Business information written specifically for newspaper advertising departments

Yes, Mamm

Partnering with the hospitals to encourage mammograms for early detection in October
Is there a way newspaper classified advertising departments can mend the two aspects of the Think Pink phenomena to become community do-gooders with a side of advertising savoir-faire?

Every October the nation turns pink; we don pink ribbons, buy pink-hued products and support local charity run/walks with pink logos. Has this made a difference? Absolutely. Some $6 billion a year is committed to breast cancer research and awareness campaigns, and finally we’re starting to win the war against breast cancer. “The progress we’ve made over the last 20 years has changed the face of the disease for American women,” says Freya Schnabel MD, director of breast surgery at NYU Langone Medical Center, as reported in Health Magazine. “We can find it earlier, treat it more effectively, reduce recurrence and enhance survival.” And, while it’s obtained these vital resources to search for a cure, the capital-friendly disease has become a gold mine for pink profiteers. Is there a way newspaper classified advertising departments can mend the two aspects of the Think Pink phenomena to become community do-gooders with a side of advertising savoir-faire? You bet! Try communicating with your local hospitals and creating events, sponsorships and campaigns that encourage annual mammograms — creating awareness for early detection and new revenue potential!

One way to encourage early detection is to connect with the hospitals and healthcare facilities to host a mammo-blitz. Finding sponsors to aid in the cost of the mammograms will encourage ladies over 40 to head into the woman’s clinic be checked. Tee shirt sponsorships are always popular for breast cancer awareness, so don’t negate that as potential income and donation for the blitz. Split a portion of the funds you receive from the tee shirt sponsorships and sales between donation for the event and profit for the newspaper. Use a catchy phrase like, “Love My Lady Lumps,” “Yes, Mamm” or “Squeeze the Twins” and sell them all over town. Include ads in your paper and with your online portal, specifically to sell the tee shirts. Create another ad (online, print or mobile) asking for donations to benefit the event. All donations should go towards reducing the cost of the mammograms for the blitz. When selling the tees, be sure to notify the community of how the proceeds are being divided. This quick-and-easy campaign can be ready to launch in a matter of days, and can last all month long.

Partnering with the hospitals for a mammogram blitz does not necessarily mean you have to solely solicit the healthcare facilities in your area. Although they are the first place to start, community businesses often leave room in their budgets for sponsorships of tax-deductible campaigns like this. Working with the hospital’s public relations department, event creation can leave room for plentiful advertising potential. One out of every eight people are diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in their lives. With an estimated 288,130 women and 2140 men diagnosed with the disease each year, awareness for early detection is key to increasing survival rates. Events like charity run/walks, battle of the bands or light the nights can bring together crowds in even the smallest of towns, giving recognition to the small businesses, the healthcare facilities, the newspaper and, of course, the disease itself.

A charity run/walk may not be the most original event to host, but history tells us it works. An overnight walk-a-thon is a popular event in college towns, or a 5k/15k race with registration fees, sponsors and booths can prove profitable. Say you have 40 registrants at $50 a participant (or team if you’d like) you’re bringing in $2000 immediately. Donate half of that, and you’re still walking away with $1000 before including vendors and sponsors. That’s only an example, some run/walks require up to $150 in team registration and allow each team to be sponsored independently for miles completed. This tactic brings in even more direct revenue for the newspaper, again excluding income from vendors and sponsors of the event, and allows for a larger donation to breast cancer awareness, research or the mammogram blitz. Deduct expenditures from the totals, and both the hospital and the newspaper are walking away with a healthy profit. An event of this type takes about two to three weeks from idea conception to event completion if your paper is willing to dedicate the appropriate resources to it.

An event of this type takes about two to three weeks from idea conception to event completion if your paper is willing to dedicate the appropriate resources to it.

A battle of the bands competition takes a bit more planning, but the pay off is extreme. Find local bands to compete to win cash or a trophy, vendors to serve food and drinks and sponsors to help pay for the event. A cover charge to get into the event will bring in your revenue and donation.

Another event you can work with the hospital with is an early detection self-examination course. This one-day course can teach women of all ages the proper procedure and benefits of self-examination. While the effectiveness of self-exams may be under debate, many Ob/Gyns still believe in the necessity for simple awareness of physical changes that could appear accompanying any form of invasive or non-invasive breast cancer. Lumps, bumps and discoloration are just a few signs that need to be questioned immediately, but the community can learn more with your help at the self-examination course. Find sponsorship and charge a nominal enrollment fee, if you wish, and split the net income after expenditures with a donation and direct revenue for your paper. 

Research indicates that during post-October months in the 1990s, breast cancer diagnosis rose, indicating that the media frenzy, which you should be a part of, prompted more people to get tested for the disease. A rise in awareness increases screening rates, which in turn increases early detection and survival rates. Breast cancer awareness holds a particularly powerful sway with consumers and advertisers. It’s a disease dreaded so profoundly that not supporting the cause is nearly unheard of in today’s world. Most people are affected in some way by breast cancer, but sadly that’s often not enough to encourage annual screening.  Hosting or co-hosting events and campaigns promote pro-activity in identifying and/or defeating the disease, helps the newspaper relate with the reader and brings in new revenue potentials for your classified advertising department.