The Ask

BRIDGE was approached by the WHO China Representative to promote a public awareness campaign on Weibo during 2016 World Antibiotic Awareness Week. In response to the continuous spread of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR), the campaign wanted to raise the profile of this public health issue, and encouraging best practices among the general public, and health professionals, and policy-makers.

The Strategy

  • Given that AMR is a complicated technical concept for most of the general public, our first step was to clarify the definitions of “antibiotic” and “antimicrobial resistance”. We needed to transform the high-level biology of AMR into an easily communicated concept. From our research on Weibo, we found that people who had been actively talking about AMR were mostly physicians and other health professionals, who are also our target audience. We saw the potential for these health professionals to serve as PGC (Professional Generated Content) producers. Informed by our research, we suggested our client partner with influential physicians on Weibo to reach more audiences.

    Our data-inspired communications strategy successfully inspired 20 influential doctors, many of whom have more than 1 million followers, to join the WHO campaign and promote the hashtag #HandleAntibioticsWithCare. Given the British government’s role in supporting AMR research and advocacy, we connected WHO with the British Embassy in China for collaboration.

Drug resistance costs vast amounts of money and affects vast numbers of lives.

No action today means no cure tomorrow.

Dr. Margaret Chen, Former WHO Director-General

  • We also developed a social media toolkit with key messages, graphics, and videos from the WHO. We shared the toolkit with our partners, including influential physicians, and the British Embassy, and worked with them closely to ensure they could take full advantage of the toolkit. We also reached out to the operation team at Weibo to support the campaign and helped promote quality content with the campaign hashtag.

The Impact

We have orchestrated Weibo campaigns for the World Antibiotic Awareness Week for the past two years, promoting collaboration on AMR among the WHO, the Chinese government, the British Embassy in China, and high-profile health professionals. As a result of our efforts, the campaign hashtag garnered more than 70 million impressions and 40,000 favorites, with most of the content generated by the general public. In addition, the two videos we produced for this campaign received more than 3 million views.