Business information written specifically for newspaper advertising departments

Bringing Awareness to Breast Cancer

A goodwill campaign for newspaper classified advertising departments
A little creativity and a whole lot of pink can reestablish your paper as the community’s media partner against the famed disease.

Although it seems repetitive to mention, October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Surely the media frenzy of this disease has made mention of this national fight for a breast cancer cure and prevention methods in your presence, but how can newspapers get in on the goodwill and still bring in a return on investment? More specifically, how can your newspaper’s classified advertising department create something to sell while spreading awareness? A little creativity and a whole lot of pink can reestablish your paper as the community’s media partner against the famed disease.

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths among women, behind only lung cancer. As reported by the American Cancer Society, of the 271,520 estimated cancer deaths among women in 2011, at least 15 percent will be due to breast cancer. In accordance to the American Cancer Society, mortality rates are largely based on the availability of early detection. This October, bring awareness to the importance of early detection and increase your community’s survival rates by teaching methods of prevention and partnering in donation for treatment.

To bring attention to the fight for a cure, your newspaper has several inexpensive options that will bring a return on investment and can be completed in a short amount of time. Try selling sponsorships to turn the pages of the classified section pink. In Georgia, The Rockdale Citizen and Newton Citizen turn their entire paper into a “Read Pink” edition. “Both newspapers are donating a portion of the proceeds from today’s newspaper to three local organizations that support breast cancer research, treatment and prevention,” an in-house story reads. Their papers are printed entirely on pink newsprint in order to extend awareness of breast cancer in their community and to show their strides in increasing knowledge of prevention and treatment as they strive to achieve early detection. The earlier the detection, the better the chances of success are for treatment.

Sponsorships and partners in the push for pink can help in the increased printing costs, and a portion of your sales (of both the sponsorship and the actual paper) can be donated to a local charity benefitting breast cancer awareness, prevention or treatment while the remainder of the profits can support the newspaper as additional revenue.

This campaign can easily be funded by outside sources. Sponsorships and partners in the push for pink can help in the increased printing costs, and a portion of your sales (of both the sponsorship and the actual paper) can be donated to a local charity benefitting breast cancer awareness, prevention or treatment while the remainder of the profits can support the newspaper as additional revenue. In combination with the previous promotion, when you’re selling liner ads to community members, offer a $2 up-sell for breast cancer awareness. Include a small pink ribbon logo in their liner and donate the proceeds from the initiative. 

Another tactic The Citizen is pursing is publishing special sections every Friday in October to profile local residents, who will share in their stories of hope in fighting and beating breast cancer. This idea is adaptable to any market, but it may take a little time to find people willing to discuss their very private battle in an openly public manner. To save on time, instead try lining people up for next year, while simultaneously publishing pages sponsored by local businesses, volunteers and others with prevention methods — including self-examinations, healthy-living recipes that reduce sugar and sodium intake, tips to quit smoking (which has been shown to increase risk of breast cancer among the other devastations it causes to ones health) and exercise routines that help women, particularly over 40 (the recommended age for mammography testing to begin), stay in prime health. Although these methods are not foolproof tactics in preventing breast cancer, they reduce the risk factors and self-awareness helps in early detection.  

Early detection is the best way to increase a woman’s chance of survival against breast cancer. There are known cases (my mother-in-law for one) that have taken just five weeks from identifying a lump to treatment and remission if they’re caught early enough. Increase your community’s potential by raising awareness with pages plastered in pink.