5 Tips for Planning a Successful Awareness Month
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August 12, 2021
Are you preparing for an upcoming health awareness month?
As the calendar inches closer toward fall, we’re quickly approaching Blood Cancer Awareness Month in September, Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month in November, and many other days and months that are important to patients and the advocacy community.
At Rx4good, our goal is to help our clients deliver on their commitment to put patients first. Health awareness months present an opportunity for patients’ voices to be heard, making them an important time to listen to and support patients and your patient advocacy partners. Creating a plan that incorporates patients from the beginning, addresses their needs, and amplifies their voices is a meaningful way to honor a health awareness month.
We hope you’ll find these five tips helpful as you prepare for an upcoming health awareness month:
- Listen to Patients. In the months leading up to your awareness month, make it a priority to hear from patients – by meeting with them, through discussions with advocacy partners or monitoring online platforms and discussion boards – about what they need and how you can help. For example, you might learn that a common concern is barriers to getting a diagnosis. You can then use that information to create a meaningful education campaign that can help fill that gap during the awareness month. Need help getting started with building relationships with patients? At Rx4good, we provide counsel, resources, capacity-building, and education to help you in organizing and elevating your partnerships with patients and patient advocacy groups.
- Amplify Patient Voices. One of the most meaningful aspects of awareness months is that they highlight patients and their journeys, which can ultimately lead to broader change. That’s why awareness months are a great time to use your platform to amplify patients’ voices. One way to do this is by inviting patients you have worked with to share their stories through blog posts, videos, or social media posts.
- Be Present. Awareness months present an opportunity for you to listen to, engage with, and show up for the patient and advocacy community, whether virtually or in person. Check your patient advocacy partners’ event schedules for walks, runs, rides, webinars, conferences, and other events that may take place throughout the month. You might consider supporting these events by attending or by publicizing them or offering financial support. Even if you can’t provide public support, circulate the opportunity internally to employees to continue fostering a mission connection between the organization and your staff. Consider matching employee donations, where possible.
- Highlight Your Work. Are you working on an exciting development in this disease area? An awareness month can be a great time to highlight this work and spread the word. You might consider hosting a webinar to give patients and healthcare providers the chance to hear from you about current or upcoming clinical trials or exciting new treatments. You can also highlight this work through blog posts, videos, social media posts, and newsletters.
- Be Social. Social media is a great tool for getting to know your community. Before an awareness month begins, research relevant hashtags, including the most popular hashtags used by the community throughout the year and those that are specific to the awareness month. Join the conversation by using these hashtags when posting about your campaigns, initiatives, and work in the disease space. Engage with patient advocacy groups by following their accounts and sharing or commenting on their posts. You might also consider changing your profile image or banner image to incorporate the color or a ribbon reflecting your awareness month.