With my Medical Humanities Minor and interest in the health sphere, I aim to learn more about social media as it relates to the changing landscape of medicine.
For my first post, I found that Stand Up 2 Cancer is a fascinating case study. The nonprofit came across my newsfeed (on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter) this past weekend through its most recent Valentine’s Day themed campaign: #KissCancerGoodbye. Supporters are encouraged to post pictures kissing their loved ones, to raise awareness and money along with camaraderie (evidenced through likes, shares and comments).
The organization was built around personal networks. There is a small core team, which has expanded outwards through social networks and a collaborative structure made up of business alliances and scientific Dream Teams. The organization raises money through multiple platforms, all of which rely heavily on social media. Every two years celebrities host a Stand Up 2 Cancer Show on networks like ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and HBO. The live event encourages tweeting, posting, hash-tagging, texting and most of all donating. Past shows have utilized live video streaming on Hulu, celebrity video chats via Youtube, personal messages sent in through social media, and online fundraising. Celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow, Tom Hanks, Justin Timberlake, Julia Roberts, Michael Douglas and Matt Damon appear alongside musical performances by Lupe Fiasco, Jennifer Hudson, Ariana Grande, The Who, and the Dave Matthews Band. The last telecast in 2014 raised $109 million for innovative research. Stand Up 2 Cancer clearly demonstrates the power of producing, sharing and talking about content.
Other recognizable branding from Stand Up 2 Cancer comes in the form of the signs that read “I stand up for _____.” Throughout the year people post pictures holding their own personalized signs. Celebrities and fans also participate at special sporting events, like the Home Run Derby and ice hockey games.
Their website contains a blog providing frequent updates on events. The public has the option to easily follow, connect and share with Stand Up 2 Cancer in all different forms. One may purchase apparel from the online store and then upload a picture wearing it, with any number of hashtags. For a nonprofit that seeks to use 100% of its money for research such as clinical trials, costs for marketing and raising that money are a big factor. Social media provides the answer. Any impression that leads to more site traffic is a good thing. Through their website people can get information, learn about different ways to donate and support others, as well as host their own event or start a school club. Stand Up 2 Cancer, founded in May 2008, was able to quickly scale its objective and go international. The SU2C team effectively harnesses the power of people for their worthy cause. One writer, Chris Perry, explains:
Use of digital and social media is intended to shed massive light on the human impact of cancer — and how people can collectively join the fight.
“At Stand Up To Cancer, we know this is personal. It used to be that people talked about six degrees of separation,” [Jules DiBiase, director of digital media, says]. “With cancer, it’s one degree, and it’s got to stop. We know that’s why people are so dedicated to the cause.
The organization is inextricably linked with social media. Without its online platforms, their message and mission would not reach nearly as many people. This is just one example of the good that can stem from social media. This blog post is merely one more contribution to the SU2C digital footprint.