Block Out Cancer

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They Asked…

Research shows that, when given the option, patients would prefer to receive care from medical centers that participate in research.  Unfortunately, research also shows a low level of awareness about the incredible amount of groundbreaking pediatric cancer research underway at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital.  The challenge was to find a way to meaningfully engage our community in the need for increased pediatric cancer research, and the fact that C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital is a leader in this area.

We Answered…

The Department of Public Relations & Marketing Communications worked with stakeholders from throughout Pediatric Hematology & Oncology, as well as children and parents of children previously or currently in treatment for pediatric cancer to design a public awareness campaign that would resonate with our community.  The campaign, which launched in September – pediatric cancer awareness month – included online display advertising, radio advertising, web video placements, daily blog posts throughout the month of September, t-shirt sales, chalk-art installations in highly trafficked areas of Ann Arbor, an unforgettable on-field recognition of a child battling cancer for nearly 11  years, and partnerships with major neighborhood coffee shops to use branded coffee-sleeves throughout the month of September.

The Results…

The campaign raised nearly $10,000 in its start-up year, but fundraising was only a small component.  The videos were viewed more than 10,000 times, and web traffic to pediatric cancer related pages on our website (TBD).  The office of Medical Development has received numerous requests from community groups wishing to leverage the Block Out Cancer theme for fundraising efforts they coordinate to support pediatric cancer research at Mott.  The #BlockOutCancer hashtag saw a lot of activity, including photos taken of the chalk-art installations and the coffee sleeves at various neighborhood coffee shops.  Most importantly, the campaign set a foundation for further development of a strong community engagement effort supporting the pediatric cancer program at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital.

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