Award winning Bay of Plenty strategic communications consultancy, The Shine Collective, struck gold again last night at the Public Relations Institute of New Zealand (PRINZ) Awards for its work with Te Arawa COVID Response Hub, supporting the trial of a COVID contact tracing card.
The PRINZ Awards recognises and celebrates the cream of public relations and communications management professionals in Aotearoa and their outstanding and often life-changing work.
Shine’s winning entry, ’Stamping out COVID with a digital handshake’, took out the top spot in the Community Relations and Engagement category. The Shine Collective, working with Eruera Keepa from Hīkina Consultants, undertook the entire project management and responsibility for developing and implementing the communications strategy.
In August 2020, the New Zealand Government partnered with Te Arawa to trial a wearable contact tracing card that could potentially support the country’s contact tracing efforts. The card used Bluetooth technology to exchange ‘digital handshakes’ and recorded participants close contacts – a potential addition to using the NZ COVID tracing app..
Shine’s Managing Director, Jacky James, says a key success factor for the kaupapa was that it was community-led, and that its communications strategy reflected the local community.
“The philosophy behind our communications strategy was simple and based on authentic two-way engagement, with the principles of tikanga Māori at its heart – for both Māori and non-Māori.
“Anyone over the age of 19 who lived and/or worked in the small community of Ngongotahā were encouraged to participate in the trial. The trial’s kaupapa was to understand how well the contact tracing cards performed in a real-world scenario, whether they would work with the contact tracing systems, and if people will accept and use them.
“The trial itself actually exceeded all expectations with over 1,200 people signing up to participate.”
Jacky says the final results and outcomes of the trial will be presented to participants in Ngongotahā in the next month.
Te Arawa COVID-19 Response Hub spokesperson, Monty Morrison says the Hub is honoured to be recognised for the hard mahi involved with the COVID contact tracing card trial.
“The team set out to design and deliver a successful community engagement strategy and that is exactly what they achieved, coupled with incredible community support, we feel we have significantly contributed to Aotearoa’s efforts to stamp out COVID-19.”