[This post was written by Cindy E. Rodriguez, Public Relations Event Coordinator, with the Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center.]
Since the start of our Commit for Life program in 2003, Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center has established strategic partnerships with media groups, and even sports teams, to help us in our mission to save and sustain lives through blood donations.
We particularly sought out these partnerships around major holidays in an effort to maintain an adequate supply of blood and blood-related products when regular donors are on vacation, and businesses and schools are closed (not hosting blood drives). Just like “it takes a village” to raise a child, it takes many people and a variety of communication methods to spread the word about the need for blood donations.
As the saying goes: Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. We use a vast combination of communication methods to get our messages across, including everything from broadcast media to print media to social media. Broadcast media partners provide us with “on-air” time, either as public service announcements or news coverage. We design custom print media, such as postcard mailers and other promotional materials that are disseminated to sites to promote blood drives. Furthermore, we have electronic media, which includes customized e-mails (per campaign), as well as general e-mails to keep our audience informed and engaged. Through these methods, we are able to reach out to as many people as possible.
However, reaching a large number of people is not always our goal. Sometimes, because our supply is ruled by the need in a given region, the key is reaching the right audience with the right blood type. Although everyone has blood, our strict guidelines make timing crucial when reaching our target audience. We use telecommunications to reach out to only those donors who are eligible – that is where our friends at Incept come in. They help us reach the right donors at the right time to maximize the number of lives saved.
So when one of our donors gets a phone call asking them to schedule a donation, we hope they know that they truly are needed at that particular time. Someone is waiting specifically for their donation. By using the right communication avenues, we hope to compel them to come in and save a life.
Have you answered the call for blood donations?
[To find out more about the Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center and everything it does, visit their website at www.giveblood.org.]