5 Tips for Developing COVID-19 Communications

5 Tips for Developing COVID-19 Communications

By: Trevis Cage and Eboni Jackson

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, communications professionals have been integrally involved in disseminating clear, accurate, and credible information vital to the public health response. COVID-19 created a global health crisis, necessitating a nimble process to respond to, evaluate, and communicate rapidly changing updates and developments. Communications professionals were tasked with keeping up with a continuous flow of new information and sharing this complex information with a broad audience.

Whether you are creating presentations, public service announcements, graphics, or reports, it is important to develop content that is clear, easy to understand, and tailored to the audience. At Bizzell, our experts recognize these challenges and developed tips to follow when developing COVID-19 communications products.

Always Credit Your Source

Always credit your source clearly, especially when sharing numbers and statistical information. This not only identifies where the information originates but provides the audience with reassurance that the information being shared is accurate and trustworthy. Crediting and linking to your source also provides the audience with a resource to learn more and gain insights beyond what has been presented.

Use Plain Language

Health information that includes medical jargon without explanations can be misunderstood or misinterpreted. When developing communication products, use clear, simple language and imagery, spelling out all acronyms upon first reference and providing context when necessary. It is also important to ensure graphics and other visual elements align with the topic or content. When possible, collaborate with an experienced graphic artist or health communications analyst to ensure illustrations are creative and appropriate to the topic.

Consult with an Expert

Consult with an expert to review your materials and provide guidance on health literacy and appropriate language. Some topics may be technical in nature, so it is important to connect with a subject matter expert (SME) to guarantee that complex ideas are being relayed accurately and that you are providing the most clear and accessible information to the public.

Include a Disclaimer

Include a disclaimer at the bottom of your document. For example, a disclaimer can read, “this information is current as of…” or “please visit CDC.gov for more information.” This provides critical information on sourcing to the audience, as well as a mechanism for them to obtain updated information if applicable.

Incorporate Longer Review Times

Finally, incorporate longer review times into your timeline or schedule. Given the complexity of the topic, clients or leadership may need extra time to review your content before public distribution. Review or clearance processes may take longer than normal, so planning and accounting for this additional time helps to ensure you are prepared and avoid any delays in producing material.

While information regarding COVID-19 may continue to change, the use of these tactics will help ensure you are producing products that are clear, trustworthy, timely, and informative. Bizzell has experience developing health communications products and campaigns on various topics—including COVID-19. Learn more about Bizzell’s learning and engagement expertise.

10 Tactics for Finding Happiness During Times of Isolation and Loneliness

10 Tactics for Finding Happiness During Times of Isolation and Loneliness

In a recent Real Simple feature titled “10 Tactics for Finding Happiness During Times of Isolation and Loneliness,” Dr. Anton C. Bizzell is among a group of leading experts offering some of his time-tested suggestions. Among them are making intentional changes in your home space and getting enough sleep. Similarly, he recommends regular movement, anything from simple stretching to taking a walk in your neighborhood. Dr. Bizzell also offers advice for creating a “‘happiness journal’ to notice and build moments and experiences that care for your heart.”

READ MORE: Real Simple

Bizzell Celebrates World Water Day

Bizzell Celebrates World Water Day

Lack of clean water is an international crisis. Today, 785 million people – 1 in 9 – lack access to safe water and 2 billion people – 1 in 3 – lack access to a toilet. Every 21 seconds, a child dies of water-related disease. Children are often unable to go to school and women are unable to work because they spend thousands of hours annually hauling water to help maintain their homes.

To bring awareness to clean water issues, The Bizzell Group (Bizzell) is proud to help celebrate #WorldWaterDay on March 22. This virtual celebration – Valuing Water – helps raise awareness of the global water crisis and focuses on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #6 to help promote water and sanitation for all. The UN estimates that in 2017, some 3 billion people lacked the ability to safely wash their hands at home, which it notes is “one of the cheapest, easiest and most effective ways to prevent the spread of diseases like the coronavirus.”

An estimated 695 million of a global 2.4 billion people living without improved sanitation facilities live in Sub-Saharan Africa. As an organization on the frontlines of epidemiological and disease surveillance work with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Africa, Bizzell finds this alarming. To help address the issue, Bizzell donated water tanks and sinks for young children living in Leve Moi Orphanage in Goma, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, housing almost 70 young children and supporting another 500 youth in the community.

In addition, Bizzell works closely with the CDC, which has a full slate of resources on the need for healthy water. Under a CDC Division of Global Health Protection contract, Bizzell communications experts develop messaging and materials to help inform and educate audiences on topics critical to global health security, including clean water access. Additionally, Bizzell supports CDC with qualitative research on messaging related to food safety, including how to properly wash foods to prevent food poisoning.

Please join Bizzell in celebrating #WorldWaterDay on March 22, when the UN World Water Development Report will be released. Register now to participate in this global webinar. The health and economic stability of the world community depend on access to clean water and sanitation facilities, and Bizzell continues to integrate our subject matter expertise, our strategic partnerships, and our philanthropic focus to build healthy, secure, connected, and sustainable communities around the world.

Telebehavioral Health: Technology-Enabled Behavioral Health

Telebehavioral Health: Technology-Enabled Behavioral Health

March 7, 2021 (Lanham, MD) Across the country and around the world, people’s lives are significantly upended by COVID-19. Research indicates that during quarantine, people can experience poorer mental health, including post-traumatic stress, avoidance behaviors, anger, fear of infection, and frustration and boredom (Brooks et al., 2020). Telebehavioral health became a necessity to provide behavioral health treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic, adhere with stay-at-home orders, and maintain social distancing (Wright et al., 2020). Published by the Behavioral Health Advancement Resource Center (BHARC), March 2021 Behavioral Health Spotlight offers insights and commentary on telebehavioral health. Telebehavioral health is an approach to providing behavioral health clinical services, counseling, and health education and information using telecommunication and video communication technologies. Today, telebehavioral health is a standard practice and a rapidly growing approach to deliver clinical services to patients (Paterson et al., 2020). It has been well-received by both patients and providers. “With increasing adoption of telebehavioral health, we can reach the people who need help the most during the pandemic and beyond,” said Anton C. Bizzell, MD, BHARC advisor and CEO of The Bizzell Group (Bizzell). BHARC is funded by Bizzell. The BHARC Behavioral Health Spotlight is a thought leadership series highlighting various behavioral health topics that impact communities across the United States and abroad. “Telebehavioral Health: Technology-Enabled Behavioral Health” was written by Mim Landry, a BHARC Advisory Council Substance Use and Mental Health Expert. The article describes the benefits of and current issues in telebehavioral health and includes a review and commentary of recent literature on this important topic.


The Behavioral Health Advancement Resource Center (BHARC) is an authoritative source for behavioral health information, insights, technical assistance, training, and innovative tools. BHARC is a mechanism to share evidence-based behavioral health interventions and best practices. The BHARC Advisory Council consists of experts in substance use, mental health, clinical trials, pharmaceuticals, and healthcare standards and quality.

About Bizzell

The Bizzell Group (Bizzell) is a strategy, consulting, and technology firm that designs innovative solutions to help build healthy, secure, and sustainable communities in our nation and around the world. Bizzell leverages the combined experience of our diverse subject matter experts to develop data-driven, research-informed answers to the world’s most complex challenges—ensuring our clients achieve their vision and goals. For more information, visit: Bizzell US.