Friday, Jun 12, 2020

COVID-19 Call to Action


Calling all NYU students and alumni!


We invite you to create messages speaking to your peers using creativity and facts to help SAVE LIVES!

Create a 1-minute Public Service Announcement aka PSA (video, song, dance, game, photo, artwork, poem, or other artistic expression of your choosing!) that can be shared across social media to help expand knowledge, attitudes, and behavior among Gen Z+ (18-30) across the country about COVID-19. Your PSA should help spread the message to your peers about one or more of the following research-driven prompts and insights: 

Prompt 1: Behavior

  • Insight: Encourage friends and family to stay inside when possible, wash hands frequently, wear a mask, avoid crowds, and maintain six-foot social distancing measures. 54% of those surveyed do not believe their peers are heeding the advice of public health officials. There is a perception that others are not taking precautions, which disincentives others to follow precautions. 
  • Insight: Get medical help if you need it. Know the symptoms of COVID-19. If you have trouble breathing or feel other signs that you are sick, call your doctor or 911.
  • Insight: Anyone can get sick from COVID-19 and some will die no matter how old they are. Many people believe only elderly people are affected and dying, and therefore behave less cautiously. This increases risk to themselves and others. Gather online instead of in-person to reduce the risk of infection. 
  • Insight: You can only prevent getting COVID-19 by following the health advice of public health officials. Many people mistakenly believe that mouthwash, hot water, and antibiotics can prevent COVID-19 infection. 
  • Insight: Encourage friends and family who are struggling emotionally to seek mental health assistance. 22% of those surveyed say they are depressed due to COVID-19 and 28% say they are more anxious.

Prompt 2: Attitudes (Compliance, Trust, Hope)

  • Insight: Encourage people not to go outside if they are sick. 13% of people think they can go outside if slightly sick. This belief risks infecting others and steepens the overall infection curve. In fact, people who do not exhibit symptoms but are infected with COVID-19 are actively shedding the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
  • Insight: Encourage people to trust public health officials rather than family, friends, or the Internet. 16% of people say they do not trust health officials. There has been extensive disinformation dismissing public health guidance. Lack of trust in health authorities risks a greater loss of life and more prolonged social and economic disruption.
  • Insight: Create messages that communicate HOPE through the beauty and positivity of so many people pulling together in solidarity at a time of crisis. Visual examples include cheering health care workers and first responders every night; people lining up to enter grocery stores separated by 6 feet, and wearing masks; and people reaching out to family and friends through online chats or separated by windows.

Prompt 3: Knowledge

  • Insight: Encourage targeted demographic (18-30 year-olds) not to assume that they have already contracted the virus. More than 1 in 10 people aged 18-30 believe they have had the infection and might think that they are safe – but they are not. You can only know you’ve had COVID-19 if you have been tested for it and found to be positive. Those who erroneously think they’ve already had the virus may not protect themselves or others.
  • Insight: Help people understand COVID-19 is real and they need to take precautions to protect themselves and others. 9% of people think COVID-19 is not real, and 11% say they are not sure it’s real. If 20% of people don’t believe the virus is real, they are unlikely to protect themselves and others.

Submission process:


Your PSA will be reviewed on a rolling basis against the eligibility requirements outlined below. 

Once approved, NYU will share your PSA on a rolling basis across university social media channels. At that time you will receive recommended steps to share on your own social media, and notable NYU alumni and influencers will help to amplify your message. 

Members of the NYU community who participate will automatically be considered for inclusion in a juried on-line exhibition of PSAs, to be organized at a future date. We look forward to celebrating and sharing your good work with the world! (Deadline extended.)

Additional details and requirements:

  1. Your content can be in any artistic form but should be limited to 1 minute and submitted in a format that we can share on NYU’s Instagram channels. 
  2. We encourage you to work on your PSAs collaboratively (virtually!).
  3. Your PSAs can be as polished or raw as you like. For example, you may choose to simply shoot a personal message on your cell phone explaining “why this is important to me.” 
  4. Your PSA will be deemed ineligible if: 
  • It is made without observing proper social distancing or other recommendations made by public health officials.
  • It is non-factual or goes against the recommendations of public health officials.
  • It promotes hate or discrimination.
  • You do not have the consent of everyone included in your work.
  • You do not have the rights to the music included in your work. 


A cross-school collaboration initiated by Global Public Health, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, Tandon School of Engineering, and Tisch School of the Arts

Footage below from the PSA Create-A-Thon includes a brief on the science and creative direction from industry experts.