Nonprofit Tamika and Friends launches pledge campaign to fight cervical cancer

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Tamika and Friends, a nonprofit that raises awareness of cervical cancer and its link to the human papilomavirus (HPV), is managing an integrated campaign urging women to take a pledge to get screened for the disease.

The effort, which will run through Mother's Day, includes a microsite — www.PearlofWisdom.us/Pledge — a Twitter feed, Facebook fan and cause pages and a widget that allows Web users to place a button on their blog or Web site linking to the pledge site.

When consumers pledge, they are required to submit their full name, e-mail address, approximate month of their screening and state of residence. They also have the option to enter up to five friends' e-mail addresses to encourage them to also do so.

Michelle Whitlock, director of the Pearl of Wisdom campaign for Tamika and Friends, said the group will use the e-mail addresses to send out a reminder message before the screening date.

“Once users complete the pledge, they receive a thank you e-mail that gives them an opportunity to opt-in for the Tamika and Friends quarterly newsletter,” she said.

Users also have the option to get more information on speaking to their healthcare provider about the disease. They can also update their Facebook status to say they took the pledge, Tweet about the pledge or join the organization's Facebook groups.

Whitlock said the goal is to garner 4,070 pledges. “This is to equal to the number of women estimated to have died from the disease in the US in 2009,” she explained.

More than 20 women's organizations, including American Medical Women's Association and the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals, are assisting the project by linking to the pledge from their homepages, promoting it in their newsletters or both.

Tamika and Friends is also using PR, blogger outreach and radio tours to promote the drive, which launched January 6.

Users can also purchase a “Pearl of Wisdom,” a pin that acts as a symbol of the fight against cervical cancer. Proceeds go to the US Pearl of Wisdom Campaign Fund.

The Pearl of Wisdom Initiative was started in Europe by the European Cervical Cancer Association, Whitlock said. The US initiative began 12 months ago. January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness Month.

Whitlock said last year's campaign featured a photo contest, to which users could submit pictures of themselves wearing pearls and randomly be chosen to win prizes. Yet, Whitlock said, the pledge is a more interactive strategy.

The organization handled the marketing in-house. Tamika and Friends worked with BB Creative on the microsite.

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