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The goal of CSF communications is that the information and services provided by the organisation are readily available to CSF target groups.

The Communications Unit is responsible for the internal and external communications, branding and reputation of the CSF. It also carries out the communications work of the different activities of the central office in collaboration with CSF specialists.

In 2020, range of communications methods used included traditional communication, advocacy communications, in-house social media and online channels, videos, the magazine Syöpä-Cancer, newsletters and distributed materials, paid media and multichannel campaigns.

To support the cancer organisations’ harmonised communications, the Communications Unit produced a brand manual to replace outdated graphic guidelines. In addition, brand images were updated and a new PowerPoint guide was published. The external newsletter was sent out six times, with almost 1,000 subscribers.

Content production was sharpened up through content strategy work, which clarified the communications objectives, themes and tone of various channels. In addition, separate channel profiles were created for social media channels. The Communications Unit started joint content planning with the Fundraising Unit. At the end of the year, the development of a communications evaluation and measurement tool was also launched and will continue in the coming year.

For internal communications, 2020 represented a major challenge. The whole organisation shifted to teleworking in the spring and the various channels of internal communications were used more effectively. The Communications Unit had opened a new Intranet and was responsible for Teams training the previous year, which was crucial to the success of teleworking during the year. To strengthen internal communication, the Communication Unit issued an internal newsletter 10 times.

The Communication Unit is responsible for developing staff communications skills. In 2020, two training days for digital communicators were organised around the country. In addition, the organisation’s digital communicators tackled current communication challenges in monthly Teams meetings. A science communication training was organised for experts from the Finnish Cancer Registry to develop researchers’ social media skills. In addition, 20 experts from the organisation were trained to write blogs.

Accessibility and client perspective

The focus of communications work was on developing accessibility and pinpointing the client perspective. Client opinions were sought through a survey of website visitors and by regularly assessing feedback from the website. In terms of accessibility, the Communications Unit ensured that all the sites it coordinated met the requirements of the EU Web Accessibility Directive by the autumn. It also ensured that the member associations’ websites using the Cancer Associations’ website platform made the required accessibility adjustments.

The client perspective was also highlighted in the digitalisation project funded by the Cancer Foundation, which was the responsibility of the Communications Unit. The aim of the project was to explore the impact and potential of digitalisation in the CFS’s work. The needs of patients and loved ones were studied and service design was used to find out which digital services would best serve them. The study was carried out as a focus group test in which a group of target groups tested the prototypes of different digital services. The study found that some of the services studied require further evaluation, while others could be implemented immediately. The study highlighted the importance of timeliness in the digital service process. Patients and loved ones should be able to locate the right service for them when they need it most.

The client perspective was also highlighted by the magazine Syöpä-Cancer. A readers’ panel evaluated the layout and content of the magazine and came up with ideas for new content.

Media communications

The CSF’s media communications provides information on cancer treatment and prevention, the organisation’s services and statistics and research from the Finnish Cancer Registry. It also aims to influence legislation on health.

In 2020, media visibility was linked to, among other things, cancer prognosis and research, cancer screening, nicotine products, and war. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there was particular media interest in the impact of the corona situation on cancer screening and detection.

The Communications Unit issued 23 press releases. Some content that had been published as newsletters in previous years was now published as online news and shared via social media. The visibility of the CSF in the media is constantly monitored. In addition to traditional media, social media and blogs are increasingly analysed. In order to improve the media service, a qualitative journalists survey was commissioned, in which a group of journalists evaluated the communications and media service provided by the cancer organisations.

Social media

The Communications Unit is responsible for two Facebook pages and the organisation’s LinkedIn page. The CSF’s Facebook page had 11,516 likes at the end of 2020 (up from 10,464 in 2019). The Good Life Without Cancer page had 399 followers (364 in 2019). The LinkedIn page, launched at the end of the year, attracted 281 followers in just two months.

Two Twitter accounts were coordinated by the CSF Communications Unit. The CSF’s account publishes the organisation’s current news and newsletters. The account is followed by 2 802 people (2 517 in 2019). The Finnish Cancer Registry’s account focuses mainly on the registry’s scientific communications. The account is followed by 532 people.

The CSF’s Instagram account shares content related to health promotion and current CSF news. The account had 1 700 followers at the end of 2020 (1 304 in 2019). The organisation also has a YouTube channel with 1,490 subscribers (969 in 2019).

Campaign communications

In autumn 2020, the CSF campaigned to improve participation in colorectal cancer screening in Tampere, Oulu and Kaarina-Paimio-Sauvo. The “This is what happened to Martti” campaign for 60-year-olds consisted of videos, print advertising and a campaign page. They told the story of Martti, 65, who died of colorectal cancer, and his loved ones. The campaign ran for three weeks as paid advertising in local newspapers and on radio stations and TV. Social media advertising was also targeted at campaign locations. Local media were contacted with screening-related story ideas, for instance resulting in a story in the Kaleva newspaper.

The Martti videos reached 34,153 people and had 248,200 hits. More than 2,000 people were directed to the campaign page. Newspaper advertisements were estimated to have reached about 370,000 readers and radio advertisements about 172,000 listeners. The impact of the campaign on participation in colorectal cancer screening will be appraised by the Mass Screening Registry in 2021.

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 main development project was to make accessibility modifications. During the year, accessibility audits were carried out on the All about cancer, Cancer Society and Free from Cancer websites. The audit resulted in correcting the most critical accessibility gaps on the sites. Accessibility statements required by law were also added to the sites.

Awareness of and visitor numbers to the All about cancer website for patients and their loved ones increased slightly compared to the previous year. The site is part of the Google for Nonprofits programme, which provides the CSF a monthly budget of US$10,000 to advertise the website on Google. The Finnish-language site had almost 2,275,000 visitors, an increase of some 800,000 compared to the previous year. The Swedish website had around 246 000 visitors (236 000 in 2019) and the English website around 337 000 (333 000 in 2019). The most popular section of the site remained the Cancer section.

The Cancer Society website is primarily aimed at organisation activists, people interested in volunteering and the media. The Finnish-language site had around 223,000 visitors per year (194 000 in 2019). The Swedish and English pages had a total of around 40,000 visitors.

The Free from Cancer website is aimed at people interested in their own health and cancer prevention. The Finnish version of the website received around 190 000 visits during the year (180,000 in 2019).

The number of visitors to the Finnish Cancer Registry website increased slightly. In 2020, 67,080 visitors visited the site, which is about 4,000 more than in 2019, compared to 5,500 for the English version and 2,500 for the Swedish version. The most popular content on the site is cancer and screening statistics and in particular the app from which the visitor can search for various cancer statistics. In the spring, the site produced a more comprehensive cancer statistics report, Cancer 2018.

Accessibility studies were carried out on the websites of the CSF’s member associations and the possibility to add videos was introduced on the websites’ homepages. The Communications Unit coordinated the member associations’ website projects and consulted them on the development of their websites.

The Communications Unit is responsible for the development of the common intranet of the CSF and for staff training. Teams training, which started last year, was continued at the central office and in the member associations. The Communications Unit surveyed the use of the intranet and Teams throughout the organisation through three internal surveys. These revealed, among other things, that the production of topical news on the intranet needs to be activated and that the commitment of member associations to the use of the common intranet and the national Teams groups should be further supported.

Syöpä-Cancer magazine

The CSF magazine is the most important of the printed communication products. In 2020, Cancer-Cancer magazine was issued four times. The magazine has a circulation of 96 500. The magazine was mailed to members of the CSF’s member associations and to subscribers. A Swedish-language supplement was published in between the Cancer-Cancer magazine for those who wished to receive it. 4 932 copies of the Swedish supplement were mailed. The editorial board met twice during the year.

In the autumn, a Swedish-language digital magazine was published on the Swedish-language version of the All About Cancer website. In producing the content for the print magazine, the aim was to have stories in each issue that would be complemented by a video interview.