WORKSHOP: CASE STUDY - Breast Cancer Care looks in the pink

CLAIRE SAMES

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Background Breast Cancer Care is a leading provider of breast cancer information and support across the UK. The charity has been a key player in Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, symbolised by the pink ribbon, since it started in the UK in 1994.

Aims A key aim of Breast Cancer Care's involvement in the month is to devise an integrated media strategy to maximise the impact of the charity's fundraising and awareness-raising activity.

Breast Cancer Care has found that there is a direct correlation between media coverage, service uptake and funds raised.

To secure the greatest reach and the most effective income generation, Breast Cancer Care's fundraising activity within the month involves "multi-layer

partnerships - the key components being high street, product and media partnerships.

According to the charity, You magazine brings all these key areas together in one showcase. And with a circulation of 2.4 million and a primarily female readership, You is a perfect arena for the charity to raise awareness about breast cancer.

How it worked Three years ago, the charity approached You editor Sue Peart, who was then deputy editor, to secure coverage.

From a series of meetings, Breast Cancer Care and You's editorial team came up with the concept to combine a pink-themed glamour and pampering issue with a more serious awareness message. The discussions culminated in a selection of personal stories, input from medical experts and various fundraising elements via phone lines.

Peart says: "We've been doing stories on breast cancer for a long time.

We've made it fashionable and brought it out in the open. We don't do it from a commercial point of view either - it's grown organically through a great interest in breast cancer."

The Breast Cancer Care team and You editorial team start planning the issue as early as January. Results The charity has a long history of successful cause-related marketing initiatives with partners including Asda, Boots and Estee Lauder.

It has therefore been able to provide contacts to donate pink-themed prizes, which are run via phone line competitions, with profits of at least 23p per minute going to the charity.

Breast Cancer Care also has a warm list of celebrity supporters and patrons, which it puts for-ward for front cover shots and interviews, with ex-model Jerry Hall featuring on this year's cover.

In 2001, more than £25,000 was raised directly from phone line activity.

The charity also secured other coverage as a result of the partnership with Hello! magazine buying articles.

This year, in the days following the publication, the magazine received 80,000 enquiries from its readers and the helpline also saw a significant increase in the number of calls received.

Isabel Campbell, fundraising and marketing director at the charity, says: "You provides Breast Cancer Care with the ideal platform for providing accurate breast cancer and breast awareness information to women in an informative and engaging way.

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