Maine launches “Let’s Be Kind” Campaign for businesses

by Nancy Thomas, editor, communications consultant

In a reaction to several cases of customer/vendor “road rage”, if you will, where one or the other instigates a confrontation over wearing or not wearing a mask, or social distancing, waiting in line, etc., the state of Maine’s business community is launching a “Let’s Be Kind” campaign, during this time of coronavirus pandemic.

Taking the high and positive road to hopefully change what could be growing behavior patterns – and experiences that have been seen growing as well in other states – the Retail Association of Maine launched the items with stickers, posters, social media messages and hashtags and even a promotional video.

Leaves Massachusetts – and Rhode Island – ice cream shops – supermarkets, and more – wondering if they shouldn’t give Maine a call.

With RI Lt. Gov. McKee taking on small business causes, perhaps he’ll see this and get in touch with Maine to see if we can adapt their materials.

Retailers, grocers, food producers and other businesses across Maine are asking the public to practice kindness and respect toward workers and each other as shops, restaurants and other locations continue reopening following the unprecedented shutdown caused by COVID-19.

The Retail Association of Maine, Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce and Maine Grocers and Food Producers Association came together to develop the statewide campaign based on their observations of consumer behavior at essential businesses throughout the pandemic and as businesses began to reopen. They noticed that many customers were coming into businesses, ignoring mask-wearing requirements and sometimes harassing store employees who attempted to enforce the rules put in place according to Maine CDC guidelines and the governor’s executive orders.

The “Let’s Be Kind” statewide campaign kicked off this week with a social media campaign along with posters in businesses and on July 6 public service announcements will begin airing on television stations across the state. The campaign’s tagline—Doing Business Differently Helps Keep Maine Safe—is intended to reinforce the importance of making simple adjustments to everyone’s daily shopping and dining habits in order to protect workers and each other.

The campaign includes a full promotional toolkit – from posters to social media hashtags, as the state asks Mainers to make kindness viral – sharing their graphics on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Use of the images, include the messaging ‘Let’s Be Kind’ and ‘Doing Business Differently Helps Keep Maine Safe’ and customizing the campaign with what makes you unique, is suggested. “We encourage you to show us how you’re taking precautions, what you’ve done to make shopping easier and positive stories from your staff and customers.”

The suggested social media hashtags:

#bekind #takeprecautions #planahead #respecteveryone #shopme #payitforwardmaine #thisisretail #letsbekindmaine

Here is their promotional video: