A couple of years ago, cancer fundraiser, Nick Locke talked with the Signals team about the branding needs of a fledging Canadian not-for-profit with a big goal: to help reduce the cancer burden in resource-challenged countries and reduce the suffering of people with cancer in these countries.
Over the past few years, Signals has done lots of work in cancer control in Canada and we’re proud of the impact we’ve made. But the reality is that three quarters of the world’s cancer burden remains in the developing world. So our interest was piqued.
Headed by Canadian cancer expert, Simon Sutcliffe and supported entirely by a dedicated team of volunteers, this not-for-profit is the Canadian branch of a group called the International Network for Cancer Treatment and Research (INCTR)… a name that doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue or connect with the intended audience: donors.
Through the Signals Brand DNA process we renamed the organization: Two Worlds Cancer Collaboration, which reflects the fact that there are currently two worlds in cancer control — one with resources and one without. A visual brand, fundraising materials and a website followed. The new site, which recently launched, features the work of yet another volunteer, photographer, Chuck Russell who created a series of photo essays that communicate the desperate need.
We continue to support Two Worlds Cancer Collaboration and encourage you to find out more about the organization.
Click here to find out how you can donate or get involved with Two Worlds.
A huge thank you to everyone who came out on Nov 29th to Vancouver’s third Health Care + Social Media (or #hcsmca) Tweetup at the W2 Media Café! We had a great turnout as over 60 people came out to eat, drink and connect with others engaged in the healthcare + social media world in BC.
In case you didn’t know: a tweetup is an offline meetup of people that know each online through Twitter. Our tweetup was a group of people who work in healthcare and social media in BC. After polling the audience I was surprised to learn that this was almost everyone’s FIRST tweetup, that about 10 people didn’t even have a twitter account, and that one person even traveled from Victoria to join us for the evening (thanks Fiona!)
I played MC for the structured part of the evening, which featured Dr. Mark Gilbert, from the Online Sexual Health Services Team at the BC Centre for Disease Control as our invited speaker. He gave a presentation on some of the work he’s doing building BC’s Online Sexual Health Services. Some of these initiatives include: inSPOT, Smart Sex BC, and Get Checked BC. You can learn more about all three of these on the BCCDC’s blog: bclovebytes.wordpress.com. You should also read this blog post where he reflects on attending his first tweetup.
After Mark’s talk we opened up the floor for attendees to pitch campaigns or projects they’re working on. Some of these projects included:
- @IDN_YVR | itsdifferentnow.org
- @StVBC | stoptheviolencebc.org
- @aidanbox | aidanbox.com
- #pesticidefreebc | cancergameplan.ca
- @healthworksbc | gallanthealthworks.com
- @CIHR_CTN | hivnet.ubc.ca
- @datingconf | datingconfidential.ca
- @bcpsqc | bcpsqc.ca
- @powertopush | powertopush.ca
I highly recommend you check them out!
We spent the rest of the evening chatting about success stories, challenges and case studies around the implementation of social media in health care.
It’s been really inspiring for me to watch and help the health care and social media community in Vancouver thrive this past year (both online and offline). I really look forward to continuing this growth and supporting this community in the New Year! Stay tuned for updates on how we’re going to take things to the next level.
This tweetup was part of a series of meetups organized across Canada during the month of November. Tweetups from Halifax to Calgary happened earlier in the month month, but I think we can say Vancouver’s was the best attended! A big shoutout to Colleen for suggesting this November meetup. She’s really done an incredible job of building and connecting a pan-Canadian #hcsmca community. If you’re interested in getting involved, please join us on Twitter every Wednesday at 10AM PST for the weekly #hcsmca tweetchat. Here are some of the things we talk about.
One last thing: please join me in high-fiving the rest of Vancouver’s healthcare + social media tweetup planning committee: a volunteer group of tweeps who live, breathe social media + health care in B.C. The committee included Daniel Hooker, Sean Cranbury, Janet Madsen, Ajay Masala Puri, Amy Tran and myself. And a big thank you to the Canadian Inter-professional Health Collaborative and Signals Design Group for sponsoring the the evening.
Some photos tweeted during the night:
Recognized globally, World AIDS Day is an opportunity for people and organizations around the world to unite in the fight against HIV and AIDS. It’s an important day for Signals because for more than 20 years we’ve worked hand-in-hand with a number of incredible organizations and initiatives that are deeply involved in Canada’s response to HIV and AIDS. Today we reflect on some of that work…
In the early 90’s, near the beginning of the Canadian response to HIV, we branded the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS and the Canadian HIV Trials Network. In 1996, we did the conference branding and were the Agency of Record at the XI International Conference on AIDS in Vancouver. This conference brand featured the work of local artist, advocate, and Signals’ friend, Joe Average.
We branded the Canadian Association for HIV Research 2000 and in 2009 we helped them roll into the digital age with a website and new look and feel. We continue to work with them every year in a support capacity to help display the work and presentations coming out of annual CAHR Canadian Conference on HIV/AIDS.
In 2006, we developed conference branding, a communications and marketing strategy, website and all conference publications at the 17th International Conference on the Reduction of Drug-Related Harm held that year in Vancouver.
And in 2007, we branded the Canada-Africa Prevention Trials (CAPT) Network, a network formed in partnership with HIV researchers and governments in Uganda and South Africa to expand life-saving HIV clinical trial activities beyond Canada.
Today as we reflect on the work we’ve done in this field, we also take a moment to remember our close friends who we’ve lost to this disease, and continue to honour our friends, clients and colleagues working collectively towards an HIV and AIDS free world.
Sometimes I think Canadians do get the importance of “science branding” better than Americans. Here’s a very good blog post on the subject in the US. “When laypeople don’t know or care enough about what scientists are doing with that money, they don’t notice or care when scientists are suddenly prevented from doing it.” Amen.
The PROOF Centre relies on Signals for ongoing strategic advice about their communications. This year, instead of a printed annual report, Signals recommended taking the report online. We made this recommendation because of the PROOF Cente’s very Internet-saavy audience base, spread all over the world. We also knew we could track analytics on page views and video plays to gather some hard statistics about who the report was reaching.
The other great thing about this online strategy was that it allowed the PROOF Centre to offer several levels of information, giving their readers the opportunity to engage with the report according to their interests. Unlike a traditional print report, this unique online version allowed us to incorporate a variety of engaging content including custom illustrations, video messages from key stakeholders and a scrollable timeline to detail their history. The result was an interactive, friendly and shareable annual report that highlights the PROOF Centre’s achievements to date and sets the stage for the year ahead.