In today's rapidly changing business environment, social media is no longer an "extra" -- it is an
essential part of any effective communications plan. That's one of the reasons why the Cancer
Support Community (CSC), an international non-profit dedicated to providing support, education
and hope to people impacted by cancer, turned to The Boreland Group for assistance when it
released its inaugural "Breast Cancer M.A.P. (Mind Affects the Physical) Index."
Prior to releasing this report, which generated ground-breaking insights into the social and
emotional experiences and needs of breast cancer survivors, CSC had not pursued social media
on a proactive basis. Utilizing this important global visibility tool would allow the non-profit to
garner additional exposure for the organization and its work, while engaging the public
(particularly breast cancer survivors and their families and friends) in an active dialogue, a
primary objective of social media.
In addition to working closely with CSC's report partners to lead and coordinate a successful,
comprehensive media relations campaign that placed the study findings in an array of high-
profile newspapers, magazines and broadcast venues, The Boreland Group (TBG) also
launched an integrated social media program on the organization's behalf.
To achieve the goal of launching CSC's new Index into the social media realm, the agency:
Thoroughly researched the social media vehicles that would raise the visibility of the
report including specialized groups on LinkedIn and Facebook such as the Young
Survival Coalition, Breast Cancer Survivors & Friends and Pink Ribbon.
Regularly posted updates on social media, from the press release announcing the study
findings to influential media pick-ups such as a segment on CBS News, where CSC's
CEO Kim Thiboldeaux was interviewed, and a feature story in the Wall Street Journal.
Used careful and vetted wording to engage participants, a critical success element.
TBG's social media campaign had a substantive impact on the visibility - and reach - of the
study. The findings were shared broadly with the CSC's core audience, who forwarded,
downloaded and reacted to its content. Thanks to the interactive aspect of social media, the
CSC was able to view and respond to those impacted by the study findings in real time. Here is
"Watched CBS News broadcast! Well done." -- respondent on LinkedIn's Young Survival
"A lot of survivorship issues discussed in the press have to do with survivorship
plans…but what I see everyday in my practice is that the biggest challenges for survivors
are getting back to the same problems and issues they were facing in the life before
cancer."-- healthcare professional on LinkedIn's Breast Cancer Survivors & Friends group
"The problem is there is little or no revenue stream for the docs after treatment is over so
it's hard for them to embrace this after cancer care. My hope -they will be comfortable
handing off their patients to organizations like ours who can offer the services these
patients need." -- seen on LinkedIn's Breast Cancer Survivors & Friends group
"I'm a breast cancer survivor from the Netherlands, can I participate in this research?" --
posted on LinkedIn's Pink Ribbon group (she was then registered for the study)
A woman from Australia shared the report findings with her Facebook group and website,
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The Boreland Group creates and implements performance-driven public relations programs that deliver results.
Cancer Support Community
Second Case History
Case Study: Cancer Support Community / Using Social Media to Gain Virtual
World Traction & Engagement
Through a proactive and thoughtful social media campaign, information about the Index and its
findings educated and informed - and in some instances, brought to action - the organization's
U.S. Naval Institute
Major N.Y. City