WASHINGTON: A coalition led by the Arthritis Foundation launched a three-year, national public awareness campaign to help Americans understand the joint disease and its most common form, osteoarthritis. The campaign follows, and will support, a new national action plan from the CDC called "A National Public Health Agenda for Osteoarthritis."
"One goal is to dispel the myth that osteoarthritis is something that you can't prevent and that it is just part of aging," said Deb Neuman, chief external relations officer for the Arthritis Foundation. The campaign's message is that "moving is the best medicine," and all components encourage the public to stay active and healthy, the best way to prevent arthritis, she added.
Additional campaign partners include the Ad Council and the American College of Rheumatology. It revolves around PSAs, which will air on radio and TV, as well as print, online, and outdoor ads. Additional media outreach included targeting health reporters and those who cover healthcare policy and debate. But the Arthritis Foundation and Ad Council are also doing a lot with social media, focused around the Web site FightArthritisPain.org.
The site has tools that the public can use to determine their risk of arthritis, as well as resources, and ways to connect with other consumers about the joint disease. Additionally, the campaign is using Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, and other social networks to spread the message.
"We know that the Baby Boomer group, which is a key target for us, is among the fastest-growing users of social media," Neuman said. "We know that social media are going to continually grow in their ability to not only reach people with a message, but get people interacting with each other."
The campaign worked with health PR firm GYMR for its launch event on February 4.
Over the next several years, the group will continue to add social media outreach. Neuman noted that the Arthritis Foundation hopes the message of movement continues beyond the three years, either as an expanded campaign or a new iteration.