A comparative evaluation of public awareness of the Scottish and Portuguese government’s social marketing campaigns related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), also known as the coronavirus, or COVID, is a contagious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). COVID-19 has caused more than 159 million cases around the world. Since it was announced as pandemic by WHO in March 2020, Governments have been implementing lockdowns and promoting the preventive measures so that people would stay at home and stop spreading this highly contagious disease. From general lockdowns, to promote preventive measures such as respiratory etiquette and social distancing, the main goal is to promote a change in behaviour for populations worldwide, especially when it is regarding a recent disease with little information about it. Literature shows that social marketing methods and approaches aim to change the behaviour of an individual and it is widely used in promoting public health campaigns. Therefore, this study aims to verify if social marketing has indeed a positive impact in raising awareness and in helping to change behaviours by doing a comparative research between the Portuguese and Scottish Governments’ social marketing campaigns. The results of this research indicate that even though with little time to prepare campaigns, both Governments worked extremely hard to promote and remind the necessary measures and providing the right information to its population which have led to a positive change of behaviour and high sense of awareness regarding the dangerousness of this disease. Recommendations made for this study are a higher investment in promoting and creating measures or programs regarding the COVID-19’s consequences and share a more clear and straightforward information in their social media such has reporting everyday cases.