ATLANTA – June 2015 – Cookerly Public Relations recently helped raise awareness of the Atlanta-based Arthritis Foundation and its key priorities with a series of high-profile media stories during National Arthritis Awareness month (May). Additionally, the month served as the backdrop for the launch of the organization’s first rebrand in its 75-year history.
Cookerly partnered with the Arthritis Foundation to build awareness by helping the organization tell the compelling stories of people living with the disease. Notably, a story the agency secured in the Atlanta Journal Constitution featuring a six-year-old Atlanta-area girl with juvenile arthritis was syndicated in daily publications across the country.
The agency also secured coverage of personal stories from Arthritis Foundation advocates and volunteers on The Today Show with Kathie Lee & Hoda, while foundation CEO Ann Palmer was invited to discuss the positive organizational changes and rebrand on a popular podcast managed by the Non-Profit Times.
In 2013, the Arthritis Foundation underwent several changes to refocus the non-profit’s efforts on areas with the greatest potential impact for people living with the disease, including advocacy, research and juvenile arthritis. These efforts culminated this year in the Foundation’s first major rebrand built around a new organizational mantra, “Champion of Yes.”
People living with arthritis are Champions of Yes because they refuse to let the challenges of the disease prevent them from saying “yes” to more in life. One of the greatest challenges facing people living with arthritis is not medical, biological or even scientific – it’s the misconception that arthritis is a less-than-serious disease and natural part of aging. The unfortunate truth is arthritis is the number one cause of disability in the United States, afflicting more than 50 million adults and 300,000 children. Although commonly viewed as a disease of the elderly, two-thirds of people living with arthritis are under age 65.
“These common misperceptions meant National Arthritis Awareness month was more than a publicity opportunity for the Arthritis Foundation,” said Keith Bowermaster, vice president at Cookerly. “It was an opportunity to change perceptions about the disease and build support for a cure. We are honored to work with such a great organization and proud of the work we’ve done to raise awareness.”