Chapel Hill Transit's Campaign to promote safety measures during COVID-19

Target Audience: Chapel Hill Transit's audience for this campaign was the general Chapel Hill and Carrboro community, especially immigrant and limited English speaking residents.

Strategy Objective:Chapel Hill Transit wanted to place messaging that reinforced community behavior and put a focus on the reason why were making challenging adjustments to our services. After installing these ads, we saw decreased complaints about our limited service and greater compliance with the physical distancing and capacity limits we implemented.

Situation Challenge: In the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, our community leaders saw a lot of violence aimed at Asian members of our community and discontent to social distancing and lockdowns. We wanted to create a public message that emphasized community cohesiveness and the importance of having empathy and patience as we fought the pandemic together.

Results Impact: Chapel Hill Transit saw greater public awareness of the efforts being taken to limit the community transmission of COVID-19, and we experienced a decreased number of complaints regarding our physical distancing policy and capacity limits. Additionally, our operators experienced less negative interactions with customers who did not want to comply with mask mandates.

Why Submit: This campaign was a great partnership with the greater Town of Chapel Hill effort to promote community safety and health goals, and reflects a departure from our typical approaches to communicate to customers. This was the first time we used exterior ad space to promote an initiative to customers. By installing the signage using our existing advertising program, we prioritized community good over revenue and made rolling billboards that traveled throughout our community with a message promoting togetherness - helping to calm tensions during a very volatile time when people wanted a number of changes to transit services. We were able to to negotiate with our ad company to comp the space rental for the installation.