The National MS Society (US) engaged hundreds of thousands of people nationwide during this year’s MS Awareness Week by launching its new year-long campaign to drive awareness of MS and the realities of living with MS.

The campaign, called “Whatever it Takes”, features empowering stories from people with MS who describe their experiences of life with MS and their refusal to let it define them. The organisation hopes this uplifting message will inspire more people to join its MS movement.

During MS Awareness Week, the National MS Society saw impressive engagement with the campaign, both among people affected by MS and the wider public. On social media, the main campaign video was viewed almost 418,000 times, whilst a video post sharing basic information about MS received almost 450,000 views. As for offline activity, billboards in Times Square and across New York produced almost 350,000 ‘impressions’, Public Service Announcements were distributed to around 2,000 TV outlets and the society’s PR activity as a whole reached a potential audience of more than 16 million people.

Raising awareness

The ‘Whatever it Takes’ campaign was shaped by the results of a survey conducted by the National MS Society in 2017. In the survey, more than 3000 people affected by MS were asked to share one thing that they felt would most help them to overcome the challenges of MS – aside from not having MS at all. The answers were diverse, encompassing access to affordable healthcare, employment assistance, symptom management and research. However, one theme emerged as the most common: that greater awareness of MS and a better understanding of what life with MS is like among their community, family and peers would significantly improve their quality of life.

Elisabeth Doherty, Marketing Director at the National MS Society, explained the motivation behind the campaign.

“Every day, people living with MS do whatever it takes to move their lives forward despite the challenges they face. By sharing their stories, we help people to better understand life with MS and become inspired to do whatever it takes to change the world for people living with MS.
“By sharing these powerful stories within our communities and inviting people to share them with their wider networks, we leverage the power of the entire MS movement to change the world through this campaign.”

Find out more about the campaign and discover the stories of people affected by MS here.