After writing this post and receiving no response from the person that originally emailed me, my friend AJ suggested that I email the website directly to let them know that their marketing team was reaching out with inaccurate information. I decided she was right, and went to the "contact us" section to figure out who to email.
Then I sent the Arthritis Foundation and the Ad Council an email commending them for their clear use of "OA" and "osteoarthritis" on the FightArthritisPain.org website, but expressing my concern about how the site was being marketed to people with blogs about RA. I said I didn't understand why the website had been so careful about focusing on OA and yet the marketing team was obviously emailing anyone with the word "arthritis" in their blog. I also expressed my concern that this type of advertizing would only perpetuate the confusion over what "arthritis" means.
I honestly didn't except a response.
Which is why I was so excited this morning to see, not only a response, but an extremely positive one!! The email actually thanked me for contacting them and apologized that no one had replied to my first inquiries. Then it said:
You make some great points about the differences in the diseases and about making sure we are clear about the focus of the campaign both in our marketing approach and in who we market to. As you point out, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are different diseases that, for the most part, target different demographics. We have subsequently reviewed our marketing approach and will only be reaching out to those bloggers who have osteoarthritis-specific blogs, general health and wellness blogs, or cover other related and appropriate topics.
Wow!! They have reviewed and altered their marketing approach based on my email? Awesome!! I'm really glad to have been able to make at least this small difference in making sure the confusion about "arthritis" doesn't get perpetuated, because I think that is really important - especially for those of us dealing with RA.
The email also included some RA-specific resources from the Arthritis Foundation. Seeing as I already ought to be studying instead of writing this blog post (grr....) I'm not going to (try not to) check out these resources until after my last final next week. But, in case any of you want to check them out now, here they are: