Disease Awareness and Patient Empowerment
TOCS was approached by a foreign pharmaceutical company in search of a communications strategy that would allow it to raise awareness of a chronic condition that afflicted thousands of people and yet elicited very little attention from the media and general public.
TOCS understood that raising awareness with a one-off media campaign would be meaningless if target audiences could not transform their interest into long-term, sustainable action. Our solution was to wed a high-profile celebrity endorsement with a patient-managed grass-roots advocacy program – a network that provided an outlet for campaign-generated momentum and that would remain functioning long after the two-year campaign had wrapped up.
Complementing these efforts was an influencer engagement program that educated government regulators, medical associations and their membership about diagnostic improvements that were helping to facilitate early detection and treatment of the disease.
An intensive round of pitching resulted in the celebrity event generating extensive coverage in influential trade and general media (print and broadcast) outlets. Sustained media engagement and patient advocacy activities over the remainder of the campaign resulted in public awareness of the disease exceeding 80% by the 24th month – a significant improvement on the single-digit awareness level measured immediately prior to the program’s launch.
Medical associations reported measurable increases in disease-related inquiries and treatments, while a succession of local governments began to introduce early detection programs.