Building Buzz for Champions’ Mouse Avatars

The situation: Champions Oncology, the first and only company to offer mouse avatars directly to patients, sought to raise awareness among patients and physicians around the world for its personalized cancer treatment approach. Mouse avatars act as a “mini human” on which cancer treatments can be tested before being given to patients; they are most useful for those with rare, childhood or advanced cancers. To generate inquiries from these patients, Champions recognized that it must reach a broad audience.

The plan: CanaleComm developed and executed a media relations campaign focused on securing coverage of patient-centered stories in top-tier, international media outlets as well as in publications covering science and technology innovation. As a key part of the process, CanaleComm crafted messaging to educate journalists on the lack of predictive tools for cancer treatment and on the advantages of mouse avatars. The team then worked with Champions to identify patients who would be good candidates for media interviews. In addition, the team launched a Twitter campaign to drive traffic to Champions’ website, created a Wikipedia page and developed a series of press releases to educate the public on Champions’ studies published in prestigious peer-reviewed journals, including Cancer and Clinical Cancer Research.

The results: Widespread national and international coverage provided just the kind of exposure that Champions needed. The company reported its patient inquiries doubled and website traffic tripled as a result of CanaleComm’s campaign. Online traffic peaked following the publication of a prominent article that appeared globally in Newsweek—and appeared on the cover of Newsweek’s European, Middle Eastern and African editions. Other media highlights included an NBCNews.com story about a patient’s struggle with cancer and why he turned to mouse avatars, an article in Bloomberg Businessweek’s Innovators section, and stories in the Associated Press, New Scientist and local broadcast outlets. Media coverage consistently included key messages and positive sentiment surrounding Champions’ mouse avatars, and often leveraged B-roll and laboratory photos that CanaleComm produced for reporters to optimize coverage.