Disease Awareness Campaign

Image of the Family Health Foundation website
Public Relations Society of America, Los Angeles Chapter, PRSA PRISM Award - logo

Runs in the Family is Not a Diagnosis

The Family Heart Foundation is a leading nonprofit organization committed to saving generations of families from early heart disease caused by inherited cholesterol disorders: familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) and elevated lipoprotein(a) – or Lp(a). Research shows that 1 in 250 people have FH, and 1 in 5 have elevated Lp(a). They are two common, yet under-diagnosed lipid disorders. Unfortunately, FH or Lp(a) are often only diagnosed after someone suffers from a heart attack or stroke at a young age.

Working together with the Family Heart Foundation, Merryman Communications developed and launched a national campaign to reach a broad audience who have a family or personal history of high cholesterol, heart disease or stroke, but do not recognize or understand the role FH or elevated Lp(a) might play in their risk. The goal was to increase awareness and education about FH and elevated Lp(a), and to activate audiences to get a diagnosis to manage their risk.

Digital Ad

Multi-Faceted Campaign

We developed the creative concept, “Runs in the Family is Not a Diagnosis,” which zeroed in on a key insight: people with high cholesterol are told by doctors that it “runs in the family,” but aren’t given an accurate diagnosis of the genetic cause that leads to early heart disease. Without a diagnosis, they remain at risk for premature cardiac events, and their family members who also may have inherited the disorders go undetected, leaving them at greater risk.

The campaign creative was tested with groups of Family Heart Foundation patient ambassadors who shared resoundingly positive feedback on how it resonated with their own journeys. The campaign included a call-to-action to visit the website and consisted of:

  • Dedicated landing page highlighting the impact of FH and high Lp(a)
  • Family Health Checklist and Doctor Discussion Guide
  • Earned media outreach to consumer, health and wellness online and print outlets
  • Mat release focused on genetic causes of heart disease and strokes
  • Satellite Media Tours featuring physician KOLs and the Foundation CEO
  • Nonpaid engagement with influencer and Foundation patient ambassador who has FH and lost her mom to heart disease
  • Video series with Foundation patient ambassadors featuring their family's history and path to an accurate diagnosis
  • Social media engagement and paid ads on Facebook and Instagram

Results by the Numbers

The campaign was successful in reaching our broad target audience and driving them to our landing page:

total pageviews

media impressions

SMT airings

online and print media placements

of stories included at least one key message and call-to-action

increased social media engagement through influencers and paid amplification

engagement in 12 months on all of the Foundation’s channels

reach from the influencers/ambassador ads alone