As the nation’s largest creator and publisher of content for the regional and agricultural markets, Australian Community Media (ACM) champions causes that affect the lives of our audience. When choosing corporate social responsibility partners to work with, connection and impact on our audience and community is always a key factor in the process, so partnering with McGrath Foundation was an easy decision.

McGrath Foundation raises money to fund breast care nurses around Australia. They provide invaluable support and care to women and men during their battles with breast cancer. There are currently 120 breast care nurses who help individuals and their families experiencing breast cancer by providing physical, psychological, and emotional support. And it’s all for free. Many of them are based across regional Australia, which is the heart of ACM’s market.

The Foundation was looking to grow one of its previous fundraising opportunities — Pink Up Your Town — which calls for an entire town to “pink up” during breast cancer awareness month in October. Pink Up Your Town involves staging fundraising events, decorating shop fronts, and generally raising awareness of the issue. The aim is not only to raise funds, but to create a visual show of support for local families impacted by breast cancer.

With more than 170 rural and regional newspapers, Australian Community Media was able to reach far and wide with the McGrath Foundation Pink Up Your Town campaign, which was focused on local community fundraising.
With more than 170 rural and regional newspapers, Australian Community Media was able to reach far and wide with the McGrath Foundation Pink Up Your Town campaign, which was focused on local community fundraising.

By partnering with ACM, the Foundation hoped to increase the number of communities involved in Pink Up Your Town, raise awareness of McGrath Foundation and the services available in local communities, and raise much-needed funds.

Our support of Pink Up Your Town was multi-faceted. In the lead-up, ACM created an editorially driven expression of interest campaign, which saw the number of participating centres increase from six in 2017 to 30 in 2018 (21 within ACM communities) with many of the new committees driven by ACM local staff.

To create a splash for the launch of Pink Up Your Town, participating ACM mastheads ran high-impact, four-page wraps featuring general information on the work of the Foundation, a snapshot of key local fundraising events, and the stories of local residents and their battles with the disease. These wraps were supported by national businesses in all the participating markets.

By putting a local face to breast cancer, we hoped to personalise the issue. Sharing stories of those who had already done battle with the disease was inspiring for those going through it and was an accessible way to discuss the resources available. By creating a connection between the audience and McGrath Foundation in this way, we raised awareness of the positive impact of local breast care nurses.

Fundraising was driven in each community through a variety of events — from pink morning teas and pink fishing competitions to pink tradesman vans, pink balls, and pink community buildings — all promoted and given coverage by ACM. Pink Up Your Town raised more than AUS$300,000 dollars for the Foundation over the month.

Attention getting events “pinked up” local communities throughout ACM's coverage areas.
Attention getting events “pinked up” local communities throughout ACM's coverage areas.

This is a fantastic achievement considering many of these regional centres were in the grip of severe drought conditions. Other communities didn’t let population be a barrier to their fundraising efforts. Coolac, a town of just 216 people in New South Wales, raised an impressive AUS$14,526.

Coverage of events was supplemented by special October rates for any business keen to pink up their advertising by including the McGrath Foundation logo. ACM donated a portion of all revenue from these sales back to the organisation, which amounted to a further AUS$8,000.

The McGrath Foundation was thrilled with the 2018 results of this campaign: “Seeing people from all walks of life, communities large and small, from across Australia having a great time together and showing their love and support for individuals and families going through breast cancer.  What is extraordinary is both the individual and collective response,” said McGrath Foundation CEO Holly Masters.

ACM is immensely proud of our involvement with the 2018 Pink Up Your Town campaign, and we’re excited about the prospect of continuing our relationship in 2019 and beyond. We’re keen to see it grow to involve more communities and raise more funds for the breast care nurses who support our audience.