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The Communications Unit promoted the implementation of the Cancer Society’s mission and key projects. The goal of CSF communications is that the information and services provided by the organisation can be found and used as easily as possible by patients, loved ones and all others with an interest in cancer.

The Communications Unit is responsible for the Cancer Society’s internal and external com-munications, for the CSF brand and its reputation. The unit’s tasks also include communica-tion about the various functions of the CSF central office — health services, health promo-tion and the Finnish Cancer Registry — in collaboration with CSF specialists.

The methods used by the Communications Unit in 2019 included traditional press releases, advocacy communications, social media and web channels, podcasts, videos, the magazine Syöpä-Cancer, newsletters, handouts, paid media and multichannel campaigns.

The CSF Communications Programme was drawn up in 2019, serving as an umbrella programme for the communication strategies of all parties belonging to the CSF. The communication programme lays the foundation for the communication unit’s content strategy work, which will continue and be expanded on in 2020.

A CSF stakeholder survey was conducted in winter 2019. Its main verdict was that the repu-tation of the CSF is excellent among all the groups surveyed. Two-thirds of staff and elected officials said they were ready to serve as ‘reputation ambassadors’ for the CSF. However, according to the stakeholder survey, the reputation of the CSF cannot be significantly boosted by social media alone. We must continue to invest in traditional print publications.

2019 was very definitely a year of internal communications. The CSF’s new intranet was opened and Teams workspaces were set up in conjunction with it. To strengthen internal communications and raise the profile of CSF services, the Communications Unit issued both internal and external newsletters. At the end of 2019, the external letter had 762 recipients.

In 2019, digital communications were also strongly developed. This work was based on streamlining processes, knowledge management, collecting visitor feedback, and systematic reform work based on analytics. The mutual benefits of using social media and websites were further intensified.

The Communications Unit is responsible for developing the digital communications abilities of CSF staff. In 2019, the Communications Unit a two-day training course that brought together digital communicators from across the country. Monthly Teams meetings for digital communicators were initiated to review common communication issues and address various challenges, such as trolling and online shaming via social media.

Media communications

CSF media communications has several goals. It provides the public and professionals with information on cancer treatment and prevention, the CSF services and statistics and re-search from the Finnish Cancer Registries. Media communications also aims to influence such things as legislation on health. The media visibility in 2019 was linked to, among other things, cancer prognosis and research, cancer screening, nicotine products, and war. The Communications Unit issued 34 press releases. The unit also monitors the CSF visibility in the media. The partner is Liana Technologies, whose ePressi service is used as a data distribution tool. Monitoring is able to better analyse social media and blogs, in addition to tradi-tional media.

Social media

The Communications Unit runs two Facebook pages plus the CSF’s LinkedIn profiles. At the end of 2019, there were 10 464 likes on the CSF Facebook page (8 679 in 2018). The Good Life Without Cancer page had 364 likes (267 in 2018). CSF communications run two Twitter accounts. The CSF account tweets on current affairs and newsletters. The account has 2 517 followers (2 101 in 2018). The Finnish Cancer Registry’s Twitter account mainly concentrates on the registry’s scientific communications. The account has 454 fol-lowers. There is also a CSF YouTube channel, which has 969 subscribers (651 in 2018). At their best, individual CSF videos reached over 150 000 separate viewers per video.

Websites and intranet

The CSF’s main external online media are the All About Cancer, Cancer Society and Free from Cancer websites. The Communications Unit is responsible for the websites’ updating, analytics, development and marketing. The main aim of the sites is to provide up-to-date information on cancer prevention, cancer, and the CSF’s and the services. In the fiercely competitive online environment, the development of the CSF’s websites pays special attention to search engine optimisation, analytics, conversion optimisation, and the use of social media and blogs. The most important development projects for the sites in 2019 were related to accessibility adjustments made on three sites: the Finnish Cancer Registry, CSF, and All About Cancer sites. Accessibility adjustments for other sites will continue in 2020.

Awareness of the All about Cancer website improved slightly on the previous year, and the number of visitors increased. The website provides cancer information for patients and loved ones. The website is part of the Google for Nonprofits programme, which provides the CSF a monthly budget of 10 000 dollars to advertise the website on Google. The Finnish-language pages had nearly 1 463 000 unique visitors in 2019, which was some 472 000 more than in 2018. The Swedish-language pages had around 236 000 visitors (140 300 in 2017) and the English-language pages around 333 000 visitors (139 900 in 2017). ‘Types of cancer’ was still the most popular section of the website.

The Cancer Society website is mainly aimed at active organisation employees, people interested in volunteering and the media. The Finnish-language pages attracted some 194 000 visitors during the year, which is almost 50% more than in 2018. The Swedish and English pages had about 40 000 visitors in total. The Free from Cancer website is aimed at those interested in their own health and cancer prevention, who usually do not have personal experience. During the year, the Finnish-language website was visited by about 180,000 different visitors, which was almost 70% more than the previous year. The Swedish and English pages had a total of about 21 000 visitors.

The Finnish Cancer Registry website was developed on the basis of an accessibility study and communication strategy. The most popular section of the site is an app from which the visitor can search for various cancer statistics. The number of visitors to the site tripled over the previous year. In 2019, the site was visited by 63 000 different users, which is about 21,000 more visitors than in 2018. The site was developed by such things as the addition of adding interactive infographics.

The CSF project to revamp h websites of member associations continued in 2019, with the publication of the Finnish Breast Cancer Association’s website. Since 2016, the Communications Unit has coordinated the website projects of the member associations and been responsible for training the association’s staff, so that the associations can maintain the sites themselves in the future.

The Communications Department is responsible for developing the common intranet of the CSF and maintaining the image bank. The Valo Intranet was opened in June 2019 and Teams training was started in the autumn at both the central office and with member associations. The training will continue in the spring of 2020. The goal is for the internal communications of the CSF to become more interactive and open due to new tools.

Syöpä-Cancer magazine

The CSF journal is the most important of the printed communications products. In 2019, Syöpä-Cancer appeared four times. The magazine’s circulation is 105 017. The magazine was mailed to the members of the CSF member associations and to the subscribers of the magazine. The magazine carries a Swedish-language supplement for those readers who have chosen to receive it. The Swedish-language supplement had a print-run of 5 000 copies. Docent Sirkku Jyrkkiö from Turku continued as the magazine’s editor-in-chief. The editorial board met twice during the year.

Syöpä-Cancer was developed visually and in terms of content in 2019. In the spring, new contents for the magazine were conceptualised in collaboration with the design agency Legendium. In the summer, a digital magazine was published on the All about Cancer website. Each issue of the magazine had stories supplemented by a video interview. In the autumn, planning work began on revamping the magazine’s layout. A focus group of twelve people drawn from the magazine’s readership was involved in developing the digital magazine, and revamping the Syöpä-Cancer’s content and layout.