PROVIDENCE, R.I., June 15, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The Rhode Island Blood Center (RIBC) launches a new public service campaign encouraging our community to "Help Someone Else" by becoming a blood donor. Using humor and a lovable character, the campaign launches with video spots that highlight a serious community challenge — that new life-saving blood donors and regular donations are always needed to sustain the lives of thousands of people in Rhode Island and Southern New England. Even though over 37 percent of the population are eligible to donate blood, only about 5 percent give regularly, a challenge blood centers across the country face.
The campaign personifies how a character whose name is "Mr. Someone Else," is singlehandedly sustaining the blood supply by giving over 200 donations a day, every day, or roughly 75,000 donations a year, the same number of donations RIBC requires to meet the needs of the hospitals and patients they serve. Kara LeBlanc, Communications Manager of RIBC, explains, "Ensuring a healthy and steady blood supply takes a massive community effort from donors to drive sponsors and media support. It's easy to become complacent and think someone else is taking care of that need." More donors are needed to share the non-profit's mission of providing a safe, plentiful and cost-effective blood supply. This is one of the first major marketing campaigns from a blood center in the U.S. that will reach people in every type of media with one sustained message: "Help Someone Else. Become a Donor," the campaign's tagline. LeBlanc says, "The call to action has a dual meaning — to help the small number of people who are giving blood regularly, which the character represents, and, most importantly, to help someone else who needs those blood products to live." The campaign launches with video and web introduction to Someone Else at helpsomeoneelse.org, with many more aspects being rolled out, including an active Instagram presence at someoneelse_ri, radio spots, a billboard, educational print ads, digital web banners, and local appearances by "Someone Else" himself. As people become familiar with our hero "Someone Else," there will even be an option for volunteers to text him to let him know when they are going to help out.
Blood donations are needed for emergency procedures, surgeries, various genetic diseases and to save the lives of trauma victims. Most frequently though, blood is used to save the lives of people battling cancer. In many cases, a single donation can help save three lives by being split into red cells, platelets and plasma. It's no coincidence the center launches the campaign at the start of summertime, which is notoriously the most challenging times for blood centers in the U.S. to meet collections goals. LeBlanc explains, "That is because high schools and colleges that normally hold drives are out of session. Plus, more people are vacationing or enjoying the nice weather, so blood donation is not top-of-mind even though the need for blood is just as critical."
Blood center staff will be handing out stickers to donors with the hashtag #IHelpedSomeoneElse encouraging selfies on social media with life-size cutouts of Someone Else and to have donors encourage their friends and family to join the cause. LeBlanc adds, "Blood donation is one of the most heroic forms of volunteerism. It's unique and beautiful and lifesaving, and it can only come from one human being to another. That's something to be proud of and celebrate with others." The blood center is also hoping to attract more people and donations with a new donor rewards program that offers more choices (from gift cards to t-shirts and apparel) and is based on a donor's personal donation frequency. The center kicks off the new program with a summer bonus. Anyone who attempts to give at a mobile blood drive or one of RIBC's six donor centers two times between now and Labor Day can choose a $10 gift card.
Creative for the campaign was conceived by NAIL Communications. "We wanted to change the way people think about blood donating. Our Someone Else character uses humor to give a human face to a very real problem — the assumption that our community blood supply is being taken care of by others," said Jeremy Crisp, Managing Partner. "The campaign endeavors to serve both as a thank you to all the people who currently donate, and as a catalyst for those who haven't yet."
Media for the campaign is being handled by PriMedia, Inc. "Our goal was to work closely with as many of the major media outlets in the state to collaboratively take on the challenge of informing the public of the need for more blood donors and donations," said Rick Boles, Vice President of Media and Operations. "Our team focus has been to create a plan to reach as many potential donors with the 'Help Someone Else' messaging to increase awareness and donations across the state." For more on the Someone Else public service campaign, on becoming a blood donor, the RIBC rewards program and who your blood donations help, visit ribc.org.news.
Contact: Kara LeBlanc
Marketing Communications Manager, Rhode Island Blood Center
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SOURCE Rhode Island Blood Center