Be Sickle Smart - Grass roots National Education Campaign - Diversity Marketing & Communications

The Challenge
Novartis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. introduced a new breakthrough drug for people who receive multiple blood transfusions, particularly those with Sickle Cell disease. They needed a grass roots national education campaign to raise awareness of the potential danger of “iron overload” among those who receive frequent transfusions. Since more than 80 percent of people who suffer from Sickle Cell Disease are of African descent, the program targeted African Americans.

Diversity Associate Charlotte Roy, then head of The Roy Group, was hired to design and manage a program that was tested in three markets in the first year:
•    Philadelphia, PA
•    Houston, TX
•    Atlanta, GA     

In the second year, the successful program was expanded to include:
•    Birmingham, AL
•    Detroit, MI
•    Charlotte, NC
•    Jacksonville, FL
•    Chicago, IL
•    Los Angeles, CA
•    Dallas, TX
•    St. Louis, MO

The Program
The community-based health education effort that was designed leveraged local media, advocacy groups, churches, community leaders, civic and health care organizations to raise awareness of Sickle Cell Disease and Iron Overload due to blood transfusions.
The program, called “Be Sickle Smart,” was implemented in partnership with each city’s Sickle Cell Disease Association of America chapter. The program worked closely with adult and pediatric sickle cell treatment centers, churches, social services, and other community organizations.

The Results
The program was eagerly accepted and supported by health organizations and associations dealing with Sickle Cell disease in each city. More than 60 million media impressions were achieved through advertising and publicity development, with 30 percent of the impressions earned through publicity. The program generated more than 80,000 requests for further information.

Working budget: $5,500,000
 

Be Sickle Smart - Grass roots National Education Campaign - Diversity Marketing & Communications