By July 16, 2012 0 Comments Read More →

Hélène Campbell will be welcomed back to Ottawa

Hélène Campbell will be welcomed back home to Ottawa tomorrow. The event will be hosted at 11:30am at the Centennial Flame on Parliament Hill in the Sussex Lounge of the Government Conference Centre, 2 Rideau Street [update: location changed due to the risk if thundershowers] by Federal Minister of Health Leona Aglukkaq, Nepean-Carleton MP Pierre Poilievre and Hot 89.9 personality Jeff Mauler.

I’ve written about Hélène on a number of occasions (here, here and here). She was the recipient of a life-saving double-lung transplant on April 6. By that time she was already famous for having used social media to increase awareness about organ donation. Her campaign was successful. With the help of high profile celebrities Justin Bieber and Ellen DeGeneres, Hélène didn’t just raise awareness, she initiated a shift in attitude. #BeAnOrganDonor resulted in a significant increase in donor registrations in Canada. I’ve heard Canada’s Trillium Foundation has dubbed this The Hélène Campbell Effect.

Hélène’s use of social media can be a model for public affairs campaigns. It’s for that reason I’ve continued my research and will write more on the subject.

I’ll be there, tomorrow, and will probably upload some video of the event. In the meantime, enjoy this short video of a talk delivered by Lorne Pike at TEDx ST. Johns: A Tweet to Save a Life in which he features Hélène and her campaign. Note Mr. Pike’s math about the number of people directly and immediately helped by Hélène’s efforts isn’t quite accurate – the Trillium Foundation reports a typical day of donor registrations sees about 20-50 new registrants, each with the potential of saving as many as eight lives when the registrant’s own life ends.

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About the Author:

Mark Blevis is a digital public affairs strategist and President of FullDuplex.ca, an integrated digital communications, public affairs and research company. His work focuses on the role of digital tools and culture on issues and reputation management. He also leads research into how Canadian opinions are shaped through online content and interactions.