Looking for new ways to market the importance of clinical trial participation? “Try thinking outside the box through grassroot community engagement strategies like the PopUp Star competition,” advises Kevonna Hayes, senior program coordinator at Greater Gift.
“In the past, there have been numerous ways to reach the community about trial participation, but really all that is needed are new, novel ways to engage the community, just as the teams competing in our competition have done,” Hayes says.
PopUp Star is an international competition to raise awareness for the importance of clinical trials at the community level. In late 2017, the public was invited to form teams and design innovative grassroots efforts to raise awareness of the importance of clinical trials in local communities. During a 10-day period in early April, teams competed in Boston, Mass.; Charleston, S.C.; Winston-Salem, N.C.; and Sydney, Australia, engaging more than 1,500 individuals.
“Bringing the clinical trials conversation to people through unique community events serves as a bridge to bring more people to understand and consider clinical research as an option,” says Amanda Wright, executive director of Greater Gift.
Winners of the competition will be announced May 31 at a gala in New York City. The competition has brought together diverse individuals across the clinical research enterprise (and some from other industries) as mentors, judges, and sponsors.
“We have one [mentor] who works in marketing,” Hayes explains. “He has knowledge of clinical research and the importance of trial participation, but he does not necessarily work in clinical research marketing. Although he may not have specifically worked in the field, he still had relevant, valuable knowledge and his expertise in marketing was able to help the team build out stronger marketing for their event. Having the competing teams pair up with individuals in the clinical research industry—and even outside the industry—was an excellent tool in assisting them with their event needs.”
It’s important for professionals in the industry to come together to help the clinical research enterprise better understand what will work and will not work for raising clinical trial awareness in new ways. Hayes adds that ACRP is “really focused on professionals in the research industry. I think that getting them involved and having connections to those professionals will help get more people in the industry to contribute to the competition in various roles (such as mentoring teams, judging events, and sponsors) and spreading the word of PopUp Star. This will be very beneficial to creating more grassroot community events to raise awareness of clinical trials.”
Author: Michael Causey