At the beginning of 2011 Butterfly Thyroid Cancer Trust decided to host the first ever Thyroid Cancer Awareness Campaign in the UK: ‘Neck Check 2011’. The main objective was to raise awareness of this rare disease which is now one of the fastest increasing cancers globally. Various methods were to be utilised:
- Production of promotional video for TV
- Advertising campaign involving TV, Radio and Press
- Development of dedicated Micro site
- Production of promotional goods
- Information leaflets
- Banners, posters, power flags, and tee shirts
I am pleased to report that all elements came to fruition. A promotional wall was produced for use on Neck Check day in the largest shopping mall in Europe along with power flags, pull up banners and balloons. 3,000 information leaflets were disseminated in the mall, hospitals and GP surgeries. Everyone involved wore a Neck Check tee shirt.
We hoped that due to a robust advertising campaign involving TV, radio and the press that we would have a good response from the public on Neck Check day, 24 September 2011, but none of us were prepared for the phenomenal response that occurred.
At eight in the morning a queue began to form in the mall and by 9 am this was 300 deep. This was the case at all times throughout the day and people waited on average 90 minutes to have their neck examined by one of the 12 leading thyroid cancer clinicians who worked voluntarily until 5 pm.
A massive 1,000 necks were checked and 40 people were identified as requiring referral for further investigations such as ultrasound and biopsy.
A one-off fast track clinic was set up for these people in order that they could be seen within two weeks. We are still following their progress through the diagnostic process though many of those referred are not in our region.
We can safely conclude that our campaign was a massive success and that our objective was attained. Calls to the dedicated help line increased fourfold.
The video was viewed on YouTube four times more than the US campaign video which is amazing considering the difference in population size.
Please enjoy the photographs from the event!
Neck Check Day, 24 September 2011
CEO, Butterfly Thyroid Cancer Trust
President, Thyroid Cancer Alliance