2012 was the first year of the World MS Day three-year strategy, which had as its objectives:
- Raise awareness of MS, national MS societies, and the global network of MS organisations by producing a public facing campaign.
- Strengthen the global movement of MS organisations (especially in low- and middle-income countries) by encouraging continuity across participating countries.
- Encourage participation and to increase and diversify partner involvement in the campaign and the movement.
- Organise materials, tools and messaging relating to World MS Day 2014 to support organisations and reach the general public.
To establish a baseline from which to evaluate this strategy, we commissioned research into awareness of MS in Argentina, Egypt, Estonia, India and Ireland.
The 2012 campaign was based around three riddles related to MS:
- With no known cause or cure. Many pieces of my puzzle are still missing. What am I?
- From 25 to 31, two letters that will change your future. What two letters am I?
- To the outside world, I may be invisible, but the symptoms that I cause are not. What am I?
The campaign ran from 9 May until mid-June across digital channels and social media including YouTube, the World MS Day website, Facebook and Twitter.
Activities organised by MS organisations and groups across the world ranged from public awareness and fundraising initiatives to parties for people with MS and high-level meetings with key decision makers.
We asked visitors to the website to create postcards describing what living with MS meant to them. This wall of images, messages and stories was launched on World MS Day.
- Events and activities took place in more than 67 countries around the world, reaching hundreds of thousands of people
- A new campaign site achieved more than 58,000 visits in May
- More than 2,500 people shared what living with MS means to them by creating a postcard
- More than 38,000 people watched the ‘What am I?’ video
- MS organisations achieved widespread positive media coverage in many countries.