Public Awareness Campaign By The Numbers
How’s your math?
What do you get when you add 54.9 million; 108.4 million; 923,116; and 450?
You get at least 164 million people who have seen, heard or read about CFS in the past year.
As the CDC-funded, $6 million CFS public awareness campaign heads into its third and final year, it continues to accumulate media coverage, educate Americans and cultivate compassion for those suffering from the illness.
Here are the campaign’s 2008 results by the numbers:
“Missing My Life” Public Service Announcements
- Two versions of the television public service announcements (PSA) (one reflecting the updated prevalence estimate of four million) aired 4,173 times, reaching an estimated 54.9 million viewers. The free commercial airtime is valued at $195,087.
- Two versions of the radio PSA (also using the new prevalence estimate) aired 32,865 times to deliver an estimated 180.4 million listeners. The free commercial airtime is valued at nearly $3.4 million.
“The Faces of CFS” Traveling Photo Exhibit
- “Faces” was displayed in 10 cities: Philadelphia, PA; Portland, OR; Phoenix, AZ; Tampa, FL; San Antonio, TX; Baltimore, MD; Mentor, OH; Tacoma, WA; Oklahoma City, OK; and Macon, GA.
- Estimated traffic figures indicate that as many as 923,116 consumers were directly exposed to the photo exhibit.
- Media outreach using the exhibit as a news hook resulted in 172 print, broadcast and online stories.
- “Faces” was also displayed at the American Academy of Physician Assistants Annual Meeting in San Antonio, where 450 attendees visited the booth.
- 24,154 copies of Understanding Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: A Guide for Patients, were downloaded online and distributed in print.
- 56,650 copies of the CFS Toolkit for Health Care Professionals and its fact sheets were downloaded online and distributed in print.
- 12,243 copies of the brochure for medical professionals, Recognition and Management of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, were downloaded online and distributed in print.
Partnerships with Health Care Organizations
- The Association contacted hundreds of HMOs, hospitals and health organizations in cities and regions where the photo exhibit was exhibited, resulting in the dissemination of campaign messages through print and online publications, including those of the Idaho AHEC, the Medical Association of Georgia, the Washington State Medical Association and the Oklahoma ACP chapter.
- The Association also partnered with numerous other medical, general health and women’s organizations to distribute campaign materials, messages and articles in print and online vehicles, with articles published in JAAPA (Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants), Current Psychiatry, Drug Topics, Clinical Advisor, Cortlandt Forum, FMOnline (e-journal of the National Fibromyalgia Association), U.S. Medicine, ICA Update (Interstitial Cystitis Association magazine), Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health; and updated CFS information published on the websites of The Interstitial Cystitis Association and the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration.
- In August, more than 700 clinicians participated in a Kaiser Permanente Medical Group-sponsored videoconference on CFS in northern California. They received the campaign brochure for health care professionals, a handout with links to additional campaign materials and an article about CDC-sponsored research on physician attitudes about CFS.
CFS Media Coverage
- The campaign has been highly successful in extending media coverage far beyond the November 2006 press conference launch event. General media outreach and outreach related to the photo exhibit resulted in more than 400 print, broadcast and online stories nationally about CFS.
- These media stories generated tens of millions of audience impressions and exposed consumers to multiple educational CFS messages. (This is a low estimate; audience figures for many broadcast and online media outlets are not available.)
- Examples include:
- Health Reporter Stephanie Stahl interviewed patient Jennie Spotila and Dr. Andre Garabedian for a segment on KYW-TV Channel 3, Philadelphia’s CBS affiliate.
- Cleveland’s NPR affiliate, WCPN-FM 90.3, aired a segment by Health Reporter Gretchen Cuda, who talked with patient Nancy Duray and Dr. Nosson Goldfarb.
- A front-page article in the “Lifestyle” section of the San Antonio Express-News featured CFS and included comments from Association President & CEO Kim McCleary and patients Terry Westerman and Nitzie Whittam.
- SheKnows.com, one of the top 10 most-visited women’s websites, posted a series of stories about CFS based on campaign information.
- A Cortlandt Forum article titled “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Finally Gains Respect” focused on what primary care physicians can do to help patients.
Although the public awareness campaign will be winding down later this year, the need to educate people – patients, caregivers, health care professionals, policymakers and the general public – about CFS remains constant. The Association is exploring new ways to build on the campaign’s momentum and keep CFS in the spotlight.
Validating CFS is an important function of the CFIDS Association of America. Help spread the word by donating now.