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

Create an Amazing Press Release and Get Noticed

by NS Newsflash

What’s worse than a bland press release? A press release that doesn’t get picked up from any of your intended media outlets. I hate to sound so harsh but when you produce crap basically you will get crap in return. You must have something that catches the eye of your local media to turn it into a newsworthy story.  Your event and/or establishment may depend on it!  So I have put together some ways to produce an amazing press release that is sure to get picked up by your media sources.First you must know the medium you want use to send out your press release i.e. fax, email or print. Then gather who your contact’s will be and get their information and make a list of your intended recipients. Make sure to think about sending it to online media and include links to provide more ways for your audience to find information on your produce/event. Watch this great video posted by  to gain more customers using press releases online:

Multimedia Press Release – Tip #26 – Internet Marketing for Small Business

Let’s keep these next steps simple and to the point much like how your press release needs to be.  Pick a catchy yet informative title that will grab and hold the attention of your audience. Make sure to keep the first paragraph brief, clear and to the point but include all the vital information: the where, when, why, what and who. Press releases should never be more than one page.

The last paragraph will be dedicated to your contact details. Always include a primary contact name, phone number, address, email and website address.  You can also end your submission with a mission statement or quote to make a lasting impression.

Remember who your audience is and speak to them using knowledge and passion of your product/event. Include details or facts to spark curiosity in following paragraphs. A good press release not only informs but teases as well.

Editing is one of the most important things you can do before submitting your press release. Your submission should be 100% error free and grammatically correct.  Double check your work and have someone else look it over. Use spell check often and try not to be repetitive in your vocabulary. Dust off your thesaurus and remember to utilize words that everyone can understand. Keep your audience in mind and speak to them using their language but don’t exclude potentially interested customers by using acronyms or too many terms which may confuse those who are not familiar with your product/organization.

I didn’t want to spend too much time on going through formatting but it is a vital piece of the process in producing an amazing press release.  I have added this example from PubicityInsider.com for you to review.  Remember to end your submission by entering the # symbol three times centered at the bottom of the page to indicate the end of your release. I found some helpful tips at eHow.com that you may want to check out to gain furture insight on creating your submission.

That’s it my friends. You can totally pull this off and promote your product/event with ease and insure success having the media on your side.  Make sure to personally send a thank you note to the media contacts who pick up your story and publish it. This will build a positive relationship and could pose helpful with future promotions. A email thank you is suffice.

Your amazing press release is ready to submit. 

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!