C-Change formulates a cohesive cancer message

WASHINGTON: C-Change, a 10-year-old coalition of national cancer organizations, launched a multi-year campaign June 10 to provide a consistent cancer prevention communications strategy to its 130 member organizations.

WASHINGTON: C-Change, a 10-year-old coalition of national cancer organizations, launched a multi-year campaign June 10 to provide a consistent cancer prevention communications strategy to its 130 member organizations.

Members include The Advertising Council, pharmaceutical companies like GlaxoSmithKline, nonprofits like the American Cancer Society, government organizations like the FDA, and a number of academic organizations and health centers.

Each organization is tasked with including four key points - avoiding smoking and other tobacco products, engaging in physical activity, making smart food choices, and receiving age-appropriate cancer screenings - in their individual PR efforts, said Tom Kean, executive director for DC-based C-Change.

"The initiative is to have member organizations adopt [the points] and put them into their communications efforts," he said. "The reach could be quite large. Multiple organizations will be saying the same thing to the public."

Edelman is providing media relations support for the launch to health reporters at major dailies and national morning shows. The agency was hired to support the initiative, which comes on the tails of a new C-Change annual study conducted in January that found half of Americans don't believe they can reduce their cancer risk, said Ellyn Fisher, director of corporate communications for The Ad Council.

The council created PSAs featuring former President George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush for members to tailor their individual campaigns. SMTs and RMTs kicked off the effort, with key leaders taking part in segments for local CBS, ABC, and NBC affiliates. In coming months, it plans to introduce a social media component, including social networking and widget applications.

Kean said the coalition planned the campaign for a year, and began educating its members on cancer prevention through webinars last year. On the day of the launch, all organizations were provided with an online toolkit to incorporate the message into their ads, Web sites, and brochures, Fisher said.

It will use subsequent annual studies to track the effort's success, as well as monitor the number of cancer deaths and diagnoses supplied by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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