App kick-starts support for kids fighting cancer

Chamberlain Healthcare PR mounted a campaign to promote the launch of a smartphone app and raise awareness of the nonprofit Kids Kicking Cancer.

Client: Kids Kicking Cancer (Detroit, MI)
Agency: Chamberlain Healthcare PR (New York)
Campaign: Breath Brake App Launch and PSA campaign
Duration: April 2011 – present

Rabbi Elimelech Goldberg founded the nonprofit Kids Kicking Cancer (KKC) after losing his daughter to cancer in 1983. The organization provides martial arts therapy and other services to help children with cancer and their families (Goldberg is himself a black belt in karate).

Chamberlain Healthcare PR began pro bono work for KKC in early 2010 after participating in a seminar with Goldberg. This year, the agency mounted a campaign to promote the March 9 launch of a “Breath Brake” smartphone app, raise awareness of KKC, and increase support.

“The more people who hear about us, the more referrals we get of kids in pain, and the more sustainability and expansion there is for the program,” Goldberg says.

Strategy
Chamberlain Communications Group EVP Reba Auslander says the idea was to increase share-ability of information across multiple channels while raising KKC's profile. Celebrity PSAs, a new Facebook page, KKC's website, media relations, and online ads drove messaging and awareness.

West Glen, CommCore Consulting, and Chamberlain's inVentiv sibling, Ignite Health, partnered on execution.

Tactics
Through a relationship with CAA, Goldberg got Gerard Butler, Demi Moore, and Miley Cyrus each to film PSAs demonstrating a “Breath Brake” with KKC kids. Chamberlain wrote the scripts. West Glen produced and distributed the PSAs beginning in April. West Glen also distributed a multimedia press release.

CommCore refreshed Goldberg's media training, and Ignite developed and launched banner ads.

Chamberlain created a new KKC Facebook page and redesigned and tightened messaging on its website homepage. The site highlights the app and social media sharing tools were added.

Media targets included oncology publications, blogs aimed at patients, general consumer media, and local Detroit and LA outlets.

Results
To date, 8,700 apps have been downloaded (58,373 Breath Breaks taken).

Goldberg notes “a significant jump in activity” linked to the campaign, including increased donations and opportunities to expand programs into Florida, Canada, Atlanta, Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia. He adds that Pfizer underwrote a program in Italy and programs are starting in Israel.

Website visits increased from about 90,000 in April to more than 159,000 at the end of October. Facebook garnered more than 1,200 likes.

As of September 14, the PSAs aired 52,038 times on 131 stations (estimated audience exceeding 800 million). YouTube views topped 10,500. Auslander says Nielsen ranked the Gerard Butler spot ninth among PSA spots in July.

Ten stories in outlets such as Oncology Times and WXYZ-TV (ABC Detroit) generated 16.6 million impressions. More than 300 blogs also posted stories.

Future
Chamberlain will continue pro bono support.

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