KEMPSEY Shire Council staff have publicly put their masked faces on the line during lockdown in humorous selfies posted on council social media accounts.
In a show of solidarity with the community, council posted multiple 'maskies' (selfies of staff in masks) over the past two weeks, all bearing self-deprecating captions and the unique #KempseyVSKovid hashtag to highlight the tongue-in-cheek nature of the campaign.
Giles Hardie, council's communications coordinator, said staff having fun with the serious issue of mask wearing had produced an immediate and overwhelming community response.
"As is the case in many communities, people are turning to social media to share their experiences and relieve tension with humour," Mr Hardie said.
"We all need a laugh right now, and our council staff who are also members of our community were all so keen to do anything they could to help. This campaign has shown that when it comes to mask-wearing we really are all in this together.
"The best part has been the reaction from our community. They seem to really understand the heart behind these images."
Faced with the challenge of connecting with the community during lockdown, council's communications team reached out to staff to see if they would be willing to do something a bit different. So was born a personal, light-hearted campaign to run alongside the role council plays in extending the reach of public health messaging.
They received dozens of selfies and approval to give them creative captions. When they shared them on Facebook and Instagram they proved an instant hit with hundreds of community members liking and commenting on the posts.
"At the moment Facebook and other social media platforms are where people are sharing their experiences with vaccination, lockdown and how they are supporting local businesses," Mr Hardie said.
"We wanted to make sure that our posts didn't come across as preaching or holding our staff out as heroes for just wearing masks, so we decided to give each photo a little spice with the captions. That's also why we intentionally misspelled COVID, after all it hasn't respected us so why should we respect it?"
The full collection of #KempseyVSKovid maskies can be seen on council's website at ksc.pub/maskies and on council social media accounts.
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