Rambling thoughts about Marketing/PR on World AIDS Day
Today is World AIDS day, when we are supposed to stop and remember how many people have succumbed to this horrific disease and remember that it’s still a threat. Days like this sometimes drive me nuts. It’s important to remember – no one wants to be forgotten, and remembering that people die may help to keep this epidemic fresh in people’s mind. We are closer to a cure, but not there yet. And there are people for whom a cure or a vaccine may be too late, and they are suffering now.
Let’s encourage people not to just remember, but make it easy for our lazy butts to make a difference. Hand out condoms and clean needles, make a lunch for a home bound patient, give money to an organization that helps people afford medication, write your senators and encourage funding for research. That’s what we can DO – not just put a ribbon on your icon or turn twitter “red” for a day and encourage consumerism that donates pennies on the dollar to organizations.
Then I started thinking about how maybe this is a marketing/PR issue. On my way in to work I pass City Hall. Today Housing Works was doing this 24-hour vigil and having volunteers read off the names of those who have died as a result of AIDS. And it was a little weird. I didn’t see donation boxes or anything, but what they were doing is having 3 or 4 people at a time reading off the names, simultaneously – so that you couldn’t hear anything. What was intended to be a remembrance of individuals just came off as a mish-mosh of syllables – and I think it lost the whole meaning. It’s unfortunately a lot of names to get through – but I wonder if there was a different way to do it, or a better use of that great platform.
During my cousin’s Bat Mitzvah a few weeks ago, the rabbi read off the names and ages of the soldiers who had died that week. That hit me. I was crying, right there in temple. The idea of one person’s death seems to has a lot more emotional impact, then the horrifically large numbers and recitation of a jumble of names.
I am fortunate enough not to knowingly have any one close to me be infected, so I can’t give you a personal story. What I can do is give you a link to a great organization and encourage you to donate. And then I want to ask you – what would have gotten you? Would a recitation be enough to make you take action? This blog post? Nothing short of a personal connection? The truth is, until I decided to write this blog, I didn’t even consider taking action or donating.
What would have done with a platform at City Hall and thousands of commuters and residents passing by to make them stop and notice your cause and take action?