Let’s Raise Awareness For World Arthritis Day 2011

One of the lesser-known aspects of running a blog is the fact that your email inbox continuously fills up with product pitches and press releases, from any/every company or organization that is the least bit related to arthritis and chronic pain.

I’m not complaining, and I’m definitely not saying that this shouldn’t be done. (I myself have taught some of these same social media marketing techniques in college courses.) While most of what I share here on this blog is a result of my own personal discovery, I’m certainly open to learning about new books, initiatives, awareness campaigns, etc. that I might have not been previously aware of.

So when I received a message a couple of weeks ago, telling me about the Arthritis Foundation’s campaign for World Arthritis Day 2011, I was…quite frankly…disappointed. If you’re not already familiar with the details of this World Arthritis Day campaign, here’s how it works: if on that day you go get a message or facial at any one of the participating locations of a nation-wide massage company that will remain unnamed in this post, then $10 will be donated to the Arthritis Foundation. This is being billed as “A Joint Effort to Fight Arthritis Pain.” (You can read more about it here.) If you want to pitch a product/service, do so…but don’t try to pass it off as something that it’s not.

Okay, I admit, at least there’s a fundraising component…but where’s the part where we try to inform people what RA is all about? Where’s the part where we use this day and the attention it attracts to educate people about all of the different types of arthritis?

Is this the awareness campaign that so many of us who are living with rheumatoid arthritis deserve? In my opinion, no.

As opposed to just ending this ‘rant’ here, I’m going to propose a solution that might actually serve to raise awareness of Rheumatoid Arthritis leading up to this coming World Arthritis Day…and it won’t even cost you a cent! This is all you need to do: share RA Guy’s 60-Second Guide to RA with as many people you know – friends, family, and coworkers. If you’re not already familiar with this resource, it really does only take a minute to read, and it provides a comprehensive explanation that doesn’t require a medical degree to understand. Oh, and there are also a few hand-drawn comic book images that you might enjoy.

Together, all of us can continue to raise awareness about Rheumatoid Arthritis!

Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy’s 60-Second Guide to RA
English: www.rheumatoidarthritisguy.com/60-second-guide-to-ra/
Spanish: http://www.rheumatoidarthritisguy.com/60-second-guide-to-ra/es/

World Arthritis Day takes place on October 12. For more information, please visit: http://www.worldarthritisday.org/.

Stay tuned…for the next adventure of Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy!

4 Comments
4 comments
  1. Thrive with RA™ says:

    When it comes to promoting anything, whether it be for awareness, a product or business, legitimacy and credibility are important; however, so is repetition for retention. This is why a press/media release is considered a more reliable source than a paid ad – it’s news, and not bought and paid for.

    In regards to advancing awareness of something so deeply personal as chronic illness and disease – in particular, Rheumatoid Arthritis, time is of the essence, as lives are on the line. It’s not like someone waiting for their movie to arrive in the mailbox is going to be in dire pain if the delivery is lost; with RA, if our meds that we depend on for quality of life are lost, the circumstances are much more serious. Is this important news, worthy of a media release or news story that warrants attention? Yes, it is. The meds that I speak of are for many RA-ers: Chemotherapy.

    Targeting your audience is also helpful in strategically spreading awareness. Case in point: I have tactfully used the facts about RA patients using Methotrexate – Chemotherapy – as a method of helping spread awareness worldwide through the scary reality that Chemo represents, to direct much-needed attention, in hope of further funding for RA research and to secure a cure. The response I have received already has been astounding – so many people had NO IDEA that RA patients utilized Chemo. I even had a friend who was diagnosed with Breast Cancer last week tell me how shocked she was to find out this information. I wanted to thank you again RA Guy for promoting this article, “I Don’t Have Cancer, but I’m a Chemo Patient,” as it was indeed an RA awareness campaign.

    Quality information is needed to get the word out effectively; even in small increments, every bit helps. When coupled with frequency, exponentially propagating around the world, it is just a matter of time before results will be measured. Whether it is through RA patient blogs, World Arthritis Day, Rheumatoid Arthritis Awareness Month, Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy’s 60-Second Guide to RA – which I happen to direct people to for a more fun approach for RA Awareness – the Worldwide Rheumatoid Arthritis Awareness Campaign at ThriveWithRA.org, or any other advocacy for RA awareness endeavor choosing to share the truth, our efforts will be worth every minute spent.

  2. Deb aka murphthesurf says:

    Well, unfortunately it is arthritis day and not ra day. We need our very own organization for just ra as there are over 100 types of arthritis and we get lost in the shuffle. And I am not so sure about you but me and massages have not gone well together at all since getting ra. I found it funny that a massage was the way to raise money but then I was figuring maybe those with the other 99 types might be willing to give it a try. I keep telling myself that one day I am going to try it again…one day. And maybe one day we will have our very own organization to raise awareness, research dollars specifically targeted for ra, and an organization that will have resources geared specifically for us. As much as I appreciate the arthritis foundation I have yet to find the support I needed in the 13 years of my ra. I have used your 60 second guide many a time and will continue to use it…thank you for getting the word out there.

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