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RoundTable 11/20: Inside Knowledge on Vaccines and Treatments–Actions You Can Take in Your Organization

RoundTable 11/20: Inside Knowledge on Vaccines and Treatments–Actions You Can Take in Your Organization

On November 20, Heart+Mind was honored to have best-selling author, biotech executive and scientist Safi Bahcall join us with three distinguished physicians from Intermountain Healthcare:

  • Dr. Todd Vento – Medical Director, Infectious Diseases 
  • Dr. Tamara Sheffield – Medical Director, Community Health and Prevention
  • Dr. Brandon Webb – Chair, COVID-19 Therapeutics Committee

The goal for our 1-hour session was to empower better COVID-related planning decisions aimed at maximizing safety and health while running our respective businesses/organizations. The session more than delivered on this objective as these distinguished experts cut through the noise about COVID-19 vaccines and treatments. Their insight, stories, and suggestions are well worth your paying attention and taking action within your respective ecosystems.

  • High Tech. The advancements in mRNA technology that are at the core of the top two vaccines nearing distribution is an incredible leap in human ingenuity, science, and the impact of focused investment and collaboration. For the first time in history, we will have vaccines that program our DNA how to fight the virus directly.
  • Efficacy. The efficacy rates for the first two vaccines are incredibly high at 90-95%. Don’t be surprised when these rates slow down. When you hear about it, don’t worry because it is to be expected. These rates are above normative standards, and they’ve been realized in record times.
  • Timing. Distribution of the vaccine will be tricky and complicated, but expect the plans to be sorted and begin to reach the masses by late Spring and into the Summer. Healthcare workers, frontline workers, and at-risk populations will be the priority starting as early as December and January.
  • Priority. The process of prioritization for vaccine distribution will likely get messy, but should be resolved by March/April. In the meantime, distribution challenges are being addressed now.

Leadership during this time of crisis calls for transparency and solutions. Business leaders need to take a stand to spread the basic facts and repeatedly drive home these messages to build confidence:

  • Masks work.
  • Vaccines work. And when they work they cause your body to respond that often brings a slight fever and aches. That is a good sign that it is working. Talk about this in terms of a natural and expected “response” to a vaccine, not a “reaction” to the vaccine.
  • Slowing the spread helps us get to herd immunity. At current rates we will have to vaccinate 90% of the population, something that is not realistic. If we can slow the rate of spread we could control the virus with as low as 30% vaccination coverage. Slowing spread matters. A lot. Vaccines do not represent a magic bullet – our behaviors matter as much or more.

Physicians have learned a lot in the last several months with regard to treatments, and it is lowering the fatality rate significantly. Early treatment is proving to be very, very important.

Finally, our experts shared the following resources to rely on and to get out of the chaos and misinformation of the media and social media channels:


WATCH THE VIDEO

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The Human Story | Nov. 19, 2020

As cases surge across the country, the public believes the likelihood of stay-at-home orders is high and nearly half support a nationwide four- to six-week lockdown to help stop the spread of coronavirus.  Financial security is concerning for a majority of the public and a sense of financial hardship is on the rise, particularly among younger generations, Hispanics, and Blacks.  Following are some of the key storylines from our tracking data:

  • Division Continues: Americans remain at record high levels of thinking the pandemic is “driving us apart.”
  • Public Health Impact: Perceptions are increasing that the state of public health is poor or in crisis.
  • Support Outweighs Opposition for 4-6 Week Lockdown: Nearly half of the public supports a nationwide lockdown to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.  Support increases to over half if the government provides support for lost wages and small business revenues.
  • Financial Hardship is Rising: Over half of the public has delayed/reduced spending, a third reports a negative impact on savings and about one-in-five have had a work-related impact.    Gen Z, Millennials, Hispanics, and Blacks are particularly hard hit with financial challenges and far more likely than other groups to report receiving aid and having to cancel services over the past three months.


Our reports with the latest tracking data, charts, and storylines from our biweekly national omnibus survey, the Heart+Mind Pulse, can be downloaded using the following links:

GET THE DATA

GET THE CHARTS

Data Source: Heart+Mind Strategies fielded a series of questions 11/18-19/2020 via an online survey.  

Sample: n=1,007 US Adults 18+

Topics: We explored attitudes, feelings, and actions with respect to the COVID-19 crisis and recent presidential election. This provides a quick look at the key storylines we uncovered by quickly digging into the data set.

Understanding Consumer Values to Create Relevant Communications

By Erin Norman

Persuade by Reason, Motivate through emotion.  This has been a key guiding principle of Heart+Mind Strategies message development since our founding in 2008. Reason and emotion are both critical components of resonating with a target audience. But identifying the right emotional appeal, and connecting it to a rational argument, can be tricky to get right. 

 Heart+Mind puts a key focus on studying human values, or the emotional criteria we use to determine the importance and purpose of our decisions. Values form in our early years and are stable, the enduring yardsticks by which people measure the worth and importance of things in their lives. Every individual holds a number of personal values, such as security, love, enjoyment, peace of mind, self-esteem, and others, that guide the decisions and choices they make.  

  • The personal value that guides one decision may be different from the value that guides a different decision or choice.  
  • The personal value that drives a decision for one person is often different from the personal value that drives the decision for another person regarding the same product, issue, candidate, etc.  
  • The personal value that drives a decision may also be a result of a positive outcome/benefit a person seeks or a consequence/ risk they hope to avoid. 

We help our clients identify the personal values driving their brand or issue to inform effective values-based communication strategies.  Understanding values can show us:

  • What is central to an individual’s decision-making process;
  • What has the most influence in a person’s life; and, most importantly;
  • Underlying motivations to actions and choices.

We used these techniques to unlock an audience we called The Vital Center for a non-profit think tank. The client wanted to understand what motivated this essential group which had bounced from Obama to Trump, and in some cases back again to Biden in 2020. Communications to the group had traditionally rested on the theory that political ideals motivated these shifts, though the specifics shifted over time. 

However, what we found by using our Values approach was that the Vital Center wasn’t motivated by political ideology at all or even by specific policies approaches. Instead, they seek practical solutions that deliver results to support their values of security, safety and long-term peace of mind. As they see one political party fail to deliver on policy that fulfills these emotional needs, they switch. 

 In this case, studying the specific policies of interest would have only provided half of the intel about why people prefer the options they do. By incorporating a values-based approach, our client now understands what underlying needs policy must address. 

Values endure. Even when most things in life shift or change, values remain solid anchors you can count on. Understanding these values is critical to unpacking and changing human behavior.


About the Author

Erin Norman is a Senior Solutions Consultant at Heart+Mind Strategies focusing on policy issues, advocacy and non-profit marketing. She has experience directing political and ballot initiative polling at the local, state and federal level. Her expertise includes values-based communications, crisis communications, message testing, micro-targeting and predictive analytics.

Erin holds a Master’s in Public Policy from The College of William and Mary, with a focus on econometrics and quantitative methods, and a B.S. in Business Administration from Boston University.

COVID-19: The Great Unveiler and Amplifier of Human Needs

By Katie Plocheck Hunt

Over the last seven months, we have seen a shortage of many things, but discussion around the impact of COVID-19, both on our current day-to-day lives and on the changes the virus is projected to have long-term, has not been one of them. And while we have a seemingly good handle on what those changes are today—a mass exodus out of the workplace and into our homes, the increasingly rapid digitization of our lives, and the decrease of social and institutional trust, for starters—how can we know which of these shifts will actually last and which are mere fleeting moments at a very specific arch of human history? We find ourselves, after all, in an intense age of precarity. And just as there is no shortage of discussion, there is likewise no shortage of change. The virus has been a great accelerator of underlying realities and trends that were already playing out, to a large extent. It has also laid bare existing human needs that were likely lying dormant, carrying on unmet, or at best, being fulfilled but not yet reaching their full potential. 

At Heart+Mind, we look at the impact of forces like the coronavirus through a three-pronged lens that places the human at the center of the experience. It is the human, we believe, and his or her decisions, that have lasting value in a marketplace full of choices. We understand how cultural forces and the marketplace act upon and affect human values, which give importance to the needs that brands, organizations, and products can address. In turn, we understand how the human experience drives the trajectory of these shifts. 

The coronavirus is, by many measures, in a league of its own. Not often does a singular force spin such a voracious web of far-reaching repercussions. From the collective to the individual; from the lofty plane of global political imagination to the daily task of creating a grocery list; the virus’s reach is agile, incisive, and indiscriminate.

But is it the virus itself that holds such acute power? As we sought to answer the question of which shifts might last and which will not, it was apparent that it is not about the singular—or even the collective—strength of a force that matters first and foremost, but the number and importance of the human needs it plays upon and activates. At first glance, it appears that those shifts having the most impact are those in which the coronavirus “joined”; to summarize the words of editorialist David Brooks, the virus hit like a hurricane in the middle of an earthquake—an intensifier of the ongoing upheaval of life as we know it. Indeed, we see great impact around rapid gentrification and a widening disparity between the rich and the poor, around social unrest amplifying movements like Black Lives Matter and an ever-growing populus mentality, and around an increased shift of brands—and the technologies they leverage—adapting to higher levels of digital demand. 

But, there is no less power behind newer, and more singular shifts occurring. Working and nesting from home (many with children in tow), a clamoring for basic resources on a mass scale, and a propulsion of new ways to self-entertain and find connectedness, are each direct outcomes of the virus’s brunt and have borne equal weight upon the human reality. 

At the center of all of these trends and shifts are core human needs and values giving the virus and its accompanying forces velocity. In short, those shifts that matter most and that have the greatest “sticking” power are those that play upon and awaken the highest number of needs—needs that will last far beyond the life of the virus. While it may appear that the most “sticky” of shifts are those that the virus intensified, it is just as likely, if not more, that those emergent and more singular forces are as much here to stay.

Working from home, for example, has been a direct result of the necessity of a short-term, albeit critical, need for safety. But this (new to some) trend has subsequently exposed people to needs they might not have previously been aware of, or at the least, able to address. People around the world are seeing increased amounts of time freed up from the daily commute—time gained to spend with family, to cultivate a new hobby or multi-task. Needs not only for safety but for efficiency, quality time, connectedness, and more have created a reality in which working from home is likely here to stay. Companies and tech platforms have had to follow suit, adapting to these new needs, and helping pave the path to meet them. 

Another key shift has been the ways in which people are addressing the need to belong. From virtual classes to online wine/cooking groups, to family Zoom sessions and drive-by birthday parties, we are witnessing workarounds for heightened isolation. But, we have also seen needs for comfort and freedom crack open, as many enjoy the lack of attachment to a social schedule, increased solitude and alone time.

What does all of this mean for understanding the lifeline of trends and behaviors? It means we need to step back from the phenomenon itself and more deeply understand the human needs and values fueling them. If we truly examine the events and behaviors as the tangible manifestations of human needs and values in action, we can not only better understand them, but be more prepared as brands and services to help address and fulfill them. And perhaps even more importantly, we can extend beyond just addressing them, and begin to listen to and learn from their presence, creating a reality that not only anticipates the next set of needs, but also helps to cultivate them. 


About the Author

Katie Plocheck Hunt is a Senior Strategy Director at Heart+Mind Strategies, where she works to deploy thoughtful marketing, branding and organizational thinking around clients’ challenges. Her portfolio includes clients like the Gates Foundation, Google, Boeing, and Johnson & Johnson.

In addition to her work experience, Katie holds a Master’s degree in Sociocultural Anthropology from Brandeis University where she focused on identity theory and honed her ability to not only see complex narratives at play, but to understand how those “stories” can be applied to client business. Today, she is passionate about focusing on human needs in the business landscape, and weaving together all the dynamic systems at play in our world to help clients.

The Human Story | Oct. 22, 2020

RoundTable

Our latest RoundTable discussion (held October 22, 2020) welcomed back the WTOP News media insiders Mitchell Miller, Capitol Hill correspondent, and Joel Oxely and Craig Schwalb, leaders for WTOP News business including political and commercial advertising.

The RoundTable kicked off with a recap of our latest public opinion tracking specifically on the upcoming election: what is the forecast, what is changing (why and among whom), and what it means going forward. As our public policy consultant Erin Norman walked through the data, moderator Maury Giles posed questions to the panel, who expounded on topics such as what we can expect from voter turnout on election day, how the media affects voters perceptions of the candidates, whether or not the presidential debates will have an impact on voters, and how might the new administration affect the division that is growing in our society.

[Watch full video of RoundTable below]

Heart+Mind Pulse

Our biweekly tracker has been gathering data some of the drivers, influences and coalitions of the election for the past few months. With this penultimate tracking wave before election day, patterns are beginning to emerge.  Following are some of the key storylines from our tracking data:

  • Biden Pulls Ahead: Biden’s lead over Trump has expanded in the last two weeks.  Among likely and actual voters Biden is ahead. But because Biden’s supporters are disproportionately voting early, those who are likely voters, but have not yet voted, are slightly more likely to support President Trump.
  • Conservative Policies Are More Popular:  Despite Biden appearing ahead in the polls, most Americans prefer a more conservative approach to policies regarding jobs, taxes and race relations compared to Biden’s stated platform or the suggestions of the more progressive wing of the party. However, for healthcare, there is a slight preference among Americans and political independents for Biden’s policy to keep the Affordable Care Act but build and improve on it.
  • Settling Into the New Normal:  Seven months into the pandemic, 9 out of 10 Americans have developed new routines that are working for them.  The most common changes have been how folks connect with family members, how they enjoy entertainment, and how food is prepared/eaten.

Our reports with the latest tracking data, charts, and storylines from our biweekly national omnibus survey, the Heart+Mind Pulse, can be downloaded using the following links:

GET THE DATA

GET THE CHARTS

WATCH THE ROUNDTABLE

Data Source: Heart+Mind Strategies fielded a series of questions 10/14-15/2020 via an online survey.  

Sample: n=1,002 US Adults 18+

Topics: We explored attitudes, feelings, and actions with respect to the COVID-19 crisis and upcoming presidential election. This provides a quick look at the key storylines we uncovered by quickly digging into the data set.

Understanding the Human Story: October 1, 2020

With the presidential election just weeks away, our biweekly tracker took a look into some of the drivers, influences and coalitions of the election. Following are some of the key storylines from our tracking data:

  • Hope and Optimism Up: For the first time since the pandemic began, there is a large positive shift in values; more Americans are feeling that values such as concern for others, pride, self-esteem and accomplishment are getting better.
  • Americans Nervous About Outbreaks:  After a few months of decline, more people are beginning to expect a second shutdown as result of new outbreaks.  Despite this, a majority still think the government needs to take a balanced approach that considers strengthening the economy, and they are showing by their behavior (increased business travel, going back to school/work, and returning to social life) that they are trying to live with the virus.
  • Enthusiasm FOR Trump Erodes Considerably: Biden’s lead over Trump has expanded in the latter half of September.  Two weeks ago Trump had a clear advantage of being a candidate voters wanted to vote FOR rather than AGAINST.  That advantage has disappeared.
  • Most Want to Wait on Supreme Court Nomination: Over half of Americans believe the Senate should wait to confirm a new Supreme Court justice until after the results of the Presidential Election are known. When selecting a nominee for the Supreme Court, past judicial decisions are seen as the most important factor, religion, race, gender are less important.

Don Neal

Our subsequent RoundTable discussion (held October 8, 2020) shared the the key findings from our tracking data and implications for the election, followed by a discussion on the future of business events.  With so many organizations working remotely, business travel stalled, and in-person meetings/events/trade shows canceled the question is when (if ever) will business events start again? What’s the future and meetings innovation look like? How are businesses adapting?   We heard from two industry insiders:

Don Neal, CEO, 360 Live Media, is an event strategy, marketing and design agency that helps businesses maximize the impact of their events and transform them from in-person to virtual sessions. Don addressed the rapid transformation of events from live to virtual, sharing how businesses are adapting/innovating and if these virtual/hybrid events will stick.

John Schreiber

John Schreiber, Head of Business/Events for Las Vegas Visitor and Convention Authority, leads Las Vegas’ business events, trade shows, and conventions.  As the largest business destination in the world that hosts some of the biggest in-person events such as the Consumer Electronics Show, Las Vegas is on the front lines of the future innovation of business events and travel.  In our Roundtable John addressed the importance of hybrid events, but also the need to get back to in-person when safely possible to do so, sharing what he’s seeing/hearing from Meeting Planners, Business Executives, destinations, and travel industry executives.

[Watch full video of RoundTable below]


Our reports with the latest tracking data, charts, and storylines from our biweekly national omnibus survey, the Heart+Mind Pulse, can be downloaded using the following links:

GET THE DATA

GET THE CHARTS

WATCH THE ROUNDTABLE

Data Source: Heart+Mind Strategies fielded a series of questions 9/30-10/1/2020 via an online survey.  

Sample: n=1,006 US Adults 18+

Topics: We explored attitudes, feelings, and actions with respect to the COVID-19 crisis and upcoming presidential election. This provides a quick look at the key storylines we uncovered by quickly digging into the data set.

Understanding the Human Story: September 17, 2020

With the presidential election just weeks away, our biweekly tracker took a look into some of the drivers, influences and coalitions of the election. Following are some of the key storylines from our tracking data:

  • Biden Has Slight Leading Edge: Biden continues to lead Trump in the popular vote data, although voters are predicting the race to be extremely close.  It’s anyone’s game.
  • Low Confidence in Mail-in Voting: even though there are unprecedented levels of Americans voting early and by mail, the majority of Americans express little to no trust in the process of mail-in voting.
  • Economy is Top Bi-partisan Issue: Many issues run clearly along party lines (need to return to normal, immigration, and capitalism vs. socialism for the GOP and healthcare, government response to the pandemic and racial tensions for the DEMS), but the US Economy is considered a top issue for voters in both camps.
  • Biden Voters More Likely Voting Against Trump: Biden centers his platform around being the “Not Trump” candidate–and it shows.  A third of Biden voters admit they are only voting for Biden because they are voting against the incumbent.
  • The Angry Trump Voter: When looking at the top emotions in America today, Biden voters are more likely to feel concerned, worried and anxious; whereas Trump voters are more likely to feel angry.

Bill McInturff

J. Toscano

Our subsequent RoundTable discussion featured two of our nation’s top political consultants: Bill McInturff, Co-Founder of Public Opinion Strategies, the largest right-leaning polling company and J. Toscano, Partner at 76 Words, Inc, a diverse political media and production firm behind several of today’s progressive candidates and causes, specializing in veteran, healthcare, environmental and energy issues.

During the course of the discussion McInturff and Toscano fielded questions from both the moderators and RoundTable viewers about both presidential candidates campaign platforms, predictions on upcoming presidential debates, and how the unique dynamics of this particular election year may affect the outcome of the election.  [Watch full video of RoundTable below]


Our reports with the latest tracking data, charts, and storylines from our biweekly national omnibus survey, the Heart+Mind Pulse, can be downloaded using the following links:

GET THE DATA

GET THE CHARTS

WATCH THE ROUNDTABLE

Data Source: Heart+Mind Strategies fielded a series of questions 9/16-17/2020 via an online survey.  

Sample: n=1,008 US Adults 18+

Topics: We explored attitudes, feelings, and actions with respect to the COVID-19 crisis and upcoming presidential election. This provides a quick look at the key storylines we uncovered by quickly digging into the data set.

Understanding the Human Story: September 3, 2020

After last month’s optimistic outlook, emotions are again turning negative.  The economy is the hot button issue as we head into the final stretch for the national election.  Following are some of the key storylines from our tracking data:

  • Division Continues: Americans are back to record high levels of thinking the pandemic is “driving us apart.” Concern and worry are high again.
  • Economy a Critical Issue: the state of public health and the US economy are both steady with opinions evenly split between thinking things are excellent/good or thinking things are poor/in crisis.  The economy is considered the most important issue facing our country, and one that will have the most impact on their vote.
  • No Taste for Second Shutdown: Even though half of Americans think the pandemic will have a long-term economic impact, more people doubt there will be another shutdown.
  • Election Still a Toss-Up: Biden is ahead when people say who they plan to vote for, but slightly more people still think Trump will win.
  • Support for Police Force: Adding to law enforcement is a more popular idea than reducing or defunding the police force.

Our reports with the latest tracking data, charts, and storylines from our biweekly national omnibus survey, the Heart+Mind Pulse, can be downloaded using the following links:

GET THE CHARTS

GET THE DATA

Data Source: Heart+Mind Strategies fielded a series of questions 9/2-3/2020 via an online survey.  

Sample: n=1,008 US Adults 18+

Topics: We explored attitudes, feelings, and actions with respect to the COVID-19 crisis and upcoming presidential election. This provides a quick look at the key storylines we uncovered by quickly digging into the data set.

Understanding the Human Story: August 20, 2020

As we close out summer 2020, Americans are expressing some newfound optimism.  Following are some of the key storylines from our tracking data:

  • It’s Not So Bad: the economy and public health are seen as getting better.
  • Things Feel Okay: our sense of social order, peace of mind, and success show some significant improvement.
  • Outlook Improving: negative emotions of concern, worry and anxiety drop significantly, while hope and optimism increase.
  • Living Life: travel and daily activities continue a slow march back to normal levels.
  • Shut-Downs a Thing of the Past: Only a third of Americans feel a second shut down is coming – most think shut-downs are behind us.
  • Improved Favorability for the President: increased optimism can be connected to a significant increase in support for President Trump in the upcoming election.

Our reports with the latest tracking data, charts, and storylines from our biweekly national omnibus survey, the Heart+Mind Pulse, can be downloaded using the following links:

GET THE CHARTS

GET THE DATA

Data Source: Heart+Mind Strategies fielded a series of questions 8/19-20/2020 via an online survey.  

Sample: n=1,003 US Adults 18+

Topics: We explored attitudes, feelings, and actions with respect to the COVID-19 crisis and upcoming presidential election. This provides a quick look at the key storylines we uncovered by quickly digging into the data set.

Understanding the Human Story: August 6, 2020

At this point in the summer Americans are wondering what the “new next” will be.  Following are some of the key storylines from our tracking data:

  • Potomac Fever: political conditions are realigning; wedge issues have been neutralized; the Biden vote is being energized by negative emotions; squatting at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave?
  • Impacts Wide, Deep and Very Real: COVID-19 divisions in society are growing while vaccine optimism is rising, but economic and at-home worries persist.
  • Calling Cronkite: trust in the media is the lowest of all institutions; blame for divisions.
  • We Can Do It!: there is little appetite to go back to lockdowns; balance is needed.

Our report with the latest tracking data, charts, and storylines from our biweekly national omnibus survey, the Heart+Mind Pulse, can be downloaded using the following link:

GET THE CHARTS

Data Source: Heart+Mind Strategies fielded a series of questions 8/5-6/2020 via an online survey.  

Sample: n=1,004 US Adults 18+

Topics: We explored attitudes, feelings, and actions with respect to the COVID-19 crisis and upcoming presidential election. This provides a quick look at the key storylines we uncovered by quickly digging into the data set.

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