WASHINGTON, D.C.—The National Cancer Institute has selected the Washington, D.C., office of Porter Novelli to manage a comprehensive communications campaign for its 5-a-Day for Better Health Program, designed to increase fruit and vegetable consumption to reduce risk of chronic diseases. NCI has more than doubled the funding for communications to $7.4 million over three years to address health disparities, allocating a sizeable portion of the first year’s budget to reach African Americans.


PN worked with NCI from the 1991 launch of the largest public-private partnership program for nutrition education, through 2000. The new contract will tap PN’s expertise across practices, particularly health and social marketing; public affairs; and food, beverage and nutrition.


According to Rob Gould, general manager and senior partner at PN Washington, “In NCI, we’ve found a partner that shares our passion to create programs that make a real difference by focusing all our marketing smarts—advertising, media advocacy, partnerships, environmental change and interactive techniques, and others—on delivering the right message in the right way to the right audience. We call it a ‘total communications’ approach.”


PN’s public strategies and outreach group within its public affairs practice will figure prominently into the campaign’s initial focus on reaching African Americans, particularly men.


“We will find creative ways to bring the 5 A Day message to African Americans, a demographic group that suffers disproportionately from chronic diseases, in part, because of their poor eating habits,” said Michael Frisby, director of public strategies.