Donald Trump may have initially been slow to comprehend the scope of the novel coronavirus, but the formerly Celebrity Apprentice host hasn’t ever been lacking when it comes to showmanship and getting his message out there. Now Trump has some big media buddies in his PR tent to stop further fallout from COVID-19.
Following weeks of missteps and misinformation from the top down, the White House just now announced a “major partnership” with NBCUniversal, the Walt Disney Company, iHeartMedia and ViacomCBS to “effectively communicate accurate and timely information directly to the American people” on a multitude of platforms.
No word when this Ad Council overseen PR campaign will roll out, but you can take a gander at the first PSA above.
Additionally, the non-profit public info organization has also prepped some graphics, like the one to the left, for outlets and others to promote on social media ASAP.
There aren’t enough COVID-19 tests out there for any one major city, let along the whole country, but the latest action by Team Trump in these fast moving times comes a day after MTV, Comedy Central and other brands from the Bob Bakish-run ViacomCBS proclaimed a campaign to raise awareness about the importance of social distancing.
Playing to their strengths, the White House press office says that “First Lady of the United States Melania Trump, Surgeon General Jerome M. Adams, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Dr. Deborah Birx, and other Administration officials will appear in national broadcast PSAs that communicate the most important ways Americans can protect themselves and those most at risk.” No mention if POTUS himself or VP Mike Pence will be appearing in any of the spots.
In terms of those spots, here’s what the administration says the deal is:
- NBCUniversal will create a series of videos and graphics, available in both English and Spanish, to inform high-risk populations about the steps they can take to protect themselves and to inform the public how to help stop of the spread of coronavirus.
- ABC/Walt Disney Television will promote priority messaging for parents and families for distribution across their channels and platforms.
- iHeartMedia will support messaging around social distancing and high-risk populations, among other important COVID-19-related topics, across their network of stations.
- ViacomCBS is leveraging its portfolio of brands to deliver multi-channel, multi-platform PSA campaigns that educate audiences around public health imperatives related to COVID-19. In partnership with the Ad Council, ViacomCBS’ Entertainment & Youth Brands led by MTV, Comedy Central, Paramount Network, CMT, and VH1, launched #AloneTogether, a national social and talent-led campaign that educates audiences on the importance of social distancing and drives unity through entertainment. Available in English and Spanish, the campaign will also be tailored and supported by Nickelodeon, BET, CBS and CBS All-Access, Awesomeness, Pluto TV, and Showtime. CBS is rolling out a “We’re In This Together” campaign that will include essential public health messages. Nickelodeon is also developing PSA content on appropriate topics for kids, such as hand washing, and sharing educational library content for children who are home from school.
There are currently over 7500 case of the coronavirus in an increasingly shutting down USA and over 105 deaths as of today. With a patchwork of recommendations and enforcements across the 50 states to keep people from gathering in large groups and millions staying in their homes, the PSA plan certainly recognizes that people are watching a lot of the small screen — maybe a streaming component is coming soon too.
In the meantime, looking at the first PSA that was just released, POTUS and the media goliaths might just want to ask former R.E.M. frontman Michael Stripe if he could give them some pointers –
— R.E.M. HQ (@remhq) March 18, 2020
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