Macmillan Cancer Support visited the Idea Shop with a campaign brief outlining the need to raise awareness that people with rarer cancers should get fairer access to the drugs they need to prolong their lives. It’s a really important issue that the Idea Shop team were only too happy to help with.
The benefits of drugs to treat rarer cancers, while often hugely valued by patients, frequently prove non cost-effective under the NICE Technology Appraisal processes and aren’t widely available on the NHS as a result.
The campaign brief detailed a range of audiences that Macmillan Cancer Support intend to target including MPs, Health Thought Leaders, NICE, health correspondents, influential bloggers and the general public. The aim of the campaign is to generate national and regional coverage to raise awareness of the issue amongst the target audiences and encourage the public to get involved and write to their local MP / newspaper.
We talked Macmillan through the need to pull together a detailed communications strategy setting clear guidelines on timing. We recommended stretching the initial deadline to beyond May as the campaign would still be equally as effective working as a sustained campaign, rather than an immediate push before the general election when the media will be incredibly crowded with competing messages.
The Ogilvy team recommended splitting the target audiences into three distinct groups that each require different messaging and tailored approaches.
Ogilvy stressed the need for a case study in order to help people to engage with the story in a personal manner. An individual’s story would greatly assist the campaign in terms of the strength of the argument created for enabling fairer access to drugs.
We batted around a few ideas for ‘lines’ to promote the campaign, which we’ll keep under wraps for now.
Macmillan is currently very strong in terms of generating media headlines. Therefore we recommended focusing on amplifying current online activity – such as utilising the Facebook page and creating a Twitter stream purely for the campaign to raise awareness of the issues these people are facing. By utilising digital streams Macmillan can create a value exchange, enabling supporters to actively engage in the campaign and share their views in addition to spreading the word about the need for fairer access to drugs that treat rare cancers.
To that end we talked about initiating a “retweet campaign” to support the call to action to write to MPs or sign a petition.
Ogilvy talked about the importance of listening to what is currently being talked about online and then engaging in that conversation. Engaging influential bloggers is key to spreading online chatter and we recommended a listening exercise in order to help Macmillan identify relevant individuals.
We also talked about right and wrong ways to approach bloggers and active twitter users – think of it as a conversation you are joining, be respectful, earn your right to be there, then add your two cents, just as if you were joining a conversation down the pub or over the garden fence.
The chatter online will drive traffic to a dedicated part of the Macmillan Communities site where the call to action will be clearly stated, either in the form of a petition or a template letter.
Macmillan is keeping Idea Shop updated on their progress and we are fully behind the campaign.
Keep your eyes peeled for the latest coverage:
Get involved: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/macmillancancer http://community.macmillan.org.uk/whatsnew/default.aspx
Post by Sophie Gray, Ogilvy PR