Last Wednesday, Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN)’s Jenny Isaacson and H+K Smarter’s Thea Knight took the stage at Holmes Report’s annual Global PR Summit for their panel, Applying the Science of Human Behavior to the Art of Communications.

Thea discussed the impacts our cognitive biases have on our unconscious decision making and how we can leverage this to enhance our communications practices. After giving an overview and examples of behavioral science techniques in action, she welcomed Jenny Isaacson on stage to chat about raising awareness for pancreatic cancer and how framing a message to emphasize what a target audience stands to lose than gain helped push out a successful messaging campaign.

Jenny, who is currently the Vice President of Strategic Projects and Partnerships, has been involved with PanCAN since 2011. We asked her more questions on her involvement with the organization, rewarding experiences in her various roles and favorite moments at PRovoke.

How did you get involved with the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network?

I joined the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN) in June 2011 after hearing the organization’s President and CEO Julie Fleshman speak at a conference.  I was very impressed by what she and PanCAN had already accomplished, and particularly by her vision to double the pancreatic cancer survival rate by 2020.  It was immediately clear that PanCAN wasn’t your typical patient advocacy non-profit; this was the organization that was going to change the course of history for this deadly disease, and I wanted to be a part of that.

What has been your most rewarding experience while working with PanCAN?

During my tenure at PanCAN, I’ve worn many hats – individual and corporate giving, volunteer management, marketing and communications, strategic planning and partnerships.  They have all been very rewarding, and have provided me with a comprehensive understanding of and appreciation for our very special organization.  If I had to pick just one, however, I’d say that coordinating the 2017 World Pancreatic Cancer Day (WPCD) campaign was a highlight.  This was the fourth annual WPCD campaign, and my first serving as project lead, and it was by far the most successful global campaign to date.  It was incredibly satisfying to work with more than 60 organizations from 27 countries and six continents to raise awareness and Demand Better in the fight against the world’s toughest cancer.

Favorite part of #PRovoke18? 

I thoroughly enjoyed all my time at #PRovoke18, but the highlight was meeting 10-year pancreatic cancer survivor Miss P. from Hill+Knowlton’s D.C. office.  We had featured Miss P.’s video in the WPCD 2017 campaign, so I felt like I almost ‘knew’ her.  Being able to meet her in person and then being able to introduce her to #Provoke18 attendees during my session, was magical and memorable. I’m still smiling as I think about it.

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