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11 May 2012

NHS and Facebook join forces for organ donation campaign

Tim Gibbon, director Elemental By Tim Gibbon

NHS Blood and Transplant in the UK and social network Facebook has teamed up to launch a campaign to raise awareness for organ donation. In a new way, albeit very obvious approach, people that want to register for organ donation can use the register tab on the Organ Donation UK Facebook webpage. The page also allows people to share their wishes with loved ones by using the life event tab to add the update to their Timeline.

An image of the Organ Donation UK Facebook webpage

Organ donation is a delicate and sensitive subject matter, although necessary as the demand for organs grows and the waiting lists struggle to keep up (it’s estimated that 10,000 are on the transplant waiting list in the UK). This latest campaign taps into the reach of communities possibly without the influence ever seen before to educate an audience that may not be exposed to such issues. It may be one of the most difficult decisions that friends, family and loved ones ever have to make. To discuss whether someone they care about has opted to ‘give live after death’ will always be difficult conversation to approach as discussed by Simon Milner, the UK policy director at Facebook and NHS Blood and Transplant's director of organ donation and transplantation, Sally Johnson in a BBC interview. The partnership between both parties strives to not only create awareness, but also to provide information that can have a major impact on organ donation.


The campaign so far is accompanied by figures and facts collated in three different organ donation infographics currently available on the Facebook page in which the NHS encourages users to spread the word. Featured on BBC Breakfast morning news television programme, the UK won’t be the only country to experience the campaign with similar relationships to be launched in Australia, the Netherlands and the US.


An image of National Transplant WeekWith such a boost (and at the time of writing the page has attracted 70,996 Likes 02 May and 73,235 on 11 May 2012), it certainly gives the NHS Blood and Transplant a platform to reach existing and new audiences, particularly when there are further activities planned for this year such as National Transplant Week Organ Donation Campaign has appears to have plenty of competitions, conversations and giveaways to keep its Facebook community vibrant. Currently, re-posting the campaign is massaging the debate s reengaging its audience, but it will be interesting to see how this may develop.


Yet again social environments, and in this particular instance Facebook, show that it can be an interesting and effective medium - one that is so engrained into society now – that it can throw new light on subject matters and transcend preconceived views.


A version of this article first appeared on Technorati.

Categories: News, Marketing, Social media

Tags: NHS, NHS organ donation, NHS organ donation campaign, organs, organ, organ transplants, Facebook, social network, social media

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