That is probably one of the hardest things to hear in your life.
Thankfully, those are not words that I or those in my immediate family have heard. [My family hears, "they have Alzheimer's..."]
But with cancer, it is only a matter of time. My family will be touched. And likely yours.
This story starts with a poster on BART. Sometimes on the train it is better to stare at a poster than to make eye contact with the wrong person, and last week the poster in question was one with Research Volunteers from the American Cancer Society. I didn’t quite know what it was, but I knew it wasn’t one of those “walk with us for three days to raise money” ones so I read it.
And then I promptly forgot about it. I arrived in the office and went about my day and it slipped my mind.
This is probably what happens with a lot of traditional media. It is a message being pushed out, and most of the time it isn’t personal so it is forgotten.
And if the 100-year old American Cancer Society did just traditional media they probably wouldn’t have caught my attention any further. The poster on BART will get changed. I’ll sit on a different train. And I’d forget.
But while ACS is an old brand. It is doing things in new ways.
I went to a social media summit this past Thursday for work. It was a day with bright people and innovative brands talking about content marketing. The morning had passed with me scribbling a series of notes, meeting a few people and then a lunch break. I returned to the afternoon session with my mind full of work things I needed to take care of. I listened to the sessions with half an ear, distracted by my to-do list.
But then Bronwyn Hogan from the American Cancer Society took the stage. She was there to talk about the importance of the third major cancer prevention study, the CP3 that still needed 300,000 volunteers by the end of the year and how the ACS was approaching their recruitment activity with a technology partner that was driving communication via social media.
Saying that someone is passionate about what they do has become an overused phrase. But in the case of Bronwyn, when she speaks about the study, she is so moved you can hear the emotion. Her being moved, moved me. Social media is connecting people to people. Brands are still made up of people. And in representing her brand so passionately, so authentically, Bronwyn touched me.
Not only that, she moved me literally into action. Yesterday morning I signed up to be a research volunteer. I schedule an appointment to visit one of hundreds of centers all over the country to have an initial screening. I spent 30 minutes completing questionnaires. I have agreed to answer questionnaires for the next twenty years to help the study and to help continue the fight to find a cure.
Brands are made up of people. People connect people. And together, connected people can do amazing things!
How about you? Has connecting with a brand moved you to take action on something?
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