A Crowdsourcing Open Contest to Design a Latino-Specific COVID-19 Campaign: Mixed Methods Analysis

Latino communities are among the most heavily impacted populations by the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States due to intersectional barriers to care. Crowdsourcing open contests can be an effective means of community engagement but have not been well studied in Latino populations nor in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.

The aims of this study are to (1) implement and evaluate a crowdsourcing open contest to solicit a name for a COVID-19 social marketing campaign for Latino populations in Maryland and (2) conduct a thematic analysis of submitted entries to guide campaign messaging.

To assess the level of community engagement in this crowdsourcing open contest, we used descriptive statistics to analyze data on entries, votes, and demographic characteristics of participants. The submitted text was analyzed through inductive thematic analysis.

We received 74 entries within a 2-week period. The top 10 entries were chosen by community judges and the winner was decided by popular vote. We received 383 votes within 1 week. The most common themes were collective efficacy, self-efficacy, and perceived benefits of COVID-19 testing. We used these themes to directly inform our social marketing intervention and found that advertisements based on these themes became the highest performing.

Crowdsourcing open contests are an effective means of community engagement and an agile tool for guiding interventions to address COVID-19, including in populations impacted by health care disparities, such as Latino communities. The thematic analysis of contest entries can be a valuable strategy to inform the development of social marketing campaign materials.
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