If you’re on Twitter, you know.  Messages are shouted at you every second, from news sources, friends, and colleagues.  So when the National Association of Children and Adults with AD/HD (CHADD) asked C.Fox Communications to help promote its 2009 AD/HD Awareness Week, we knew it wasn’t going to be enough to simply rely on a press release, line up some interviews, or conduct a social media campaign.  We had to do something that would really engage the public, we wanted to start a conversation about what AD/HD is, what it isn’t, and educate them on the importance of an early diagnosis.


We implemented a short online survey to a randomly selected set of CHADD members where scaled-response and open-ended questions probed the real world experiences on the issues, benefits, and challenges of an AD/HD diagnosis: 

  • 75% of those with AD/HD noted receiving a diagnosis after the age of 30
  • Of the group reporting a later-life diagnosis of AD/HD, nearly 45% reported being divorced at least once, as compared to 17% of those diagnosed with AD/HD before high school
  • Nearly 40% of people with AD/HD who were diagnosed after the age of 15 indicated that early diagnosis was the single most important factor when treating AD/HD

Capturing this real world perspective on the importance of early diagnosis from CHADD members was a compelling way to build our story around the reasons why early diagnosis is so important. 


From the survey results, C.Fox implemented a social media campaign focused on what we called “The Reasons”.  Short stories and recollections from members about why an early diagnosis was so important to them formed the basis of a powerful Facebook campaign.

Using the momentum of our Facebook “Reasons” campaign, our national radio media tour, paid advertising, and traditional print media outreach, we activated the CHADD network once more by hosting a one-hour Twitter conversation. 

We invited all CHADD members to take part, and strategically reached out to a series of education and health bloggers to also join the conversation using the hashtags #reasons and #adhd.  The topic of the conversation was focused on real life stories, and why early diagnosis was so important.  


Over the course of the one week campaign, C.Fox secured over 39 million print and broadcast impressions, not including social media impressions.

The live Twitter discussion – the first of its kind for CHADD – resulted in about:

  • 400 direct clicks on the press release
  • 120 new followers to the CHADD Twitter account
  • 140 @CHADDING mentions or re-tweets

Also as a result of our campaign, professional wrestler Matt Morgan offered to tape a broadcast PSA on his own challenges with AD/HD, which C.Fox assisted in getting placed on the national school TV network, Channel 1.  Matt then appeared at CHADD’s annual conference in late 2009.

Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention plans on formally publishing the survey and its results. 

Author: Carrie Fox, C.Fox Communications