On January 3, 2022, DJ Big Boi, a 99.3 the beat radio personality, posted on facebook that he had COVID-19. "Mild symptoms! Very mild. Thank God for the shots!!!! I’ll be broadcast from home this week," he wrote. LEAD reached out to Big Boi about putting his testimony on a billboard in the city. He agreed. Later that month, his post about being on a billboard, drew many comments and reactions, including several from Panama City native Dj Dap, a Tallahassee radio program director and Panama City native.
The LEAD Coalition of Bay County teamed up with local celebrity, DJ Big Boi to combat the misinformation being spread about the Covid-19 vaccines. LEAD ran several campaigns featuring DJ Big Boi’s testimony on the impact that the vaccine had on his own life. After completing his vaccine set, Big Boi claimed that it would have been a lot worse had he not gotten the doses before testing positive. He encourages everyone he runs into to get their shots so that they can have a stronger chance at coming out on top of the illness. The LEAD Coalition also started a new program in order to spread the message about the importance of the vaccine, appropriately named Trusted Messengers. Friends, family, neighbors; several members of our own community work with the coalition to continue raising awareness about Covid-19 and the one shot (sometimes four) at ending this pandemic.
One of LEAD’s most successful campaigns, #DropTheBeatOnCovid was an initiative designed to include a specific audience of teens and young adults. They focused their efforts towards promoting their message on a popular social media platform, TikTok. The team held two TikTok live events in which DJ Big Boi, alongside Panama City native, DJ Dap on WWLD Blazin 102.3 in Tallahassee came together to talk about the facts on the vaccines and drop some beats for the live audience. Together, these two dynamic personalities have broadcast their personal mission to get more people vaccinated in their hometown where the numbers are lagging behind the state. The discussion included common myths and misconceptions while educating the community on the effectiveness of the Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. Our viewer count reached over hundreds of viewers and the live video surpassed seven thousand likes. LEAD and the dynamic duo of DJ’s also partnered with our the Florida State University Panama City Student Council to throw a spring break party for the students. They offered food, drinks, games, and prizes for the students to enjoy. The DJ’s welcomed the engagement with the students and encouraged them to keep the campus Covid free. Their personalities drew everyone’s attention to the stage and the music kept the party going. Several students signed up for the free vaccine clinic that was being offered the next week.
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