In 2012 the African Palliative Care Association was asked if they would be interested in supporting the launch of ehospice – an online global news platform for palliative care. Right from the beginning APCA was excited about being part of the ehospice project.
Why were we so excited?
Raising awareness of palliative care is one of APCA’s core strategic drivers. It sits at the heart of what we do. And what better way to do this than through reaching out, through a global online news platform like ehospice, to tens of thousands of people with our message?
APCA passionately believes more people need to know about palliative care and ehospice offers a chance to make this happen.
The first 18 months since the launch of ehospice have already seen considerable successes.
Of course, as an organization, APCA has to be looking to reach out to other forms of digital media other than ehospice. To reach out to the billions of people that we think need to know about palliative care we have to be casting our net much wider. That is why we have been partnering with some of our strategic partners to make sure our message is heard.
We are always thinking strategically about the best routes to reach out to our target audiences. So when we wanted to celebrate the African Union’s recent commitment to improving palliative care we went straight to The ONE Campaign with an article.
The ONE Campaign is a ‘campaigning and advocacy organization of more than 3.5 million people taking action to end extreme poverty and preventable disease’. What better way to keep the pressure on all African governments than highlighting the success, and ultimately what still needs to be done, than to raise awareness of palliative care with their members?
Equally, APCA also tries to raise awareness of palliative care in Africa with policy makers and stakeholders outside of Africa. There was a time when this would have been best done by looking to gain access to traditional print media. However, in countries like the UK the rise of online policy blogs has resulted in an entire new forum for policy discussion. At APCA we felt it was important to be part of this discussion.
This is why we went to the widely read ‘Left Foot Forward’ blog with an article that could hopefully provide an interesting and engaging introduction to some of the issues impacting on palliative care provision in Africa.
Through the use of digital media we had an opportunity to reach thousands of the most influential policy makers in British politics.
We also know that once we start engaging in digital media the impact we have can ripple far and wide. To give just one example, when APCA wrote an article for ehospice about the importance of happiness in palliative care, this was then picked up on in The Guardian – the third largest online news source in the world.
As interesting and as well-read our newsletters are, we could never dream of having that big a reach through traditional outlets.
At the heart of all of this is our commitment to the patients and their families. We hope that by raising awareness of palliative care, as effectively as we can, this will have an impact on their lives.
And so our message to partners and other palliative care organizations is clear: use digital media to raise awareness of palliative care.
Leave a Reply