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Knowledge is power

Encouraging men to ask about prostrate cancer screening

Published: 10 Apr 2011

Client: American Urological Association Foundation

Agency: Zeno Group

Campaign: Know Your Stats about Prostate Cancer

Timescale: September 2009 to February 2010 (Year one) - September 2010 to February 2011 (Year two)

A quick look

The American Urological Association Foundation (AUAF) is the world’s leading non-profit urological health foundation. Zeno Group educated millions of football fans and their loved ones about the award-winning ‘Know Your Stats’ campaign to encourage men to talk to their doctors about prostate cancer screening. Zeno Group executed over 150 media interviews and distributed a series of public service announcements, which led to one-in-four football fans surveyed reporting increased awareness.

Challenge

Stigmas about treatment-related incontinence and sexual side-effects have created a lack of dialog about prostate cancer. These stigmas are often deadly, as men are reluctant to talk to their physicians about life-saving tests for early detection.

Future risk of prostate cancer is closely related to a man’s prostate-specific antigen (PSA) score; men screened at the age of 40 establish a baseline that can be tracked over time. PSAs have always been a critical, controversial issue, which is why the American Urological Association Foundation (AUAF) urges men of 40 and over to talk to their doctors about the risks and benefits.

Solution

The AUAF was concerned that lowering the recommended baseline testing age from 50 to 40 amid a series of screening controversies in the media was confusing already reluctant men about the value of this critical test. The National Football League (NFL), which provides free AUAF prostate cancer screenings to its retired players, saw the lives saved by the effort and recognised the need to help its fans as well. As a result, the NFL and the AUAF teamed up to encourage men to ‘Know Their Stats’ about prostate cancer.

Results

A website, KnowYourStats.org, was built and the team used its partnership to maximum effect by creating a series of public service announcements featuring NFL greats and Commissioner Roger Goodell, appearing nationally on television and radio, in USA Today and in a donated window in the Rockefeller Center. Public service announcements played throughout the season on large-screen TVs at 31 NFL stadiums around the country, with an All-Star version debuting at the 2010 Super Bowl and Pro Bowl.

Spokesperson Mike Haynes and Team Haynes participated in over 175 interviews, with more than 50 interviews during Super Bowl week alone. Total media impressions to date have been over 135 million, and 93 per cent of coverage drove traffic to KnowYourStats.org. Nearly 170 million men and their loved ones were encouraged to Know Their Stats to date.

Client verdict

“It is not just the tremendous media results and the numerous awards  that we have won that make this campaign so special. What really matters is that we have been able to educate millions of men about the importance of talking to their doctors at 40 years of age about reducing their risk of prostate cancer. And we can’t say in words how pleased we have been with the results from Zeno Group’s efforts in educating Americans about our Know Your Stats campaign.”

Sandra Vassos, executive director of AUAF 

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