The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is hot.
In just a few short weeks, the campaign has taken the social media world by storm. The idea is simple. Take a bucket of ice water, dump it over your head, and share the video via social media. Participants then challenge others to do the same.
Just this past weekend, Kennedy clan leader and matriarch Ethel Kennedy doused herself in cold water at her Hyannis Port home. Then nominated President Obama to take the challenge during his Vineyard vacay. Other notable participants include Martha Stewart (I bet her cold water is infused with a hint of lemon), Matt Lauer, and former golfing great Greg Norman.
As a marketing guy, I’m fascinated by the viral nature of this contagious campaign. So, I went to the ALS website to learn more. Much to my surprise, there was no mention of the campaign on the ALS homepage.
This got me thinking… how can this amazing organization continue to build momentum and raise some serious scratch for their great cause? I had a few ideas and I bet you do too. So here goes …
Prominently Feature the Campaign on the Homepage: (NOTE-This post was published on 8/11. ALS began featuring the Ice Bucket Challenge on it’s homepage on 8/12)
This campaign is just about everywhere except the ALS homepage. This is truly a missed opportunity. People don’t like jumping through hoops to learn how to participate or donate. The homepage should feature an Ice Bucket Challenge banner that takes viewers to a dedicated Ice Bucket Challenge webpage.
Create a Dedicated Webpage:
A dedicated Ice Bucket Challenge webpage would serve as home base for those looking to get involved and learn more. Some ideas on what the page may include:
A series of step-by-step instructional videos:
o How to shoot your Ice Bucket Challenge video
o How to share your video via social media
o How to raise funds for ALS with your video. Provide participants with ideas and inspiration on how to raise funds for ALS with their video.
For example, encourage ice bucket participants to forward their video to friends and family via text and email and ask each recipient to give $5 to ALS (make it micro-donation–if they want to give more they’ll have the option to do so on the website).
A Prominent Donate Now Button:
Not everyone is going to want to pour a bucket of cold water over their head. Make it easy for those who just want to give with a big “donate now” button.
Gallery of Participant Videos:
People love attention. Make it easy for participants to upload their Ice Bucket video to the Ice Bucket Challenge page. Chances are, once they’re video is uploaded and their story is featured, they’ll direct their friends and family to the page. The Red Cross does a great job of this with the “Tell Your Story” campaign. The webpage features unscripted stories created and filmed by real people who’ve been helped by the Red Cross.
Create a Weekly Video Montage:
Each week the folks at ALS could create a montage of the best Ice Bucket Challenge videos. And each week, the PR team could submit the video montage, along with stories of the participants, to the media. I bet this would get a lot of play. Include a few celebs in the video and your golden.
A Thank You From a Big Wig at ALS:
People love to be involved in something big, and they love to be recognized for their efforts. A video from ALS staff member thanking participants and donors will help build trust and encourage people to continue their involvement.
A Description of How the Donations will be Used:
People want to know how their donations will be specifically used to support the organization’s efforts. And this is the perfect time to share that story. This is also a great opportunity to educate the public on ALS and the research being conducted to combat the disease.
In closing, this is just the tip of the iceberg (and yes, I realize my ideas aren’t earth shattering). But this campaign has better legs than Tina Turner-and that lady has some great gams. What say you? I’d love to hear your ideas and suggestions. How can ALS capitalize on this campaign and continue to build momentum? Let’s brainstorm.
Until next time, peace, love and powerful press.