In 2018, Alexander PR assisted Ruth Davy, executive officer of the Gut Cancer Foundation, with the charity’s efforts to raise awareness around gut cancers, the deadliest group of cancers in New Zealand. This cancer epidemic sees 5,250 people diagnosed in New Zealand annually; half die from the disease within five years. Despite its prevalence, this cancer group, which includes stomach, liver, bowel, pancreas, and oesophagus, is highly underfunded and under-represented in public forums such as media, particularly in comparison with breast and prostate cancers.
Alexander PR worked closely with the charity to leverage its LoveYerGuts campaign through media engagement, ambassador activities, research announcements, content creation, social media and patient case studies. APR was briefed to communicate to Kiwis the different forms of gut cancers, raise awareness of symptoms, and get the conversation going around a type of cancer that is little discussed. The PR strategy was formed in the lead-up to #NationalCrunchDay on 31 May, the final day of the LoveYerGuts campaign, for which APR organised a secret flash mob where individuals and community groups raised funds for the cause by doing 50 (or more) gut crunches in five minutes at Botany Town Centre. APR filmed the event, and the video was syndicated to local media and social media channels.
The LoveYerGuts campaign garnered national media coverage through TV, radio, online and print media. Ruth Davy was interviewed by the AM Show, Newstalk ZB Christchurch, The Café, and Newshub for the 6pm news. Two case study subjects were interviewed and published in double-page spreads for NZ Women’s Weekly magazine. Local print media, including Botany and Ormiston Times and Waitomo News, published stories on local groups getting involved in the campaign. The secret flash mob on #NationalCrunchDay had a great turnout; a varied group of ‘crunchers’ including Counties Manukau Police, Dannemora Gardens Retirement Village, Starjam, Lloyd Elsmore Fitness Centre and Botany Town Centre retailers showed up on the day to surprise passing shoppers and support the cause. Overall, the amount of media coverage garnered was worth $352,550, and the LoveYerGuts campaign was a resounding success.