$4 Million National CFS Public Awareness Campaign to Launch This Summer

From the CFIDS Association of America:

We have some very exciting and important news to share with you. The CFIDS Association will be launching a $4 million public awareness campaign on chronic fatigue syndrome this summer. The campaign is so exciting because we finally have the chance to mount a national, concerted, multifaceted campaign to educate both the general public and health care professionals about CFS. The public awareness campaign will extend for more than a year, starting with a launch event at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., in June that will include a satellite media tour accessible not only to the media, but to the patient community and general public.

Primary funding for the campaign has been provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The funding came from the health marketing arm of the CDC, leaving their CFS research budget intact. The CFIDS Association was selected as the contractor to implement the campaign. To help with the campaign, the Association hired two of the country’s top PR firms, Fleishman Hillard and GMMB, which both have considerable experience with national health marketing campaigns. Both agencies are involved with research, strategic planning and creative development of campaign components.

This is an integrated marketing campaign that includes a broad array of components, including:

a launch event at the National Press Club inWashington, D.C.
full-page color print ads in selected national magazines
online banner ads targeted both to consumers and medical professionals
TV, radio and print public service announcements
traveling CFS photography exhibit of the “faces of CFS” taken by fashion and celebrity photographer George Lange
stories about CFS in national and local print, broadcast and online media
partnerships with medical organizations to educate health care professionals about the illness
an educational website
printed and downloadable materials for CFS patients, the public and medical professionals
partnerships with other organizations and support groups dedicated to the fight against CFS
This campaign has the potential to ignite renewed interest in CFS and spark increased understanding about the illness among the general public, health care professionals, legislators and the media. The campaign also has the potential to increase research funding for CFS from federal, biotech and pharmaceutical sources over the next decade.

For that potential to be fully realized, it will take the combined efforts of the CFIDS Association, individual patients, support groups and other organizations dedicated to the fight to conquer this illness.

We invite you to join us in this historic campaign. Please respond to our Action Alert and thank CDC’s leadership for funding this campaign. Look for more campaign details and ideas on how you can become involved in the April CFIDSLink and the spring issue of the CFIDS Chronicle . Every single member of the CFS community has a role to play. You can help us illuminate how devastating CFS really is and help ensure the success of this much-needed public awareness campaign.

For more information, please visit: http://www.cfids.org/cfidslink/2006/pac.asp

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