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Creating Cancer Awareness: How a Beer (or Two) Inspired the International 'Movember' Healthcare Public Relations Campaign

By Stewart Gandolf, Chief Executive Officer

Formerly Known as November

Mistakenly, we thought the eleventh month was November. But an idea born over a few beers in Melbourne, Australia in 2003 has designated this as MOVEMBER in the interest of men’s health. It’s now an international healthcare PR effort for cancer awareness, and something hospitals and healthcare public relations efforts might want to support.

If you don’t speak Australian, please permit this translation.

Down under, MO is slang for moustache. And the creative concept at work here is for men to grow a moustache during the month formerly known as November. The moustache, according to the sponsoring Movember Foundation, becomes a ribbon to raise awareness and raise funds for cancers that affect men.

The blokes that originated the idea were inspired by the strides that women had made for breast cancer. The Mo Bros set themselves on a course to create a global men’s health movement. In the subsequent seven years, Movember has expanded to the US, UK, Canada, New Zealand, Ireland, Spain, South Africa, the Netherlands and Finland.

In 2009, global participation of Mo Bros and Mo Sistas climbed to 255,755, with over one million donors raising $42 Million US equivalent dollars for Movember’s global beneficiary partners. The funds raised through Movember’s US campaign benefit the Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) and LIVESTRONG, the Lance Armstrong Foundation.

For anyone new to Movember, the 501(c)(3) non-profit Foundation challenges you to join them in changing the face of men’s health. There’s more about Mo on their website.

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