Pharma pushes asthma education to multicultural markets

NEW YORK: AstraZeneca is reaching out to the Africa- American and Hispanic communities in an unbranded campaign to educate parents about the symptoms of pediatric asthma.

NEW YORK: AstraZeneca is reaching out to the Africa- American and Hispanic communities in an unbranded campaign to educate parents about the symptoms of pediatric asthma.

The drug company is taking its bilingual EveryKidz bus tour to five cities with a high prevalence of the disease. It is also partnering with local organizations and doctors in each community.

"It's not just the cities, but the events we're tying into ? [events] where family come together," said Shannon Oates, senior brand manager at AstraZeneca. "It's truly a celebration."

The multicultural events include Unity Day in Philadelphia, the Child Health Street Festival in New York, and Black Family Reunion in Washington. The bus will also travel to Miami and Houston.

AstraZeneca is working with UniWorld Group and Bromley Communications, its agencies of record for African-American and Hispanic PR, respectively.

Patrice Glenn, senior director and VP of PR and event marketing at UniWorld, noted that the outreach would include media relations and radio spots.

The bus itself will house three stations ? learn, breathe, and play ? where parents can pick up educational material as well as have their children screened for asthma.

"Families go through these stations together," Glenn said. "When a child has asthma it really does affect the whole family."

Prominent pediatricians will also be on hand to answer questions ? but parents will then be encouraged to follow-up with their family doctors.

In New York, for example, AstraZeneca enlisted the help of Dr. Benjamin Ortiz, chief of pediatrics at Harlem Hospital. "He is able to connect with the local community," Oates said. "It's the local physicians who stress the need for education."

Event management agency Fandango designed and coordinated the bus tour, developed key messages, and trained bilingual educators.

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