‘She Needs to Know’ (SNTK) is a new initiative spearheaded by ENGAGe that will raise public awareness of the impact of ovarian cancer on women, families and friends, mobilise stakeholders to advocate for better outcomes for patients and to promote collaboration amongst patient groups.
LET’S BREAK THE SILENCE ABOUT WOMEN’S CANCERS
Why is more awareness needed?
Ovarian, uterine, cervix and other gynaecological cancers are among the most common cancers to affect women, but collectively attract less attention than they deserve from the public and policymakers. Women themselves may be unaware of the sometimes vague symptoms or may be too embarrassed to consult a doctor, and there remains a stigma associated with these diagnoses in some quarters. This reticence needs to be overcome and a more positive message developed to improve the prevention, screening, treatment and care of gynaecological cancers so that women throughout Europe have the best chance of survival and quality of life.
Why is patient advocacy necessary?
Nothing is as strong as the real patients’ voice when priorities are being set in healthcare. With patient involvement increasingly recognised as a key component in the redesign of healthcare, the timing has never been better for patient organisations to make the voice of women with gynaecological cancers, their loved ones and those at risk of developing the disease heard among health decision-makers, and those whose cooperation you might need to influence them.
Since healthcare systems, government screening and prevention programmes as well as access to therapies are increasingly under scrutiny in terms of value for money in many countries across Europe, there has never been a time when health policy-makers need more convincing arguments of the patient’s true needs articulated through strong and compelling arguments to help them take the right decisions.
When you think of working with the media, consider that there are paid media and earned media. Most of this guide will discuss details related to earned media.
Nonprofits and patient organisations often prefer earned media because of cost factors, but also because as news, the public is more apt to believe when it appears as news. It can also create a more compelling case for information dissemination and engagement.
After a brief discussion to help you determine and shape your media approach, we will address paid media first, and then move on to how to build and use relationships to enhance earned media.