Client: International Diabetes Federation (Brussels, Belgium)
PR Team: Ogilvy Public Relations (London)
Campaign: The Diabetes Tidal Wave: Can We Cope?
Time Frame: December 2000 - May 2001
Budget: Around $125,000
Because of the alarming increase in Type 2 diabetes, the International
Diabetes Federation (IDF) wanted to secure media coverage of the
science, spread, and cost of the disease.
To help achieve this goal, Ogilvy was hired to position the IDF as a
proactive force in raising public awareness of Type 2 diabetes.
Ogilvy also wanted to establish the IDF as an authority in educating
top-tier press on the impact of Type 2 diabetes and its precursor,
Impaired Glucose Tolerance (IGT), as well as the associated
cardiovascular risk of both conditions. The firm held a press briefing
in Montreux, Switzerland on May 31 that publicized the rise of diabetes
and upcoming IDF events, including a workshop on IGT in August 2001 and
World Diabetes Day on November 14, 2001 (the theme of which is diabetes
and cardiovascular risk).
Ogilvy and the IDF helped draw attention to the increasing number of
people with diabetes by having prominent European experts address the
issue at the media summit. IGT was leveraged as the new angle on the
diabetes story, says Denise Reid, account manager at Ogilvy Public
Relations. "In addition, the IDF was promoted as the only international
patient-focused, non-governmental organization concerned with diabetes,"
The PR firm wanted to position the IDF as a proactive force in raising
awareness of the diabetes epidemic. More-over, the IDF wanted to
emphasize the need for preventive strategies, and to inform the public
about IGT, which affects one in seven adults.
Ogilvy created press packages specifically for distribution at the
The packs contained written and graphic materials about diabetes and the
IDF, which were also posted on Newstream.com with a video sound bite
from Sir George Alberti, professor of medicine in the department of
diabetes and metabolism at the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne.
Following the briefing, three hours were set aside for one-on-one
interviews with key speakers. Details for members of the press who were
not able to attend the event were kept on file for follow-up.
The event resulted in coverage in 30 publications, such as the UK's The
Economist, The Independent, The Telegraph, and New Scientist. Other
European media outlets such as Germany's Die Welt and Artze Zeitung,
Italy's Panorama and Corriere Salute, and France's Le Figaro provided
coverage, notes Reid.
The event also generated stories on a series of leading radio outlets in
Europe, including BBC Radio 4's Leading Edge, BBC World's Science in
Action, BBC Radio Scotland, and Italy's Radio Rai.
Moreover, a great deal of interest was generated amongst press who were
unable to attend the event, with an additional 35 international outlets
requesting background materials.
The posting on Newstream. com received more than 70 hits, and resulted
in coverage on numerous sites, including diabetes.about.com,
senior-health.about.com, nonharmful.com, behealthylifestyles. com,
nepatoday.com, doc-guide.com, and irishheatlh. com.
The campaign raised the profile of the IDF as an organization committed
to using the media to raise public awareness, says Reid. The success of
this event encouraged the IDF president to incorporate communications
into other areas of IDF policy-making activity.
"As a result of the summit, there has been huge public interest in
diabetes, and the debate on screening has been moved forward," explains
The IDF announced it would like to hold a similar event next year, using
the same PR team at Ogilvy. The firm will also promote findings from the
upcoming diabetes workshop in August, and will help promote World