While the public are generally supportive of the concept of clinical trials, clinical trials are often delayed or fail because of difficulty finding volunteers to participate.
This is in part because of a poor awareness within the community of clinical trials as a potential care option, and how they can get involved.
In May 2016, #WhyClinicalTrialsMatter was launched as a hashtag that can be used by anyone to tag information and stories about clinical trial participation on social media, so as to centralise content that can be shared to help promote awareness of clinical trials.
Individuals and organisations are invited to join in and help spread the message of the value of clinical trials and to celebrate those that participate in them.
How To Get Involved
Great visual social media content is just one way we can all help spread the message about the value of clinical trials.
If you have a social media account on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook, and are posting content that promotes awareness or or shares stories of clinical trial participation, tag them with the hashtag #WhyClinicalTrialsMatter. This will enable people to easily find this content using a single hashtag, which they can then read and/or share.
Ideally, we’d love you to take a photo or create a video that includes the hashtag #WhyClinicalTrialsMatter for sharing on social media, and there are resources you can print on the Toolkit page, if you need some help with a sign. If you don’t have your own social media accounts, but would like to participate, then just email us your photo/video and/or 140 character message, and we will post it with your permission via our social media accounts.
We also invite the contribution of guest authors on the blog, sharing their stories and passion for clinical trials. If you are interested in writing a blog post on #WhyClinicalTrialsMatter to you, or have a written about this elsewhere and are happy for us to re-post it on our blog, please email us.
Why not take pictures of your celebrations of International Clinical Trials Day, or other research/office events that can be shared using the hashtag? Or use it as a team building exercise and cover the walls with your office/research site with messages of #WhyClinicalTrialsMatter as inspiration (and tweet a photo of it 🙂 )? Ask patients to draw pictures or take photo’s, create videos to show why they think clinical trials are important, which can be shared. Use your imagination and have some fun with it. The point is to get across the message of #WhyClinicalTrialsMatter, so more people consider them an option they will ask their doctor about.
Finally, if you are shy, or don’t feel you have anything to contribute, but still support the campaign, then please share this website with your family, friends and colleagues, and encourage their participation.
Guidelines for Using the Hashtag
The direct promotion of company services, specific clinical trials and branded products will be frowned upon, as the campaign is not designed for that purpose. There is no harm however having the logo of your organisation in any photos, or providing link to good quality information that educates the community about clinical trials, provided the content of the tweet (and related photos/vidoes/links) are in the spirit of the campaign. We are unable to delete social media posts that we do not create using the hashtag, so rely on the integrity of the broader community using the hashtag to respect its purpose.
Who Is Behind This Campaign, and Why?
This campaign was launched by, and is supported by, the Australian company AccessCR Pty Ltd, trading as Research4Me. There are purposefully no links to our websites here, as this campaign is not about or for us. It is a social good campaign for anyone who wants to raise community awareness of the value of clinical trials and celebrate all those that take part. We hope you will join in.
May has subsequently become a month of focus internationally about building clinical trials awareness, with events such as International Paediatric Clinical Trials Day (May 9), Clinical Trials Awareness Week (usually the first week of May), the #WhyWeDoResearch tweetfest and of course, events focussed around International Clinical Trials Day.
While we encourage use of the hashtag at any time to share great content around clinical trials, May represents a perfect time to add your voice to the crowd seeking to improve community awareness of clinical trials.