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Recap: November Chapter meeting: American Red Cross - Strategy to Serve

Posted: Dec 22, 2016, By: Mandy Fernandez

Fun Trivia about Red Cross:

  • 40 percent of blood donations in the U.S. comes from Red Cross donations
  • If you donate blood, your blood donation will be tracked and you will be notified where your blood is used (city, hospital) but never who it goes to helping due to privacy laws.

Five Takeaways from April’s Presentation:

  • Monitor your campaigns and pay attention to what resonates and is working. For example in the Red Cross #Chooseyourday campaign, they simplified from using phrases like “100 days of summer” since summer seasons vary in days. Instead their audience liked the “Choose your day” message and they only used that by year three in the campaign.
  • Include photo opportunities and encourage social media whenever you can. Results pay off. Red Cross began using a “fixed site décor kit” at each blood donation location so that no matter what region collection was being handled, participants could use the same background images, props and tools to create “selfies” and photos for sharing purposes. It made a difference and gained the organization more likes and shares.
  • Find an activity that people can relate to and tie in your campaign cause. Red Cross used examples like the following:
    • In the three hours you can watch a Major League Baseball game, _____ number of people will need blood and platelets
    • In the time it takes you to grill hotdogs, ____ number of people will need blood and platelets
    • During the four minutes and twenty seven seconds it takes you to listen to Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Fight the Feeling” song, ____ number of people will need blood and platelets.
      **Note: a celebrity can usually be mentioned in this way without any trademark or legal concerns as long as you’re not endorsing him or her but simply relating it to the cause at hand.

      ​​Not everyone will relate easily to a need of blood, but they can relate to these trends and social activities. However, tying the blood and platelet numbers to these types of examples increase awareness and trend toward increased donations. See if you can create statistics to match things to your PR campaigns.
  • Involve major players if and when you can to your campaigns. Is there a celebrity spokesperson you can use? Red Cross uses model Niki Taylor as a spokesperson since she survived a car accident and was a recipient of blood donations. Red Cross did a #MissingType campaign and Google and Starbucks was involved by scheduling days and times when missing letters was in their company name to show, such as G_ _gle and St_rbucks to show what life would be like if your blood type went missing. Find local endorsements and businesses to help your cause and campaign.
  • Link hot topic and news articles back to your organization and campaign when applicable and timely. Use your social media to share, post, tweet and retweet. After the Red Cross was featured in a USA Today news piece and they shared that story, their likes on social media more than doubled.