thrilled,” says Duchess. Innovatemap’s designers rolled up their sleeves to create digital imagery that would not only convey the PSA campaign messaging, but stand out in the crowd.

The Red Cross has prepared a communication campaign with commercials, media interviews, social media, and community partners. Messages will be disseminated to diverse audiences through partnerships with key organizations, such as the Immigrant Welcome Center, which communicates with nearly every immigrant-facing organization in the region.

Visit redcross.org/doingmypart to view all of the graphics and see the full extent of the campaign. You can also watch the WISH-TV segment about the campaign online here.