Colorectal cancer support taps 1 million strong

Devin James connected with nonprofit advocacy group Fight Colorectal Cancer on Twitter after his father was diagnosed with the disease.

Client: Fight Colorectal Cancer (Alexandria, VA)
Agency: Devin James Group (Memphis, TN)
Campaign: One Million Strong
Duration: March 1 – ongoing
Budget: about $360,000 (includes about 95,000 pro bono work)

Devin James connected with nonprofit advocacy group Fight Colorectal Cancer (FCRC) on Twitter after his father was diagnosed with the disease. His eponymous agency subsequently began donating time and resources to help the organization launch and run the One Million Strong campaign.

“There are about 1 million survivors in US and we loved the idea of creating the One Million Strong campaign to serve as a beacon of hope for people going through treatment and their family members,” explains FCRC president Carlea Bauman. “It also helps us raise awareness among the general population about risk factors and the need for screening.”

Strategy
The team established new corporate partnerships, hosted events, and recruited advocates with personal connections to the disease to help spread the word through multiple channels. 

“The challenge with a national organization is to make the issue applicable in local markets,” James explains. “Our goal was to empower advocates in multiple cities to hyper-localize awareness.”

Tactics
World Boxing Organization Middleweight Champion of the World Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin and Lady Antebellum singer Charles Kelley were among numerous professional athletes and celebrities recruited to serve as advocates and appear in PSAs

The agency put calls out on social media channels and the campaign website (http://crcmillionstrong.org/) asking survivors nationwide to tell their stories to local media.

A kick-off event was hosted March 1 in Times Square. The PSAs and messaging were broadcast on the digital marquee above the entrance to NASDAQ's MarketSite.

Quillin gave media interviews and posed for photos with people flexing their muscles in support of the cause. The Prevent Cancer Foundation's 8 foot by 20 foot walk-through “super colon” was onsite to help educate the public.

Volunteers passed out One Million Strong branded items, including temporary tattoos and informational flyers, and used iPads to collect cause pledges on the campaign website.

The campaign was also promoted at FCRC's annual “Call on Congress” event in Washington, DC.

New partnerships were established with bottled water company, Aquacai, and Quicken Loans, and both helped fund the events and promote the campaign. Existing corporate partners, including Bayer and Genentech, also provided funding and promoted the campaign.

Results
More than 500 people walked through the “super colon” and thousands of pieces of collateral (flyers, tattoos, t-shirts, etc.) were handed out.

More than 1,000 pledges have been made on the website.

FCRC's Facebook page got more than 4,000 new likes in March. 

Tweets with the hashtag  #1MilStrong reached 371,280 people on March 1. FCRC's Twitter followers have more than doubled to 2,553. 

More than 220 media and blog stories ran in outlets including ESPN.com, The New York Times, USA Today, Good Morning America, and ABC News.

Future
The agency will continue supporting FCRC.

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