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The Red Cross: Marketing a New Demographic Area Locally - Essay Example

While The Red Cross collectively helps, manages, and restores our community, it also takes pride in increasing global awareness and helping our planet get the essential blood supplies we need. We have spent most of the duration of this semester researching and analyzing current media, marketing techniques, and ways The Red Cross can Improve In the community. With the continued expansion of The Red Cross organization as a whole, my group believes that new strategies need to be implemented after years of this continued expansion.

After researching financial and current web and media presence, we can e that The Red Cross, even though one of the biggest non-profit organization worldwide, can still take the necessary steps in order to continue improvements. With local awareness at Its minimum, my group has planned to start taking initiative through the local Twitter and Faceable Red Cross sites that are receiving little to no activity.

Because little is being done to showcase these improvements, The Red Cross needs to find financial from local groups and organizations and continue to spread the word. Our research presents a strategy and technique that will best serve The Red Cross in years to come. We hope our marketing proposal is useful to your company, and if you have any questions feel free to contact me at the e-mail below. Sincerely, University of Kentucky [email protected] Sky. Due Once.

Proposal The Red Cross: Marketing a New Demographic Area Locally and Nationally Prepared for Commercial Communications Manager Bluegrass Region Red Cross Prepared by Tyler Ford, Dylan Steele, James Blanch, Deadness Singletree, and Daniel Raise Lexington, KY 40506 14 April 2013 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The American Red Cross is a worldwide organization with the main goal of serving and helping those who are in need. The Red Cross is known well throughout the country and already has several ways for finding information, volunteering, donating and so forth.

However, The Red Cross in the local area of Lexington still has room for improvement. The report introduces new ideas and proposals for ways to increase: social media presence, campus events, donations, volunteer work, etc. Through research and interaction with students, the group came up with the best solutions to attract more people locally who are still in high school and in college. Through research my group has found out how active The American Red Cross is hen it comes to social media, volunteer work, and local events. The Red Cross’ website at the national level is outstanding.

However, when you compare Lexington version to the national version of American Red Cross’ website, it is very poor. The Bluegrass Chapter, which is the chapter Lexington belongs in, is one of many chapters related to The American Red Cross. The Bluegrass Chapter lacks the presence of The American Red Cross to great extent neglected in comparison to the national level. The main idea of the report is to explain the Bluegrass Chapter’s presence in the social media, what they are about, as ell as producing solutions in order to increase local awareness and interaction.

In order to attract new volunteers and bring awareness throughout the local area of Lexington, the group needs to target students of the University of Kentucky. Greek life and campus creativity is the main way of grabbing the attention of students who are in college or still in high school. The idea is a week full of exciting campus events that students will actually want to be a part of rather than ignoring. The group created an event that will be held each day of the week leading up to the blood drive on the Friday of that same week.

Its international affiliate is known as The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (FRI.). It helps to coordinate activities between the 188 National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies within the organizations movement. Altogether, there are about 97 million people worldwide who serve with the ISRC, the International Federation, and the National Societies. The headquarters of the organizations are located in Geneva, Switzerland. While internationally the FRI. has made a tremendous impact throughout the globe, the societies can have Just as big f an impact in local and state communities as well.

Locally The Red Cross works on many humanitarian efforts in the community such as: education efforts, blood drives, and natural disaster relief’s, along with a lot of other volunteer work, when needed. In today’s global society where everything and everyone are connected through the Internet, it is important for The American Red Cross to prioritize the use of social media. They can increase their effectiveness using social media and web presence to help maximize: donations, volunteers, and event awareness throughout the entire community.

In this report, the group will briefly discuss the background and history of The Red Cross starting internationally, and then funnel down to their local impact here in the Lexington area. The group will then explain in length about The Red Cross’s current media presence (web, and social media) along with their current funding and awards. Following the current media presence, the group will describe new ways to increase media presence along with new ways to increase funds and donations. The group will also explain ways to keep and attract new volunteers locally in order to have a more successful impact on the Lexington area.

BACKGROUND The beginning of The Red Cross was an idea created by a Swiss businessman, Jean- Henry Duncan, when he witnessed the despair during the Battle of Soldering while visiting Napoleon Ill. After Duncan witnessed the genocide during the battle and saw the lack of medical attention given to wounded soldiers, he decided to abandon the business side of his trip and focus on developing a plan to help wounded soldiers. According to the about us section on The Red Cross’ international website, these processes led him to write a book later known as A Memory of Soldering. Duncan then

In result, this led to a conference in which nations and states around Europe decided to adopt his strategy, thus making way for the beginning of The International Red Cross movement. The movement began to catch way across all nations over the years, which lead to the ISRC becoming one of the world’s largest volunteer associations throughout the 20th century. The ISRC played an enormous role during World War I and World War II. The wars were the first major test to the society strength because the ISRC required cooperation between warring nations and individual Red Cross societies.

During this mime The Red Cross was still able to amass many volunteer workers to assist those in need even in such a time of hardship between the nations. During this period the ‘CAR also created a branch of their association that helped prisoners of war receive the medical attention needed and made sure that the nations treated the prisoners fairly. One of the largest contributors to The International Red Cross today comes from The American Red Cross. According to their national website, The American Red Cross (ARC) was founded in Washington D. C. N 1881 by a woman with the name of Clara Barton. Clara was inspired to start The Red Cross when she visited Europe and witnessed the impact the organization could have in regards of helping people in need. Having Just witnessed the bloody outcome of the Civil War in America, Clara realized the importance of establishing The American Red Cross. With Clara leading the organization, she would later lead America’s first domestic and international disaster relief efforts in coordination with the Army during the Spanish-American Wars. In 1905, the U. S. Ingress officially recognized the organization with a charter that loud pave the way for the ARC to become one of the largest volunteer and relief associations in the nation. Today, the supporters, volunteers and employees of The American Red Cross provides compassionate care in five critical areas: people affected by disasters in America, support for members of the military and their families, blood collection, processing and distribution, health and safety education and training, as well as international relief and development. Along with the International and National chapters, The Red Cross also has State based chapters.

The chapter for Kentucky is known as The Bluegrass Region and insists of eight community chapters. According to The Red Cross national website, the eight chapters of the Bluegrass region include: Bluegrass Area Chapter (covering Lexington and Fayette County), Big Sandy Chapter, Central Kentucky Chapter, Daniel Boone Chapter, Lake Cumberland Area Chapter, Mid-East Kentucky Chapter, Northeast Kentucky Chapter serving, Southeastern Kentucky Chapter. The State and local chapters provide many different services to the community such Social Services, Health & Safety Courses, and the WHEELS Transportation Program (Fayette County only).

According to facts on governing. Rig, the Bluegrass Area Region assisted 91 5 families who were victimized by a disaster, provided services to 942 members of the military and their families, and trained nearly 16,000 individuals in lifesaving skills during the 2012 fiscal year. WEB PRESENCE According to a study conducted by Nora Gamin Barnes, from the University of Massachusetts, she claims, that by 2009, ninety seven percent of charitable organizations were using some form of social media (Barnes 3). The study also found that all well-known charities and organizations, such as The Red Cross in the United

States, are using at least one form of social media. They use the following for social media: websites, blobs, bedposts, Faceable, Namespace, Twitter, Linked, Youth, and more. In fact, media presence is a very important factor when spreading awareness and also when helping with fundraisers. The American Red Cross Bluegrass Area Chapter is the chapter in which Lexington belongs, but there are still other chapters across the entire country. The Bluegrass Area Chapter relies on media presence heavily in order to increase awareness and donations locally, but also to show transparency and loyalty in their works.

The American Red Cross Bluegrass Area Chapter uses several media tools to get connected with people in the region. The Bluegrass Chapter has a website that is directly linked from the international website, or you could simply enter the URL separately. The purpose of the Bluegrass Chapter’s website is to: make information easier to locate, enhance interaction with people within the region, and to provide better integration with social media channels. The homepage of the website immediately catches the attention of the viewer’s eye because of the emotional image that stretches out across the entire screen.

The website has several visuals that require a certain plug-in, such as adobe, that some users may not be able to download. There are several elements of the website that will catch the reader’s attention before anything else, for example different fonts. Not only is the website visual, but the structure throughout the website is very well organized. The top of the homepage is equipped with the most important tabs such as: donate funds, take a class, give blood, and ways to help. The easy, accessible tabs at the top of the page make it easy for viewer’s to navigate around the entire website.

There are other links on both sides of the page with important information as well, Just not as important as the tabs written at the top. The website is very consistent when it comes to more important information being written in larger letters than information with less importance. We need to consider the contrast aspect of it, which is achieved through the use of color, icons, bold face and much more. Website to keep the people informed of activities happening around the nation. They provide updates mostly on what is happening at the national level of the United States, but not much locally.

Even though there is not much local news, The Bluegrass Chapter needs to keep local people updated every opportunity that becomes available. Right underneath the latest news and events section is a section of upcoming events, where they provide important information of upcoming events. The Bluegrass Area Chapter includes a blob section located at the bottom of the website that directly relates to the people of Lexington. The link is essential to the Bluegrass Area Chapter because people get to voice their opinions and interact with other people that are involved. However, the blobs are not used as much as the roof would like to see.

This shows that the citizens locally are not as actively involved with volunteer work and donations as the community should be. While The Red Cross’s website has been in place for years, new marketing tips are now being implemented based on the current market of the economy. As The Red Cross is on Twitter and Faceable, along with many other social media websites, there are still no handles or hyperlinks on the website beside their logo. Most people recognize The American Red Cross’ logo when it is linked to a fundraising effort, but they often do not have links that take people directly to their page.

Direct links to the website from the advertisements would make things simpler in regards of learning information about The Red Cross. However, increasing awareness online does not have to be shown directly through the website; new ways of advertisement are emerging every generation. A new idea that has recently come about is a blueprint tag that you can scan with your smart phone that will immediately take you to The Red Cross’ website. These are becoming more popular by the day considering smart phones are becoming the new era.

Local techniques, such as putting blueprint tags on flyers, can spread information by word-of-mouth around local colleges and campuses. The blueprint tag is on the rise giving students new ways to discover information and spread awareness of The American Red Cross locally. The social network is a very good way of spreading awareness, but it is not the only way. NEWS COVERAGE The Red Cross is one of the biggest charity organizations covering major media locally and internationally. The American Red Cross Bluegrass Area Chapter relies on local newspapers and TV’s in the Lexington area to reach a wider audience.

They rely on the media to share the advertisements influencing more people to donate, whether donations are cash or blood donations. Media coverage also helps them keep and gain loyalty of people by giving reports on where and how the donations The Bluegrass Area Chapter’s news stories and advertisements are released on the most popular newspapers and television shows such as: The Lexington Herald Leader, Kentucky Kernel, WATT, and Leg 18. The Lexington Herald Leader has been one of the main supporters when it comes to the Bluegrass Area Chapter.

The Lexington Herald Leader is a great supporter, due in part, to their past Kentucky Cares campaigns in order to assist people affected by disasters. Not only do they create their own campaigns to help, but also they put box ads in their daily newspaper. The box ads encourage more people to make donations by testing Red Cross at 90998, and encourage more people to visit their online web page. Locally, The American Red Cross Bluegrass Area Chapter hasn’t received any individual awards yet even though they’re doing a wonderful Job in the community.

On the other hand, the International Committee of The Red Cross has been awarded with the Nobel Peace Prize 3 times in 1917, 1944, and 1963, and the founder of The Red Cross has also won the first Nobel Peace Prize. While print sources are usually received locally, many Red Cross groups can go around to local schools and campuses and set-up tables and booths talking about news and events they have coming up for students and faculty. Bracelets and wristbands like this one in Figure 1 can be handed out in order to attract emotional appeal to students across campuses: Figure 1 .

Awareness Wristbands Source: http://www. Mingling. Com/bands/arc/index. HTML In addition to wristbands, like the ones featured above in Figure 1, other items that can be given out at the booths are: flyers, cups, stress balls, and pens/pencils. These types of incentives could possibly influence local students to learn information about the organization and get more involved. As The Bluegrass Area Chapter continues to increase awareness in the news through print sources, like pamphlets and flyers at booths, they are also doing a great deal to get their name out through commercials and other types of ads.

Hosted and launched last year, The Red Cross is currently undergoing a television campaign that will be included now and the next years to come. With many different themes and symbolic meanings, new television commercials will show stories of Orvis’s who were helped personally by The American Red Cross. The stories can reach as far as a natural disaster, or a health concern that needed to be treated with the right blood specimen. My group has done multiple hours of research and learned that this campaign has been going on for months, however my group has never personally seen one of the stories on television.

The online videos deliver good messages and show that The American Red Cross is very touching and puts forth a lot of effort to protect the public. The videos have yet nationwide telethons in order to increase food and shelter for less-privileged hillier across seas. Although, these telethons can be ran for hours with none of the public even knowing they are actually happening. All it takes is a few steps in order to get these telethons and television ads aware to the publics eye. SOCIAL MEDIA STANDING In this day and age, social media is a big part of Just about everything.

Since The Red Cross is a very well known and well-established organization, our group expected to find a lot from their social media pages. From our findings, we have concluded that their social media presence is not ideal for an organization as known and as popular as them. Their social media presence could easily get them more support in every aspect, but it will take a lot of time and energy to change people’s minds about The Red Cross’ Faceable and Twitter pages. Featured below, in Figure 2, are the numbers of followers/likes received by the local and national Red Cross Twitter and Faceable pages: Figure 2.

Twitter and Faceable Followers Source: data drawn from the local and national Red Cross Faceable and Twitter pages By referring up to the figure, you can see that The Red Cross does a better Job using Faceable to spread the word and increase awareness about their organization. Throughout the duration of these next two social media sections, we will refer back to this graph to retrieve data about these sites. Faceable The Red Cross Lexington Faceable page is currently on an upward path.

After looking at Figure 2 above, we can see that their Faceable page has 494 likes so far, but with the help of our youth willing to raise awareness to the community, my group can definitely see this page getting thousands of likes in due time. In order to gain awareness and likes for The Red Cross Faceable website, we will have to find volunteers willing to spread the word about the page, make frequent posts, and outwork with other organizations. In order to accomplish these goals, The Red Cross will have to post pictures more often because it attracts the viewer’s eye much more than plain text.

Currently, this page has a very negligible amount of posts and comments, so with little to no activity they cannot increase awareness. Mandating a certain amount of activity or posts could increase more followers to Join and or follow The Red Cross’ page. Posting videos of actual events The Red Cross sponsors and also publicizing their partners will also earn trust and loyalty from their viewers as well as other local businesses ND potential sponsors. Promoted posts give fans a chance to raise awareness of the organization while also entering in a chance to win money and special prizes provided by local sponsors and organizations.

Cross can start to bring in loyal fans that will start volunteering and participating in events. In addition to posting these events, post the TV ads that are on local channels also on the Faceable page and post videos of the works done, which can increase trust and loyalty. With all of these things being done a lot more publicity, volunteers, donations, sponsors, supporters, etc should come along. Twitter Surprisingly, the Twitter account for The Red Cross Lexington is not up to par with any other web media they have.

To gain more social acceptance from the youth and others, this page has to get on track with everything else standing behind The Red Cross. The Red Cross Twitter page is not being run effectively, and has not been updated in nearly a year, making it clear that there has been a small amount of effort put into the task. According to The Red Cross Lexington Twitter page, they currently have 63 followers, 34 tweets, and are following 17 people. Twitter is one of the best ways to spread the word, gain support, and raise awareness n this day and age so The Red Cross needs to take advantage of this publicity.

To first get their audience established, The Red Cross needs to start following at least 100 or more Lexington locals, students, and businesses to get their name out there and encourage more people to follow them back. Inviting posts can be made daily including updates on events, campaigns, and sponsors to attract more people to tune-in to their page. Mentioning other organizations and businesses in their tweets can return the favor to affiliates and sponsors that help The Red Cross, and this will also increase the page exposure.

Having something to give back to the followers will also encourage more people to follow and will also help keep followers. With the national website including 2,874 tweets and 38,463 followers, there is not much being done to continue to include more followers and bring about more news on local events and fundraisers. With incorporated times of events and fundraisers they hold, The American Red Cross can start to incorporate disaster relief notifications that notify the public sooner than the local news can when a major world disaster is about to strike.

A lot of the public finds out at the last minute about starters that are about to happen and have to react quickly and abruptly. Described above, they can include posts of the local telethons or set up events through Twitter that are sent to all of their followers and the people that they follow. In addition to the main website, The Red Cross has local chapter pages on Twitter that show more specific areas and include information about more local events that would be hard to show on a global and/or national scale. These weeper’s are rarely monitored and include a very small amount of posts and/or photos. If a handful of