National Football League Brings Awareness to Breast Cancer

Picture provided by NFL.com/pink

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and if you are a National Football League (NFL) fan you know happens next.  The NFL, its clubs, players and the NFL Players Association come together and to support the fight against breast cancer. The campaign A Crucial Catch, in partnership with the American Cancer Society (ACS), is focused largely on the importance of annual screenings, especially for women who are 40 and older. The creation of this great awareness campaign was ingenious as it reaches millions of viewers every year to remind woman to get their check ups regularly.   It also happens to combine both my passions in life, football and fighting cancer.

Throughout October, NFL games will feature players, coaches and referees wearing pink game apparel, play with special game balls and the fields bare the pink ribbon stencils all to help raise awareness for this important campaign. All apparel worn at games by players and coaches, along with special game balls and pink coins will be auctioned off at NFL Auction.  Proceeds benefiting the ACS’s Community Health Advocates National Grants for Empowerment (CHANGE) program. The CHANGE program provides outreach and breast cancer screenings to women in underserved communities.

Since its founding in 2009, the NFL has raised over $3 million dollars through A Crucial Catch for the American Cancer Society. All 32 teams are currently participating in the program. Some NFL players even go above and beyond raising more funds by hosting fundraisers through other vaious creative ways. Take Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald for example.  Larry lost his mother to breast cancer in 2003 and he uses social media such as Facebook and Twitter to gain followers by donating 25 cents per every new “like” or “follower” he gets during the month of October. For more information on Larry’s personal experience with breast cancer, click here to watch a video on NFL.com.

Reports recently came out by The Huffington Post stating only 5% of the proceeds from A Crucial Catch program goes to the ACS. Although these numbers seem low, millions of dollars have been raised and more importantly million of lives will be saved by having these outreach programs it supports.  Breast cancer is no joke and stastics shows that the chance of a woman having invasive breast cancer some time during her life is about 1 in 8.  Personally I don’t like these odds so we have a lot more work cut out in the future. My beautiful mother Sandy battled breast cancer and will be celebrating another birthday this November because of great programs like this.  She is now 6 years cancer free.

Me and my mom Sandy

Advertisements

Key Elements to a Successful Public Relations Campaign

Hand Shake photo courtesy of Microsoft Photo File

Two weeks ago our county successfully wrapped up another year for our Relay For Life campaign by hosting the 2012 Relay For Life Sponsorship Luncheon to thank our wonderful sponsors that donated time and money for cancer research and awareness. I was honored to be the 2012 Chairperson for the event and quite frankly am exhausted but very proud of our accomplishments.  Our Relay For Life event was held in July one of the hottest months on record yet we managed to raise over $44,000 for our local American Cancer Society chapter. How did we do it? I have put together some researched factors along with my own strategies that hopefully you will find important when running a marketing campaign for your event.  No matter how big or small you must follow these elements to build a strong PR campaign for your event.

First key factor is knowing your audience. Of course our audience is current cancer patients, cancer survivors and caregivers of cancer patients. In the county I live in this can include almost everyone I know in one way or another. We have five cancer treatment centers, 2 major hospitals and various ocologists in the county working dilegently to treat cancer patience in the area.

Make it personal. Be sure when targeting your audience you are conveying your message by sharing a personal story or connection to bring your audience something personal that they can connect with. I wrote about my best friend passing away of lung cancer last year. This showed my compassion and personal  connection of why I want to stomp out cancer and raise awareness.

Choose your media. There are many tools that can assist you in this area. Utilize the local news stations, newspaper, radio, and all social media outlets such as Twitter, Facebook, Google + and more.

Be trustworthy and honest. Your audience will respect you if you are upfront and honest with what message you are trying to get out there. Stay consistent with your values.  Research is key and stay on task with what you are presenting. A helpful insight to these points can be found at 10 Key Elements of Effective Public Relations Campaigns and Bonus Download by Caroline Jaffe-Pickett.  Caroline was most helpful to me when I was running our 2012 Relay For Life campaign.

Stay positive and do your research.  You can do it!