Canada has one of the highest rates of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis in the world – impacting one in 150 Canadians. While these diseases affect a quarter of a million Canadians and growing with over 10,000 new cases diagnosed every year, it is not widely known or discussed.

As a national charity focused on finding the cures and improving the lives of children and adults affected by these lifelong diseases, Crohn’s and Colitis Canada selected Smithcom to help open the conversation and increase awareness. Smithcom delivered a multi-pronged media relations approach to raise awareness of the chronic diseases, the burden of illness and the growing demographic in Canadian children. Smithcom distinguished Crohn’s and Colitis Canada in a market where many charitable organizations vie for media addition.

“Smithcom took the time to understand the unique needs of our organization and our community, says Angie Specic, Crohn’s and Colitis Canada VP of Marketing and Communications. “Smithcom’s strong strategic expertise coupled with creativity and efficient execution meant we could quickly launch several initiatives publicly and gain traction this year. While there is more work to be done, we are delighted with our partnership with Smithcom.”

Smithcom developed powerful new media materials, new content and maximized exposure for a number of programs including the launch of the Crohn’s and Colitis Canada PACE (Promoting Access and Care through Centres of Excellence) network – Canada’s 1st national network of leading adult IBD Centres focused on advancing best practices and elevating the standard of care for patients. Along with this, they also established a framework for PSA placement to provide volunteers with tools to engage with media locally and maximize PSA distribution in smaller communities across Canada.

Media outreach and PSA placement efforts were a tremendous success. As of July 2016, garnering a media reach of more than 110 million though print, online, radio, television and out-of-home media.