How do you bring out the best in the community in the face of the biggest public health emergency in living memory?

By The Mandarin

April 30, 2020

Image: City of Ballarat

As the COVID-19 crisis unfolded earlier this year, this challenge was the inspiration for a campaign of kindness from the City of Ballarat.

Developed in just 24 hours, the Be Kind initiative focused on helping lighten the increasing impact of the pandemic.

Through strong media partnerships, the campaign used press, online and social media channels to spread the Be Kind messaging and support the community, initially through four key pillars: Be Kind Ballarat, Be Kind to Others, Be Kind to Yourself and Be Kind to Business. The campaign execution focused on diverse and creative delivery methods including dedicated newspaper wraps and inserts, digital media takeovers, radio announcements, city signage, social media strategy and television commercials to ensure maximum audience reach and social cohesion across the Ballarat community.

The all-encompassing nature of the Be Kind message has been key to its success, with the campaign providing a vehicle for city leadership to spread a consistent and clear message – including calls to Be Bold and Stay Home.

The campaign has engaged local stakeholders, including Committee for Ballarat, Commerce Ballarat, Ballarat Regional Tourism, Ballarat Health Services, Compassionate Ballarat, and Ballarat Community Health.

The City of Ballarat made available the campaign creative assets via an online toolkit provided to LGAs Australia-wide, inspiring other regions to launch their own Be Kind initiatives and collectively spread kindness across the nation.

The toolkit has been embraced by a growing number of regions including Yarra, Baw Baw, Golden Plains, Moreland, Casey, Campbelltown, Central Goldfields, Frankston, Mildura and Manningham municipalities – with several more LGAs scheduled to launch their Be Kind campaigns in  coming weeks.

The campaign has further provided the springboard for the City of Ballarat’s Creative City strategy to activate Be Kind – Be Creative. This diverse program will provide the community an opportunity to respond creatively to new and changing circumstances and includes:

  • Stories of our cultural city
  • Open Studios [Remote] Tours
  • Couch Choir
  • A week in the Life of Ballarat podcast series
  • Artist commissions
  • Workshops and skill share
  • Regular YouTube programming.

The Be Kind toolkit is available here.

TVC YouTube Link is available here.

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