A high-profile pan-European public affairs and public relations campaign to build support for practical action to combat overweight and obesity and support patients, built on the development of an online community of patients, healthcare professionals and policymakers.
Cambre agreed to support Jean-Paul Allonsius, President and Founder, Belgian Association of Obese Patients (BOLD) and Prof. David Haslam, Chair and Clinical Director, National Obesity Forum in calling on policymakers for more action to combat overweight and obesity.
Where traditional face-to-face advocacy meetings had proved unsuccessful in the past, Cambre advised pairing a public affairs approach with the development of a highly visual online platform and the creation of an online community bringing together patients, medical organisations and policymakers.
Cambre began work in late 2008 to build a community of interested parties around the idea of European Obesity Day. A dedicated EOD website was launched in April 2009 with an online survey to assess views and opinions on overweight and obesity.
We brought on board a wide range of supporting organisations and began to secure the patronage of Members of the European Parliament. In May 2009 European Obesity Day was officially launched at a press conference in the European Parliament by Magor Csibi MEP.
With growing support, EOD built its presence online through the website and social networks, both in Brussels and the Member States by supporting the development of EOD in national capitals in collaboration with local EOD supporting organisations.
The first European Obesity Day went ahead under the campaign title ‘5-10 for a healthier Europe’ on 22 May 2010 with PR activities in 16 Member States. National activities were celebrated at an event in the European Parliament in Strasbourg on 19 May with MEP supporters and representatives from supporting organisations. The event was introduced in person by the EU Health Commissioner John Dalli.
The first ever EOD 2010 was an enormous success. Media coverage of the event across the Member States was unprecedented with 1000s of mentions all across Europe and declarations of support from various national and European policymakers and luminaries.
In November 2010 EOD received the award for ‘Campaign of the Year’ at the European Public Affairs Awards (www.epaawards.com). Criteria for winning this award included innovation and professionalism, in addition to demonstrating success or forward movement against objectives.
The 2011 ‘Stop Yo-Yo’ campaign enjoyed similar success and was also endorsed by the EU Health Commissioner.