April 15, 2016

Voice of Radiology Even Louder in 2016

Coming off of the most productive media relations and social media year in American College of Radiology (ACR) history, the College’s public affairs efforts only continue to grow. The number of people reached by ACR messaging doubled in each of the last two years and is on pace to do so again in 2016.

Media Relations

Fueled by final U.S. Preventive Services Task Force final mammography recommendations and a push for Medicare CT colonography coverage, ACR spokespersons, messaging or information about College products and services appeared in 1,500 print and online news reports during the first quarter of 2016 — including most major U.S. newspapers, major magazines and primary online news outlets.

The cumulative average monthly visitors and total circulation for these news outlets totaled nearly 7 billion readers.1 ACR also appeared in more than 700 radio and TV news broadcasts — reaching a total audience of 20 million.

Social Media

The number of ACR Facebook likes increased more than 12 percent in the first quarter reaching a total audience of 108 million. Engaged users (who repost or like content) soared nearly 30 percent.2 The ACR Twitter page increased to 22,000 followers and reached 1/2 million people January–March. The number of individuals who interacted with tweets increased nearly 70 percent from Jan. 1 – March 31. Strategic use of unique hashtags delivered ACR news to larger audiences:

  • #VoiceOfRadiology blog: nearly 250,000
  • #virtualCT: nearly 1 million
  • #ACR2016: 4.3 million
  • #IDEAS4ALZ: 367,784
This content was often retweeted by patients and other stakeholders on several high-profile issues. ACR increased its Instagram followers by 24 percent. LinkedIn rose 10 percent and the Voice of Radiology Blog doubled its reach in the first quarter of 2016.

Mammography Saves Lives®

In January, the USPSTF released final breast cancer screening recommendations that mirrored its 2009 guidance against routine annual breast cancer screening in women ages 40–49. The ACR countered these developments by working with the Society of Breast Imaging (SBI) to place spokespersons in more than 200 online and print news reports — including most major U.S. newspapers and online news outlets. We informed women and their providers that annual mammography beginning at age 40 saves more lives than delayed (until age 50) or less frequent (biennial vs yearly) screening. The combined average monthly visitors and total circulation for these news outlets totaled nearly 500 million readers. College spokespersons were also highlighted in several large market and national radio broadcasts — including NPR.

Radiation Safety

In 2015, ACR experts were quoted in 600 print and online articles that addressed radiation from imaging scans as (at least) part of their coverage. The average monthly visitors and total circulation for these news outlets totaled more than 1.3 billion readers.3

ACR Pushes for Medicare CT Colonography Coverage

The American College of Radiology (ACR) Colon Cancer Committee and supporting public affairs and government relations teams ramped up support for the CT Colonography Screening for Colorectal Cancer Act (H.R. 4632/S. 2262), which would provide Medicare CTC coverage, March. As covered in a recent AIA article, this integrated campaign has reached at least 220 million readers, viewers and listeners.4

The College urges members to contact their representatives and senators to support H.R. 4632/S. 2262). The ACR will continue to work with allied organizations to pursue Medicare coverage and wider private insurance coverage for CT colonography. The College will continue to keep members informed regarding this important issue.

1 - This is known as “media impressions” – as one (the same) reader could have read more than one of the resulting articles.

2 - This refers to the primary (official) ACR Facebook page. The College also has Facebook pages for the Radiology Leadership Institute, JACR, and other ACR entities or products and services.

3 - Many articles on various issues often touch on medical radiation as part of their coverage.

4 - This includes the average monthly visitors and total circulation for print news outlets as well as the listening audience for broadcast news outlets.