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Data-Driven COVID-19 Vaccine Communication

Tuesday, April 13

West Virginia made national headlines leading the nation for the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines. Behind that rollout has been a comprehensive communication plan informed by marketing research performed by WVU’s Public Interest Communication Research Lab. In a matter of a few months, the research team gained an understanding of risk/health beliefs, perceptions, attitudes and behaviors related to the pandemic and the vaccine. This informed not just messaging, but how, when, and through what channels the messaging was distributed. Like most health communication, this messaging has a direct effect on people’s lives. Julia Daisy Fraustino, Ph.D., Daniel Totzkay, Ph.D., and Holli Nelson, Maj., M.A., share tips for successful, research-guided crisis, risk and health communication.


  • Dr. Julia Daisy Fraustino

    Assistant Professor in the Reed College of Media at West Virginia University

    Julia is an assistant professor of strategic communication in the Reed College of Media at West Virginia University, where she is founding director of the Public Interest Communication (PIC) Research Laboratory in the Media Innovation Center.

  • Dr. Daniel Totzkay

    Assistant Professor in the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences at West Virginia University

    Dan is an assistant professor in the Department of Communication Studies in the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences at West Virginia University.

  • Major Holli R. Nelson

    Director of Strategic Communications and Governmental Affairs for Joint Forces Headquarters West Virginia National Guard and commander of the 130th Force Support Squadron

    Major Holli R. Nelson is the Director of Strategic Communications and Governmental Affairs for Joint Forces Headquarters West Virginia National Guard and commander of the 130th Force Support Squadron. As the Director of Strategic Communications, she provides trusted counsel to The Adjutant General and command staff of the West Virginia Army and Air National Guard on all public affairs activities in the state.