The WashU Medical School approached me and illustrator Kevin Schneider to redesign their Research Study Participants campaign. The goal was to create tabling materials and an overall brand that would encourage St. Louis citizens of all types to get involved in Medical Research.
WashU Medical School Campaign
The Center for Community Health Partnership and Research (CCHPR) at Washington University tables at various public gathering places throughout St. Louis such as YMCAs, libraries, and schools. Their goal is to educate the community about the power of medical research studies to improve lives and encourage citizens to participate themselves.
Their REACH program (Research Engagement to Advance Community Health) targets people of all ages, races, and socioeconomic standings. It is extremely important that medical research is as inclusive as possible as illnesses can affect races differently.
We had to not only update the tabling materials' look, but also their messaging. Their current materials were confusing, long-winded, and included complicated vocabulary that would not be approachable to potential participants who were younger or less educated. This meant not only rewriting the bulk of their copy, but also reformatting the entire booth system. They had lots of handouts, magnets, and posters, but none seemed to related to one another and it was not clear how a reader could get involved.
“We are SO happy with how everything turned out—the campaign has really increased our presence in the community. We have had aN 150% increase in partnership sites since implementing the new materials!”
Project Administrator, Center for Community Health Partnership & Research
One of the biggest challenges I tackled was how to condense and make sense of the various brochures. Each one contained heavy text about CCHPR, but none had a clear call-to-action. A table visitor would leave with 3-4 pieces of promotional materials and still not fully understand the purpose of each one.
I condensed and rewrote the brochure information into one approachable booklet titled "What we do." The copy was rewritten to be more easily understood by people of all ages and education levels. Kevin made an accompanying image to illustrate the topic of each spread. Headlines call out the most important points, so those without time to read the whole booklet still can walk away with a thorough understanding of what CCHPR does.
Tucked into the booklet is a card labeled "What you can do." This lays out each step a visitor must take to participate. The bottom has space for the Research Coordinator to write in available and applicable studies for the visitor. Previously, sign-up information and study information had been on separate pieces of collateral, making them easily lost and useless without one another. Now all necessary pieces are in one place.
Previously, when the Research Coordinator wanted to discuss the various types of studies, they pointed to a strip of stock photos. The images looked sterile and featured off-putting scenes of needles going into skin amongst other procedures. Someone already uncomfortable with going to the doctor (like myself) would immediately be turned off by this rather than understanding many of the non-invasive procedures like hair sampling.
We changed the photo strip into an illustrated poster. Kevin created icons for each study that were friendly and digestible rather than scary. A table visitor could understand the clearly labeled procedures without the coordinator having to explain each one. A similar graphic is also included in the booklet, so they can consider their options at home as well.