By Dirk Elston, MD
The Academy kicked off another Skin Cancer Awareness Month with a very successful SPOT Orange™ on Melanoma Monday® campaign on Monday, May 6 thanks to the collaborative efforts of Academy members and staff.
As you know, the Academy has encouraged its members, the media, and the public to SPOT Orange™ on Melanoma Monday®. Responding to a robust media relations campaign by the AAD, the media enthusiastically embraced SPOT Orange™, interviewing members across the nation to share skin cancer detection and prevention messages.
The Miami Tower was lit up orange in honor of SPOT Orange™ on Melanoma Monday®.
National television coverage included the TODAY show and Good Morning America. On Good Morning America, weatherman Sam Champion discussed Melanoma Monday®, wore a SPOT Skin Cancer™ wristband, and distributed additional wristbands to people standing outside the studio during his segment.
On the TODAY show, Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb mentioned Melanoma Monday® at the beginning of their broadcast, during which they drank mimosas and shared the SPOT™ wristband.
In addition, local news and weather anchors across the country were sporting orange and delivering the Academy’s key messages in Chicago, Denver, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Boston, and D.C., among others. Many stations also interviewed local dermatologists including stations in New York City, Chicago, Tampa, Minneapolis, and Salt Lake City. The Chicago Tribune highlighted the Academy, Melanoma Monday®, and our shadow rule on its weather page.
In addition to media coverage:
- The Canadian Dermatology Association arranged for Niagara Falls to be lit orange.
- The Miami Tower was lit up orange.
Social media coverage
SPOT Orange™ also got a robust response on social media. The #SPOTorange hashtag was used in 665 tweets by 422 contributors, which generated more than 9.1 million impressions on Twitter. Significant contributors to the social media discussion included Dr. Oz, who has 2.9 million followers, and Jordin Sparks, who has 3.6 million followers. Jordin is a former American Idol winner and actress, who has been wearing orange every day in May since 2008 in honor of a friend who died from melanoma. The Academy SPOT Orange™ Facebook event garnered 8,634 guests and 1,120 confirmed participants. On Melanoma Monday®, more than 50 participants posted photos of themselves wearing orange on the Academy’s Facebook page.
Additionally, on May 15, the Academy participated in a Mayo Clinic Twitter chat about skin cancer detection and prevention hosted by USA Today’s Liz Szabo.
Sunscreen labels, tanning regulation
In addition to SPOT Orange™, Academy members have been participating in media interviews about the new FDA sunscreen labels.
Henry Lim, MD, and Ellen Marmur, MD, were featured in a USA Today article on the news, and Elizabeth Tanzi, MD, participated in an NBC interview which was aired by 58 stations across the country and has been viewed by more than 1.5 million people.
On Melanoma Monday® the FDA announced the reclassification of indoor tanning beds. Mary Maloney, MD, was featured in articles in USA Today, the Associated Press, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times.
As a result of this SPOT Skin Cancer™ media coverage, more than 85,000 page views were generated to SPOT Skin Cancer™ on AAD.org on Melanoma Monday® alone and more than 100 people submitted images of how they commemorated Melanoma Monday® to our SPOT™ photo gallery.
Related resources: Dr. Elston is the president of the American Academy of Dermatology. He is the director of the Ackerman Academy of Dermatology in New York City.