Real Men Wear Pink…to Fight Breast Cancer

Lee Groeger - 10/27/2016


Just this year, roughly 250,000 women and 2,600 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer. Sadly, more than 40,000 of these women and 400 men will not beat this ubiquitous disease. Because these numbers are so vast, it’s a challenge these days to meet someone who hasn’t been affected by breast cancer in one way or another. Unfortunately, that is true for almost everyone here at 3E Public Relations. That’s why we’ve teamed up with the American Cancer Society to support their Real Men Wear Pink campaign.

Breast cancer has touched the lives of many of us at 3E PR, and every October we spearhead awareness and fundraising campaigns to do our part in the fight against it. So, when the Parsippany chapter of the American Cancer Society asked our CEO, Dave Scelba, to participate in the Real Men Wear Pink Challenge by raising a minimum of $2,500 and wearing something pink every day throughout  October, our team banded together to brainstorm how we could make this the biggest, best, most lucrative fundraising campaign yet. What we ended up honing in on were some of the things that people love more than anything in this world—shopping, laughter, and social media—and combined them to create a fun, impactful, multifaceted fundraising and awareness campaign.


In addition to traditional fundraising, we knew we wanted this campaign to really give supporters something to get excited about—something tangible. With that in mind, we created a clothing collection including onesies for babies, and t-shirts for children and adults. Our writers and graphic design team worked together to develop three designs, ensuring there was something for everyone, and created fundraising pages for each one through CustomInk’s Booster platform. We started, of course, with the “Real Men Wear Pink” slogan. That led—pretty organically, I might add—to a custom “On Wednesdays We Wear Pink” design (a la Mean Girls). And we completed the collection with a playful original: “Find A Cure Before I Grow Boobies.”


Then, we got busy promoting our fashionable fundraising collection via social media, e-mail, word of mouth, and video. And speaking of video…


As dark and serious a topic as breast cancer is, we largely believe it’s important to find a little bit of levity in every situation, so our approach to securing support and spreading awareness of breast cancer has been rooted in entertainment and laughter. To that end, the very first thing we did was create a video starring Dave and a merry band of adorable babies (thanks to a group of generous, dedicated, patient parents and grandparents we know!) giving viewers a sneak peek of the clothing line. Watching it, you couldn’t help but crack a smile, and maybe shed a tear. In addition to driving the audience to where they could make a purchase, the video also served as an educational platform that allowed Dave to pass along some shocking, hard facts about the reality of breast cancer in America. As any good PR agency would, we invited our local daily newspaper to capture an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the making of the video and launch of our campaign. Read the story, complete with photos and a video!


From there, we shifted to the most topical theme of the moment: politics. With the 2016 presidential debates occurring in tandem, Dave was inspired to get behind a podium of his own to reach Americans with a very important message on behalf of the Pink Party. The idea was simple: instead of giving money to politicians, give it to a cause that will do with the donations exactly what it promises: try to find a cure for cancer.

Then, things got a little silly—in the best way possible. As incentive for our donors, we ensured that every time we hit a predetermined fundraising milestone on the way to our goal, Dave would don a certain item of pink clothing. One such milestone was $2,500, at which point Dave promised to wear a pink tutu. Well, we hit that goal before the month of October even began, so the video production was underway almost immediately! Dave is nothing if not a man of his word, and always puts his own creative, enthusiastic twist to everything he does. So, fast forward to our 60-year-old CEO—a respected business proprietor and member of the Montville community—taking a ballet class at Dancers Pointe in Boonton alongside a class of tiny dancers, sporting the pinkest tutu and tightest tights, topped with a perfectly feathered tiara. And it’s all on camera…I promise.

Social Media

Applying the, “if a tree falls in the forest” logic to our media-crazed society, if we do all of these things—well, if Dave does all these things—but we don’t share them on social media, did they really happen? Well, for our intents and purposes, the answer is no. So, of course, we diligently chronicled our journey from beginning to end. True to his word, Dave has worn at least one pink item—usually many more—every day of October, which we’ve kept a photo record of and shared across our social media pages. All videos were posted to YouTube and shared via e-mail, as well as posted and re-shared via not only 3E PR’s social media pages, but our employees, colleagues, friends, family, acquaintances, and anyone else who might have gotten wind of it and liked it enough to pass it along!

So, with all the organizations out there, why did we choose to work with the American Cancer Society? Every day, this organization helps people take steps to reduce their risk of breast cancer or find it early, when it’s small and therefore easiest to treat. They are funding groundbreaking research to find, prevent, and treat breast cancer; they provide free information and services; and they host programs and events that drive not only awareness, but action.

Since the moment we began this campaign, every day we are contacted by new friends and family with stories of how they’ve been touched in some way by breast cancer. Being a part of this program has truly been an unbelievable, eye-opening and uniting experience for all of us.

Our goal is to raise as much awareness and money as we can to support the battle against cancer, so the next generation of our children and grandchildren won’t have to worry about it.

In less than two months, our combined efforts have resulted in over $8,000 and Dave hasn’t lost the lead! But we’re not done yet. We have until the end of October to hit $10,000, so find out how you can help by visiting his Fundraising Page, and be sure to follow 3E Public Relations on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube to follow Dave’s Real Men Wear Pink journey…and much more!

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