Mash was pivotal in making Rheumatoid Arthritis Awareness Week (RAAW) 2017 the biggest to date. The profile-raising week, which ran from 19-25 June, is an annual initiative from Mash client, the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society (NRAS). Mash drove coverage in national and lifestyle press, plus 17 regional newspapers.
During RAAW, more than 100,000 people watched NRAS’s #BehindTheSmile video, aimed at educating the public to the invisible illness of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). Often, people living with the disease appear like anyone else on the outside, but the reality is they may be seriously restricted and many are in severe and permanent pain. This is why the theme of RAAW was ‘invisible illness’.
Case studies of people living with RA - one of whom was diagnosed aged just 19 - were key in driving home the reality for many people. It’s clear from NRAS’ own research that many people have not heard of RA and few of those that have understand it.
To support the campaign and to drive press interest during this awareness week, Mash focused on the message that this is an illness affecting over 400,000 people in the UK. Press were invited to an event where they could try on simulation gloves that replicate the condition in the hands, providing a fully immersive experience. From here they could attempt everyday tasks such as sending an email or buttering toast – the likelihood being that someone they know will have RA and struggle in silence.
Ailsa Bosworth, NRAS’ Founder and CEO, said; “I think this year was our best ever RA Awareness Week. The fact that we launched something new every day not only raised more awareness with different audiences, it held people’s attention for the whole week. I have to congratulate our Marketing and Communications team and everyone who contributed for all their hard work, and for achieving a stunning result in reaching many more people than in any previous year, and raising a whole lot of awareness on this misunderstood and invisible disease.”
Stu Campbell-Carran, Managing Partner at Mash, added; “RA is such a debilitating disease and we’re delighted to help raise awareness in any way we can. With so many other charities aiming to drive attention to their causes it is imperative to create a really clear signal, and the Mash team managed to achieve that for NRAS.”
Check out the results: