Every Breath Counts Campaign

A comms programme fuelled by innovative social-media content contributed to the success of the first global forum on childhood pneumonia, which took place in Barcelona last month

Engine | MHP were tasked with promoting the forum – the first by the Every Breath Counts coalition, which counts the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Unicef among its 40 members.

Big challenge
The brief was to drive key stakeholder interest and visible engagement, as well as getting childhood pneumonia back on the global health agenda.

Core messages were that childhood pneumonia is the world’s biggest infectious disease killer of children – claiming more than 800,000 lives annually – yet can easily be treated with antibiotics.

The campaign also sought to highlight the fact that tens of millions of children are still unvaccinated, and one in three with symptoms do not receive essential medical care.

The campaign ran from World Pneumonia Day (12 November 2019) through to the Forum in January, and will include post-event posting and monitoring until the end of this month.

Target groups
There were two main audiences: the several hundred people who attended the Forum, ranging from government ministers to corporate and philanthropic leaders; and the wider community of health professionals and others with an interest in childhood pneumonia.

The Forum aimed to elicit specific pledges of action from governments and international development agencies in support of the coalition’s goal of ending preventable child pneumonia deaths by 2030, including financial support for vaccination programmes.

Socially led
Digital and social channels were key to enabling greater global outreach and increasing engagement with this campaign.

To highlight the shocking mortality statistics on childhood pneumonia around the world, Engine|MHP and digital partners Groovy Gecko created a 24-hour Twitter livestream from the coalition’s Twitter account throughout World Pneumonia Day.

This featured a real-time counter that increased by one every 39 seconds – the frequency at which children globally are dying from the disease.

All Twitter content was distributed using the Stop Pneumonia handle, with an online hub for all information and resources related to the forum.

Twitter and LinkedIn were used to drive awareness of the event and Engine|MHP’s team produced 23 interviews as a resource for social-media use. One example of these was a message from Nigerian DJ Cuppy that was viewed more than 2,000 times.

The Forum was livestreamed to the Every Breath Counts YouTube channel, and Eventmobi was used to create a conference mobile app. This linked to partner and speaker Twitter handles and sent push reminders to encourage guests to tweet throughout the Forum.

The campaign hashtags #StopPneumonia #FightingForBreath and #EveryBreathCounts have been used more than 14,000 times on social media since November – an increase of more than 1,000 per cent on the preceding four-month period.

During the three days of the Forum alone, between 29 and 31 January, there were 5,630 uses of #StopPneumonia, of which almost 1,000 were original tweets. Tweets from the Every Breath Counts Twitter handle generated 271,200 earned impressions during the event.

Awareness of childhood pneumonia and engagement with the campaign, followed by a commitment to act, were the primary metrics used.

The Forum’s aims – centred on people taking action – were achieved. More than 150 attendees, representing health ministries and organisations, signed the Forum’s action statement, committing their organisations to ending preventable child pneumonia deaths by 2030.

The Indonesian government committed to introduce pneumonia vaccinations as part of routine immunisation for children under five, which will massively increase coverage in one of the highest-burden countries.

Health ministers from 14 African and Asian countries were among those who attended the Forum, while high-profile stakeholders and policy influencers who engaged with it ranged from Helen Clark, former Prime Minister of New Zealand, to Professor Senait Fisseha, chief advisor to the World Health Organization’s director-general.

Agency view

Arabella Moore, director, health, at Engine | MHP, said: “MHP Health is increasingly focusing on the broader global public health agenda, so we were proud to work on this vitally important initiative, which will change the lives of hundreds of thousands of children around the world.”

She added: “Our content campaign, coupled with an effective engagement programme among the high-profile attendees at the Forum itself, has achieved a huge uplift in the profile of the Stop Pneumonia campaign – and secured a fantastic commitment from the international community to end preventable child pneumonia deaths in the next 10 years.”

This was originally posted on PR Week