The waterfall of ice bucket challenges poured down your social media feeds, but did you ever hear the whole story? Peter Frates, a 29 year-old former Baseball Captain at Boston College was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. As a victim to a disease where your spinal cord and muscles don’t communicate and degeneration is rapid, Peter wanted to raise awareness and financial support for research. Without being able to speak, he used Vanilla Ice’s “Ice, Ice Baby” to create the ice bucket challenge. According to the ALS Association spokeswoman Carrie Munk, in August 2013, donations were around $22,000 and CNN reported that more than $4 million was raised in August 2014 for the Association and its 38 chapters.
For the thousands of people who did watch the videos or participate, it shows that people want to make an impact or are hungry to hear a good story. By nominating someone else to participate, they help spread the message and hope to get others engaged.
In business, we can learn from the ice bucket challenge.
Find Value in Partners. People who believe in a common value produce greatness. Creating strategic alliances makes the circle of influence twice as strong and creates unity.
Branding is trending. Peter Frates used the hashtag phenomenon to raise awareness to thousands of people who may not have known about the disease. Education is powerful. On Instagram if you click on #alsicebucketchallenge you will find more than 86,000 videos of the ice bucket challenge. I’d love to know how many of those 86,000 users googled ALS, I know I did. Have you searched for your company using a hashtag? Try it out and see what you find. Sourcecon recently published an article about a recruiter who found and hired a software developer from searching #SoftwareDeveloper on Instagram.
Be present. Be the expert in your industry and become a bank of knowledge. Ask questions and challenge what seems to be the standard. As citizens, we sometimes assume scientists and doctors are working on cures for terminal diseases when in reality such research relies on the dime. Peter’s awareness obviously made a financial difference for the ALS Association.
Peter Frates’ movement has made history in social media. It has brought together a community of people who are looking for hope, it has provided financial investment and it has proved that people are actively engaged on the worldwide web.
As Talent Acquisition Manager, Jessica focuses on finding the right candidates to fit our clients’ needs. She works with our clients to understand the exact skills and attributes that would fit with the cultural climate and their environment.