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.

Stewart Gandolf
Chief Executive Officer at Healthcare Success
Stewart Gandolf, MBA, is Chief Executive Officer of Healthcare Success, one of the nation's leading healthcare and digital marketing agencies. Over the past 20 years, Stewart has marketed and consulted for over 1,000 healthcare clients, ranging from practices and hospitals to multi-billion dollar corporations. A frequent speaker, Stewart has shared his expertise at over 200 venues nationwide. As an author and expert resource, Stewart has also written for many leading industry publications, including the 21,000 subscriber Healthcare Success Insight blog. Stewart also co-authored, "Cash-Pay Healthcare: Start, Grow & Perfect Your Cash-Pay Healthcare Business." Stewart began his career with leading advertising agencies, including J. Walter Thompson, where he marketed Fortune 500 clients such as Wells Fargo and Bally's Total Fitness.



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