Cancer Council Australia

Annual Review 2015-2016

Working with the media

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As a leading independent health organisation, Cancer Council Australia prides itself on being a source of credible and up-to-date information and cancer expertise for the Australian media.

Through media releases, press conferences and interviews, we disseminate information regarding the latest cancer research and trends, recommendations for cancer control, awareness campaigns and our advocacy efforts. Cancer Council Australia also responds to hundreds of requests for information and interviews from media outlets each year.

In 2015-16, our communications team received more than 450 media enquiries, across a wide range of topics such as cancer screening, tobacco policy, red meat and cancer risk, gene patenting legislation and cancer causes.

We also produced and disseminated 16 media releases and developed a wide range of information, events and resources for media.

The following sections outline the results of high profile media activity in 2015-16.


National Skin Cancer Action Week

Each year in November, Cancer Council Australia joins forces with the Australasian College of Dermatologists to promote skin cancer prevention and awareness.

In 2015, our National Skin Cancer Action Week theme was ‘UV. It all adds up’. This theme tied in with a new TV campaign commencing in Victoria and Western Australia and sought to expand awareness about the need for sun protection from beach settings to everyday life.

To educate Australians about accidental UV damage, we worked with Cancer Council Victoria to release new data from the National Sun Protection Survey. The research showed that one in two Australian sunburns occur while doing everyday activities – like gardening or chores around the house.

As well as a media release and audio grabs, TV interview opportunities focusing on this new data were arranged with Professor Stephen Shumack from the Australasian College of Dermatology and Craig Sinclair, Chair of Cancer Council Australia’s Public Health Committee, alongside a skin cancer survivor.

In total, National Skin Cancer Action Week activity generated over 90 news stories.

To support the week-long campaign, we also developed a range of materials for social media reinforcing the tendency for Australians to get accidental UV damage - including skin cancer case studies, videos, blogs, infographics and Facebook and Twitter images.


One in three cancer cases can be prevented

In October 2015 Cancer Council Australia launched the results of an Australian-first study into the number of cancer cases linked to preventable lifestyle factors. Using this data, we encouraged Australians to make simple lifestyle changes to reduce their cancer risk.

The study, funded by Cancer Council Australia and conducted by QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, was published as a series of 14 articles in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health and showed that 37,000 cancer cases each year can be prevented.

To launch the research, Cancer Council arranged a press conference in a fitness centre in Sydney, with Professor Sanchia Aranda, CEO of Cancer Council Australia and Professor David Whiteman, lead researcher acting as key spokespeople. Case studies were also available for interview.

The research and key messages around cancer prevention were covered across a wide range of Australian newspapers. As well as coverage across more than 30 radio networks, TV coverage appeared on Channel 7, SBS and Prime, as well as The Project on Channel10.

We supported this media activity through a range of digital materials highlighting our cancer prevention messages, including videos, infographics and social media content.


Vitamin D and sun protection – getting the balance right

In January 2016 Cancer Council Australia joined forces with The Australian College of Dermatologists, The Australia and New Zealand Bone and Mineral Society, The Endocrine Society of Australia and Osteoporosis Australia, to publish new recommendations on balancing the risks and benefits of sun exposure.

The new recommendations sought to clear up public confusion by providing clear guidance to Australians on how they can get enough vitamin D, without putting themselves at risk of skin cancer.

To highlight the new recommendations and reinforce the importance of skin cancer prevention, Cancer Council Australia arranged a press conference in Melbourne with key representatives from each organisation, alongside a skin cancer case study. New data from the National Sun Protection Survey showing a trend of adults adjusting their sun protection to get more Vitamin D was also released.

The release of our new position statement generated over 100 media items across a wide range of media outlets, including TV news, Sunday newspapers and radio outlets.

Our key messages around getting Vitamin D in winter and using sun protection when UV is 3 or above were supported with infographics for social media.


World Cancer Day

Each year Cancer Council Australia plays a key role in the promotion of World Cancer Day, a global awareness event coordinated by the Union for International Cancer Control.

In 2016, the international theme was ‘We Can. I Can’ and focused on the things that individuals and groups can do to reduce the cancer burden. As well as being a member of the international communications advisory committee, Cancer Council Australia plays a key role in promoting the event in Australia.

On World Cancer Day, Cancer Council Australia released a new estimate identifying that more than 1.1 million Australians were living with cancer or were cancer survivors. This new information was used to drive media coverage around increased survival rates, the need for cancer support and importance of early detection.

Media coverage generated by Cancer Council Australia included TV coverage on the Daily Edition (Channel 7) and ABC News Breakfast – as well as several radio stations across the country.

World Cancer Day was also heavily promoted via social media with a suite of content, including social cover images, infographics, case studies, videos and photos shared throughout our network and by our celebrity ambassadors.


This page was last updated on: Friday, October 21, 2016