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Do It For Yourself Campaign – Supporting the Lung Cancer Community

by MSD, Freuds Communications and Four Health Media

Summary of work

As COVID-19 swept through the UK the impact was felt by more than just those suffering from the virus - the ability of the NHS to effectively treat other life-threatening conditions was degraded. Few were disadvantaged more than people with lung cancer for whom service disruption, social determinants and the closeness of symptoms to respiratory infection created a perfect storm that put at risk more than a decade’s progress in improved outcomes for lung cancer patients.
A fear of attending healthcare settings and altruism in living by the maxim ‘protect the NHS’ led to a dramatic drop in people presenting with symptoms of lung cancer and MSD was approached by a number of Cancer Alliances seeking help.
MSD set out to create an insight-led integrated regional lung cancer awareness and stakeholder engagement campaign focusing on behaviour change in the over 50s in some of the most deprived social demographics – using earned (broadcast, print, social), paid media (outdoor & radio) and public affairs. Supported by freuds Health & Behaviour Change and Four Health Media and working with a broad coalition including Greater Manchester Cancer, Northern Cancer Alliances alongside Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation, Mesothelioma UK, UK Lung Cancer Coalition and Lung Cancer Nursing UK.

To date, the program has successfully generated and leveraged data through newly established channels and partnerships with engaged stakeholders. The program has already successfully influenced clinical practice and policy at global, country and clinic levels via novel insights and targeted, patient-focused solutions. Adherence is gaining the attention it has long needed, and real-world outcomes will improve as a result.

Judges’ comments

The Do It for Yourself Campaign was well articulated and the feedback was really good. They obviously did make a difference in the lung cancer community. There were some nice added elements, for example the pharmacy bags, which added a little bit of sparkle. This was a really important message and to be able to keep this on the agenda without being competitive with the pandemic was a huge positive.