CORONAVIRUS CASE STUDIES: Advocacy Goes Online

MCI USA is highlighting how we’re partnering with our clients to respond to COVID-19, from messaging and advocacy to webinars and other content. These are our Coronavirus Case Studies.

The Interstitial Cystitis Association (ICA) advocates for interstitial cystitis (IC) research, raises awareness of IC, and serves as a central hub for healthcare providers, researchers, and patients. Every year ICA holds an Advocacy Day during which board members, staff, and guests visit members of Congress in Washington, D.C., to make the case for funding priorities related to IC. Just a few weeks before this year’s ICA Advocacy Day on April 21, Capitol Hill closed to outside visitors.

Pivoting quickly, ICA turned the event into ICA Virtual Advocacy Day — still on April 21, but now open to the organization’s entire constituency and conducted via emails and phone calls to members of Congress. A week before the program, ICA presented a training webinar that prepared members to participate in Virtual Advocacy Day, and also provided sample emails, a phone script, an overview of funding priorities, and contact information for U.S. senators and congresspeople. While about 20 people participate in a typical in-person Advocacy Day program, upwards of 100 took part in ICA Virtual Advocacy Day.

“We advocate every year on behalf of IC patients for research funding and education,” said MCI USA talent Nicki Mehall, who serves as senior manager of communications and content for ICA. “That’s very important to our patients and our organization, so canceling ICA Advocacy Day wasn’t an option. This was the perfect way for our members to still make their voices heard.”

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