Union for International Cancer Control (UICC)

It’s the role of the UICC communications team, specifically Media and Communications Manager Eric Grant, to stay abreast of major research, policy, and medical news. Monitoring a vast topic like cancer pulls in hundreds of thousands of media hits every week. “Breast cancer has around 45,000 mentions a month because you’ve got tons of stuff in there between fake medical news and celebrities getting breast cancer. There’s a lot we don’t need,” says Eric. Without an AI-powered monitoring platform like Agility, Eric would soon be buried under an avalanche of irrelevant mentions. However, Eric has successfully narrowed the topic scope and reduced the amount of irrelevant coverage pulled in while still ensuring he sees the news that matters thanks to several of Agility’s features and its top-rated Customer Support team.

To reduce noise in monitoring results, Eric created an automatic media briefing that is delivered to his email each morning and includes a specified set of topics. “We have our key topics and then other relevant news,” says Eric. “Certain cancers like breast and cervical. Things like tobacco control and antimicrobial resistance that affect cancer control. The themes of equity and prevention that run much of what we do and the topics we address. Innovations.”

Another way Eric streamlines his monitoring is by ordering the coverage by most relevant outlet first—a method suggested and enabled by his Agility account manager. “I know that some of the top articles are from the BBC for instance,” says Eric. “I can look at those ones first and scroll rapidly down the rest.”

When Eric spots an article of interest in his daily media briefings, he logs into Agility Monitoring and saves the article to a relevant folder for later. At the end of the week, Eric builds a media briefing of the saved coverage that he then distributes to the rest of UICC’s staff after adding a few finishing touches.

Eric has also used Agility Monitoring for historical comparative analysis of how different annual observances have played out in the media. “We wanted to see how World Cancer Day compared to World No Tobacco Day in terms of coverage with some of these big outlets,” says Eric. “We’re able to go back and do a media coverage campaign for each one of these days and see how they compared, even going down to languages.” Being able to view this historical data allows Eric to benchmark the World Cancer Day campaign. “It gave us an idea of the impact of the day—it wasn’t the numbers that mattered so much as having a measure of the impact that the campaign is having.”

Eric’s use of the Agility platform is not limited to monitoring. He uses the global media database of over 1.1 million unique contacts and outlets and the integrated email distribution tool to reach journalists. “The job I was in before, I didn’t have a media platform and I had to create my own media list,” says Eric. “So, the difference is absolutely huge. Pickup is largely dependent on what’s newsworthy, who you hit and when, but knowing that you are reaching out to a list that is as comprehensive and targeted as possible really helps. And the emails are clearly getting out there because I have had some surprising pickups.”

A few times a year, around special observances like World Cancer Day, Eric uses the database and outreach tool to send press releases to a targeted list of journalists. Building a media list for World Cancer Day can get quite complex as the distribution must be as wide as possible and the release delivered in seven languages. Even so, Eric is able to target and find journalists by regions, outlets and more thanks to Agility’s advanced filtering capabilities, which also include media type, location, language, job role, and more.

The Agility outreach tool offers end to end email and press release creation through PR CoPilot, a fully integrated, natively built generative AI writing assistant. “I feel like PR CoPilot came out even before the whole media frenzy around ChatGPT happened,” says Eric. “It makes me feel like Agility is thinking ahead and I like that too.”

Afterwards, Eric will often upload the press release to the Agility newsroom, which provides him a link for sharing and a long-term home for greater online visibility.

In addition to using the outreach platform for these annual observances, Eric says, “When we do certain news or a podcast or something around a specific topic and we want to target journalists who write about it, then I’ll do a more restricted search on a very restricted term and find the journalists that have a Twitter feed, export that and give it to my social media manager who can then tag them on social media. So that’s quite convenient too.

On the rare occasions that Eric can’t find a specific journalist, he reaches out to the support team which operates 24 hours a day, five days a week via chat, email, or phone. “Around the World Cancer Congress, we get more granular in terms of reaching out to some top journalists,” says Eric. “They may have moved on, they may have moved from The Independent to Sky News or from The Washington Post to The New York Times, but either the research team in Agility has been able to track them down or the journalist simply doesn’t want to be listed. So, either I found them, or I’ve been able to have that information found for me.” The media database is maintained by a global research team who, working hand in hand with AI, maintains the database by making over 2 million manual updates annually. The result is a database with 99.6% data accuracy.

Every year, Eric is required to run a comparison of media monitoring and outreach vendors, and every year he has returned to Agility. “In terms of functionality, cost, and customer service, the core communications activities of reaching out to the media and monitoring the media landscape are great,” says Eric. “One factor that would make me very hesitant to change providers, beyond everything else, is the customer service. The different people that I’ve worked with have all been very responsive and that to me is key.”


The Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) is the oldest and largest global membership organization dedicated to the fight against cancer. Established in 1933, the UICC unites over 1,150 member organizations in 172 countries and territories, representing patient support groups, hospitals, research institutes, treatment centers, and the world’s major cancer leagues and societies, such as Cancer Research UK and the American Cancer Society. Its mission is to unite and support the cancer community to reduce the global cancer burden, to promote greater equity, and to ensure that cancer control continues to be a priority in the world health and development agenda.



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