When a new national survey's results revealed that asthma patients and their primary care physicians don't always speak the same language when discussing the disease's treatment and control, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) sought to develop "a roadmap for more effective conversation," says Mike Tringale, director of external affairs for AAFA.
IDEA: To alleviate the miscommunication, Tringale says, AAFA considered the conversational differences between patients and doctors - and found they were dramatic. "The majority of doctors are talking about asthma in real clinical terms," he notes. Patients are more concerned with how the disease impacts their quality of life. In an effort to get both parties on the same page, Tringale says, AAFA teamed with Merck and Hill & Knowlton to create the "Get A.H.E.A.D of Asthma" educational initiative. The acronym stands for asthma, having, engaging, answering, and discussing.
TOOLS: The campaign launched March 20 with wire-service news releases and a 30-city SMT featuring asthma patients and doctors. But its centerpiece, says Tringale, is www.getaheadofasthma.com, a Web site with asthma-control information, research highlights, and downloadable checklists meant to facilitate easy and effective patient-doctor conversations. AAFA has also prepared collateral materials to be sent by direct mail in targeted cities, Tringale says.
MEASUREMENT: While Web site hits and media placements will be noted, the campaign's real measure of success will be when "we get to a state in America when people don't have any limits because of asthma," Tringale says. "Helping get patients talking to their doctors can really make a difference in disease management."
Organization: Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America
Campaign: Get A.H.E.A.D of Asthma
PR team: Hill & Knowlton and in-house
Other marketing: Direct mail, doctor's office brochures (in-house)
Launch: March 20