How VCU Cancer Center Used Napkins to Promote Mammography

August 5, 2022

A message on a pink napkin delivered with your food truck order highlights convenience for workers in downtown Richmond.

// By Althea Fung //

Althea FungAbout one in eight women will develop invasive breast cancer in her lifetime. Studies have found that having screening mammography reduces breast cancer mortality by 40 percent in women of average risk between the ages of 40 and 74. But certain factors — such as the radiologist’s experience reading mammograms — can increase the risk of false-positive results. So where you get your mammogram matters.

That’s a point VCU Health’s Massey Cancer Center wanted to drive home during its 2017 “Where You Have Your Mammo Matters” campaign. The campaign was designed to increase awareness of breast cancer and the benefits of receiving care at a National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center.

Cynthia Schmidt, director of marketing, VCU Health

Cynthia Schmidt, director of marketing, VCU Health

“In some consumers’ eyes, breast cancer is not as scary as other cancers. So when it comes to mammograms, some people say, ‘What’s the difference? I’m just going to get it done anywhere,'” says Cynthia Schmidt, director of marketing at VCU Health. “We wanted people to understand that it’s important to think about who’s doing your mammo. You want to have experts with the expertise and research helping you on your journey should something be found.”

At the campaign launch, Schmidt’s team deployed traditional and digital media tactics, including billboards, radio and TV spots, and digital ads. But looking outside her office windows, she saw an untapped audience.

Sometimes you have to look outside to see what’s right in front of you.

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