Yale Center for Clinical Investigation serves as a conduit for Yale’s clinical research efforts – sourcing and managing grants and finding volunteers for trials. YCCI needed to attract significantly more trial participants, and also to create a consumer brand presence that reflected well on the University.
Laying out the challenges
Research revealed that many consumers mistakenly thought clinical trials were only for the desperately sick or the desperately poor. Not for them. In reality, for trials to be effective, doctors need a wide range of both sick and healthy volunteers from all ethnicities – particularly minorities, who historically have been under-represented in trials.
We launched with “Help Us Discover,” a theme line that appealed to everyone’s inner altruist. Next, we created an online registry for volunteers, and connected it to Yale’s electronic health record. Laser-focused campaigns reached students, referring physicians and other targets. A community ambassador program brought key influencers to minorities. And then we unified Yale’s trial advertising, previously decentralized, with a common look, tone and style.
A tenfold increase
In our first year with YCCI, the number of registered volunteers increased from 200 to 2,000. Now that number is over 10,000. Currently over 24,000 trials are in process, and minority participation has increased from 4% to 32%.