This is a guest post by Zachary Fenell
In the United States March marks Cerebral Palsy (CP) Awareness Month. Funny, I almost typed “In the United States March gets recognized as Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month.” Similar sentences but I feel there remains a big difference. Said difference revolves around the word “recognized.”
People recognize October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Almost everything turns pink! Honestly, how many people outside the CP community actually know about Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month? Sorry if that sounds cynical.
Good news though! I’m not sitting here disgruntled, just set to complain. Rather I wanted to identify the issue because I believe understanding the issue proves crucial to better positioning Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month. Better positioning means increased awareness, the whole idea to begin with!
So you might wonder how do we position CP Awareness Month better? Something seemingly as small as social media strategy I decree could greatly help pursue the mission. Specifically I wish to share two strategies. They do contain a common theme, extending CP awareness beyond the CP community.
Strategy #1: Using Relevant Hashtags
Hashtags rule! On a platform consumed with constant communication, hashtags allow for categorizing communication. This enhances the chances people will actually read your tweet! Hooray!
Warning, don’t just use hashtags like “#CerebralPalsyAwareness” and “#cerebralpalsy.” That keeps your potential outreach to those who already know about CP. Instead include other relevant hashtags too. For example, if you come across a read about someone with cerebral palsy who does yoga, tweet out the link and use the hashtag “#yoga.”
Boom! You just introduced CP to a crowd who the majority probably never heard the term “cerebral palsy” before.
Strategy #2: Get Creative
Like Laura, I also create Youtube videos. Over the past six months I began toying with a video series “If [Insert Celebrity Name] had cerebral palsy…” To date I made a Rocky Balboa inspired exercise montage plus videos imitating Hulk Hogan and the Cleveland Indians’ Nick Swisher. Especially with the latter two I outlined certain CP facts to incorporate into the videos.
Again by infusing an outside category into the cerebral palsy conversation I expand the audience beyond those who already know about cerebral palsy. Hulk Hogan even retweeted my “If Hulk Hogan had cerebral palsy…” video, greatly multiplying the video’s audience.
Whether you put content out on Youtube or just Facebook and Twitter you can get creative. Think about ways you can hijack trending hashtags to make them about cerebral palsy awareness. Brainstorm! I look forward to seeing what you come up with.
Zachary Fenell is an author and online freelancer. To learn more about him visit http://zacharyfenell.com
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