By Todd Cohen
RALEIGH, N.C. — As part of an initiative being piloted for the American Cancer Society by its South Atlantic Division, the society’s region that runs from Orange County to the North Carolina coast has launched a marketing effort targeting employers with 250 or more employees.
With cancer costing U.S. businesses $190 billion a year in lost time and the cost of benefits and health care, the Cancer Society aims through corporate partnerships to function as an extension of employers’ human-resources, public-relations and marketing departments, says Craig Lloyd, the division’s Raleigh-based director of corporate relations.
The Cancer Society works with employers to identify areas in which they may have concerns, such as the need for prostate screenings for men or breast-cancer screenings for women, and offers services and resources to address those concerns, Lloyd says.
It also offers two-dozen Web-based programs that employers can use on their internal corporate websites, as well as customized marketing programs.
Wanting to increase its market share, for example, Quest Diagnostics in Cary this year sponsored more than half-a-dozen Cancer Society relays in the Carolinas, while Talecris Pharmaceuticals in Clayton signed up for the “Garden of Hope” program, with its employees buying daffodil bulbs and planting them on the firm’s campus to honor or memorialize family members or friends with cancer.
The Cancer Society also is developing corporate sponsorships for Hope Lodge facilities it is developing in Asheville and plans to develop at Duke and UNC-Chapel Hill where cancer patients can stay while receiving treatment.
And the Cancer Society is developing a broad range of initiatives with Golden Corral.
Those include wellness programs such as an employee newsletter, 10-week physical fitness and nutrition program, and a smoking-cessation program.
The partnership also includes Golden Corral sponsorships of Cancer Society relays throughout the U.S, and collaborative marketing programs.