A patient’s battle against cancer takes a variety of tolls. One is the effect on the patient’s physical appearance, which can cause people to feel like they’re losing their sense of self. Walgreens identified an opportunity to provide an enhanced level of support to oncology patients beyond simply filling prescriptions. Its effort has earned Walgreens first place in the “PR or Media Relations” category of Ragan’s Health Care PR and Marketing Awards.
Research revealed that 25% of patients with cancer are interested in getting advice and beauty tips related to cancer side effects management. The led the pharmacy chain to launch Feel More Like You, a pharmacy, health and beauty service available for free to assist cancer patients in managing the medical and physical changes associated with their treatments. With nearly 2 million newly diagnosed cancer cases every year, Walgreens positioned its campaign as a new resource to bridge the information gap for patients at the retail/pharmacy level.
The earned media effort centered on patient testimonials (with minimal media training to accentuate authenticity) that were also used in print and TV content. These testimonials were paired with a corporate narrative from the female heads of Walgreens’ pharmacy and beauty divisions.
The campaign also took advantage of partnerships with organizations like Look Good Feel Better, a cancer support program focused on the appearance and beauty needs of cancer patients. In addition, the campaign focused on the uniqueness of the offering, because no similar service exists at Walgreens’ competitors.
The campaign achieved 62 earned media placements in the likes of USA Today and Forbes.com, and nearly 500 million impressions. It also created strong social media uptake.
Congratulations to the Walgreens communications team and its agency, BCW.