Well, firstly I would like to welcome you to my shiny new website! It is a very sentimental time for me, as two years ago, I was persuaded to create an internet presence. I was told it would be a good thing. That piece of advice became another life changing event, as I entered the uncharted waters of the Internet. Today, we are communicating around the world, and demand has increased to such a level, that the old platform could no longer do what was required of it. My thanks go to Christina, and her team, who now sponsor my cancer support work, and have enabled me to expand my reach, and help me with my many technical needs! I hope you enjoy the new format.
I have spoken frequently about how subject matter for my writing seems to appear as if by magic. This week I was slightly concerned, nothing had really stood out, as particularly interesting. I needn’t have worried, because yesterday, my Twitter feed went into meltdown with people talking about the ‘check ’em Tuesday campaign,’ being run by the Sun newspaper. Lot’s of semi naked ‘celebrities plastered all over the paper, (alongside some actual case studies) encouraging people to check their breasts. This story was inspired by Kris Hallenga who started the charity Coppafeel!
In my opinion it is a fantastic coup by Kris and her team, to get a national newspaper on board with her charity, and it has no doubt raised awareness of certain issues. But there is an argument raging, whether this is the right way of doing things.
This campaign has followed quickly, the advertising done by the Pancreatic Cancer Action charity featuring an advert by a young lady saying that she wished she had breast cancer. A lot of criticism was received when this message was published too.
So my questions are, where will this take us? Is all publicity good publicity? Should we be grateful that cancer is now seen as a socially acceptable subject to put on the front of our national papers? Can we pick and choose about what we want people to be aware of, if we are raising awareness?
My feeling is that like in society generally, our boundaries are moving. What we are starting to accept now, would be totally unacceptable, a few years ago.Today, there are so many mediums of communication, which are constantly filled with messages. To get yours heard, it has to be more controversial, than the last one. This seems to be the way that cancer awareness is going too.I guess it has to,or it won’t get noticed?
We have come a long way from talking about ‘the big c’ quietly in corners, and rarely in public. I often wonder if we have come too far, and people will hear so much about cancer that they will become bored, and then the message will be ineffectual. All our mediums are full of people talking about their own experiences, myself included! For me it is my passion, but I also understand, that others may not feel the same.
When I started my work in the cancer sector, approximately 6 years ago, I wanted it kept quiet, and raised funds anonymously.But slowly people convinced me, that I should tell people what I do, so they could join. I did, and people do! As I have spread the word, so more people have got involved. According to everyone around me, this is good! I do get that, but it still feels slightly unnatural. I guess people can’t help if they don’t know what you are doing.
I would like to finalise this post with my personal views on both campaigns, then open up to your thoughts. I think CoppaFeel themselves have got a massive amount of publicity, which is good for them. It feels a very tacky campaign, and with so many ‘celebs’ finding another excuse to take their clothes off, doesn’t do breast cancer any favours. The pancreatic campaign was brave. I can see what they are trying to do, and I guess by the fact that we are talking about it, have succeeded.
Feel free to check out the video and see what you think! (Some semi naked ladies in it, for those who may be offended!)
Where do we go from here though? It would be great to get your opinion on these issues.