Yesterday, 13 October 2011, was a big day in Canberra.
It was the day hundreds of people from around Australia joined up to Fight Dementia.
Led by Alzheimer’s Australia, this is an ambitious national push that we’re very proud to be part of, providing campaign leadership and continuing support through an innovative pro-bono consultancy model.
Fight Dementia began with a good-ol’ fashioned rally at Parliament House led by Alzheimer’s Australia president, Ita Buttrose – who acknowledged yesterday that until that time she had never participated in a protest march (her exact words: “I was a protest march virgin”).
Fight Dementia asks the Commonwealth to re-invest $500 million over five years in information, research and infrastructure to support what is described as “the 21st century epidemic”.
Dementia activists heard from Ita Buttrose; Alzheimer’s Australia CEO, Glenn Rees; Federal Minister for Mental Health and Ageing, Mark Butler; Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells and Sharon Grierson – the Co-Convenor of Parliamentary Friends of Dementia – who spoke to a crowd of carers, health professionals, MPs and their staff.
This was my first-ever march, it was also my first Ita Buttrose encounter; a great moment.
I love working for causes; it’s what I get most passionate about, and this one took the cake. The best for me and other Porter Noveli Melbourne colleagues was being part of a team of people empowered to create social change.
As marchers shouted slogans and carers and sufferers told their stories camera crews circled, photographers snapped, and when the interviews stopped, journos got out their phones to capture their individual moments with Ita.
I was proud it was us, the joint Alzheimer’s Australia-Porter Novelli team that got those journos and network crews there; that it was us coordinating the messaging and the talent; managing the interviews; hassling the pollies – and leading a social media content feed that spurred #fightdementia to trend Australia-wide.
With our heads down and concentrating on the job, it was only at day’s end that we realised what had been achieved, and how while other marketing services suppliers make big news of the work they do for clients, one down side of PR is that we’re never the heroes – that status belongs to our clients.
This post is to say a simple thank you to the event team and all participants, congratulations to Alzheimer’s Australia, and to urge any reader to join us in Fight Dementia’s next phase by joining the fight at: http://www.facebook.com/fightdementia
The numbers: 136 media clips Australia-wide and a TweetReach of almost 30,000.
This is Porter Novelli Melbourne at work, with support from Clemenger Group Limited.