Table1_Shortcomings in Public Health Authorities’ Videos on COVID-19: Limited Reach and a Creative Gap.XLSX
Video communication has played a key role in relaying important and complex information on the COVID-19 pandemic to the general public. The aim of the present study is to compare Norwegian health authorities’ and WHO’s use of video communication during the COVID-19 pandemic to the most viewed COVID-19 videos on YouTube, in order to identify how videos created by health authorities measure up to contemporary video content, both creatively and in reaching video consumers. Through structured search on YouTube we found that Norwegian health authorities have published 26 videos, and the WHO 29 videos on the platform. Press briefings, live videos, news reports, and videos recreated/translated into other languages than English or Norwegian, were not included. A content analysis comparing the 55 videos by the health authorities to the 27 most viewed videos on COVID-19 on YouTube demonstrates poor reach of health authorities’ videos in terms of views and it elucidates a clear creative gap. While the videos created by various YouTube creators communicate using a wide range of creative presentation means (such as professional presenters, contextual backgrounds, advanced graphic animations, and humour), videos created by the health authorities are significantly more homogenous in style often using field experts or public figures, plain backgrounds or PowerPoint style animations. We suggest that further studies into various creative presentation means and their influence on reach, recall, and on different groups of the population, are carried out in the future to evaluate specific factors of this creative gap.