Everyone associates moustaches with fundraising for mens’ health, but few know how the money helps. We wrote a series of articles that reveal Movember’s real purpose.
The Movember Foundation is a globally recognised not-for-profit (operating across 21 countries) set up to raise money and awareness for men’s health – particularly prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health. The charity is best known for its annual campaign where men are urged to grow a moustache for the month of November – with the aim to start conversations around men’s overall health.
The challenge for the Foundation was that it wanted to shift its attention from survival rates to men’s quality of life. This meant developing a bank of stories that focus on the issues and difficulties that affect a man’s quality of life with prostate and testicular cancer. The aim was to highlight the range of activities – and their impacts – being implemented by the Movember Foundation. An additional challenge was to be able to tell local stories across a global market where clear cultural differences existed.
The Foundation wanted to target existing and prospective fundraisers and donors to show the value of a number of key initiatives dedicated to improving the quality of life of men with prostate and testicular cancer.
It’s difficult to talk about highly sensitive personal issues that typically result from a prostate cancer diagnosis – they include urinary and bowel incontinence, and sexual dysfunction. There’s also a range of emotional challenges with testicular cancer. These stories had to be brought to life in a sensitive and respectful manner, while at the same time remaining aligned with the Movember Foundation campaign – which puts its efforts into the ‘fun’ challenge of encouraging participants to grow mos and whiskers each year.
Written & Recorded created 10 long-form feature articles that emphasised the biggest concerns for men following prostate and testicular cancer treatment. They also highlighted the ground-breaking programs that helped them to lead happier lives.
Before putting pen to paper, we interviewed members of the Movember Foundation leadership team. Based on that fact-finding mission we created a content plan and strategy, which we then reviewed regularly during our weekly progress catch-ups with the Foundation.
We then researched and identified talent across the globe, and matched complimentary voices to express men’s universally shared experiences. We conducted over 30 interviews across the USA, Canada, UK and Australia to capture the first-hand experiences of men and their families. We also interviewed medical experts, from urologists and sexual health therapists to psychologists and clinical nurses.
Through this process we brought to life subjects that could be considered embarrassing, awkward or taboo. This was done with exemplary reporting skills – patience, the ability to build trust and interviewing with compassion. For instance, in the case of Dean’s story the article began light-heartedly to lure readers in by making a challenging topic very relatable. Dean is genuine, honest and disarming and guides the reader into the main message of the article, which is about the Movember Foundation’s work in sexual health.
On completion of the features we also gave advice and guidance to the Global PR team about using the articles on social media and pitching these stories to the media and other third-party outlets.
These articles were published on the Movember Foundation website, its EDM and through its internal communications channels. Additionally, the articles were pitched to media outlets in the USA, UK, Canada and Australia. It was the first time an audience of fundraisers and donors were able to clearly see where the money they help raise goes.
Additionally, our reporting process unearthed some constraints around documenting the results and findings from programs. This helped the Movember Foundation to take steps into creating a database of research findings that can be used in future storytelling efforts.