These days, there’s a lot of conversation on the evils of social media. If you don’t mind, indulge me while I shift the conversation. There are benefits of social media: one such benefit is that it has the power to do good. It can save lives.
It’s October, and that means in addition to the foliage colors, you’ll likely see a lot of Pink Ribbons supporting Breast Cancer Awarenessmonth. Chances are you’ll also see any number of Public Service Announcements (PSAs) promoting the importance of mammograms. Well, I guess, here’s one more. I’m not going to tell you why you should get a mammogram—or why you should encourage a loved one to do so—because you should! There are doctors and healthcare professionals who can explain that. What I will tell you, however, from my little corner of the media world, is that if you book one today and share it on social media, you’ll be helping yourself and others.
Corporate Support—Pay it Forward
Countless companies align themselves with causes they, and communities they serve, value. Meredith Corporation (spoiler alert: Meredith is the parent company of MNI Targeted Media), the leading media and marketing company that serves 175 million unduplicated American women and 80 percent of U.S. millennial women, is deeply committed to wellness. Meredith is using its unique reach to share the importance of breast cancer screening and, in coordination with Women@Meredith, is donating $5 to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation for every mammogram appointment made between October 4–29. Which means that by taking care of yourself, you’ll also be taking care of others.
Book your appointment, share it on social media by adding hashtag #BookedMyScreening, and W@M will donate $5 to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
What is a mammogram?
In the simplest of terms, a mammogram is a safe and reasonably accurate x-ray of the breast. It, in addition to monthly self-exams are an excellent way to look for early signs of breast cancer. Regular mammograms are among the best tests doctors have to find breast cancer early.
Why Mammograms Matter
Myth: No one in my family has had breast cancer, so I’m safe.
Truth: About 8 out of 10 breast cancers are diagnoses in women with no family history.
Myth: I’m too young.
Truth: Maybe yes, maybe no. Ask your doctor.
Myth: They are too expensive.
Truth: There are free alternatives, especially in October. Find free or low-cost breast cancer screenings near you.
Myth: Mammograms hurt.
Truth: They're awkward. Truth be told, from my perspective they are pretty uncomfortable, but hey, I can suck it up for the seconds it takes the technician to do their job.
Make Some Noise
Social media is an attention grabber. It’s how cute t-shirts are sold, how trends start, and how public awareness about health priorities can be raised. Think about how celebrities and brands alike are using their feeds so share the importance of getting a COVID-19 vaccine. These same tools can and should be used to promote mammograms. Just as vaccinations help offset the severity of COVID-19, mammograms are probably the most important tool doctors have not only to screen for breast cancer in addition to helping diagnose, evaluate, and follow up with people who’ve had breast cancer.
Five Social Media Tactics to Share Important Healthcare Messaging, Raise Awareness, and Raise Funds
Share time-sensitive posts—including Meredith’s campaign—on Instagram and include important links in your bio.
Think of Twitter as a place to share important wellness information and breaking news.
Use Facebook to share reminders and to promote easy ways to schedule appointments.
Leverage LinkedIn to talk to professionals and build community on important messaging.
Share videos that educate across platforms.
What YOU Can Do: #BookedMyScreening
Book your appointment–NOW–and when you do, remember to add the hashtag #BookedMyScreening. Beyond that, wear a pink ribbon, buddy up with a friend for an appointment together, share stats, and check in on the wellness and mental space of friends and families impacted by breast cancer to see how they’re doing.
While this may be Breast Cancer Awareness month, remember, this is just a moment to remind you to take care year-round.
About the Author Vicki Brakl is the Co-Chair of Women@Meredith, an employee resource group at Meredith Corporation providing an open, supportive, and educational forum that inspires frank conversation, diverse ideas, and action-oriented solutions on a wide variety of issues affecting women in the workplace, at home, and in their everyday lives. Vicki is also the SVP of Marketing & Training for MNI Targeted Media, a Meredith company—leading client strategy and B2B marketing. A mother of three humans and two dogs, you’ll rarely find her sitting still; Breast Cancer Awareness month hits close to home as her mother is a 30-year survivor. Get those screenings, people!