Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that is 100% fatal, and May is ALS awareness month. The unusual campaign #ALSIceBucketChallenge that dared people to pour a bucket of ice water over their head (on video) or donate money to the charity will be forever in the history books. Millions of people worldwide used their influence on social media to raise money for the ALS Foundation.
Pat Quinn, who has been co-credited with creating the ice bucket challenge, brought the charitable throw down to the Win Facebook Page, where it then reached Pete Frates and rocketed to social media domination. And guess what? If you didn’t post your video last summer, now is your chance. A new hashtag #ChallengeALS will lead this summer’s challenge and Quinn says August 2015.
The overwhelming successful movement used the viral hashtag #ALSIceBucketChallenge. It was a raw, unforced, message that snowballed thanks to social media. Not every challenge video is created equal, the draw of watching people’s shock to ice and water, and the participants reactions cannot be rehearsed. All organic posts by real people are fun to watch, and marketers are trying to duplicate it. Future challenges are the same, post the video, pledge to donate money to the cause and conclude with challenging friends and family to create a domino effect. Challenges are cause-based and call attention to research and awareness support.
The Ice Bucket Challenge videos hit 1 billion views on Youtube.com. “The meme hit another major milestone this week, combined with the volume of uploads, makes it one of the biggest video memes in the history of the Internet.” Celebrities and influential people including President George W. Bush, Oprah, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Jimmy Fallon, Justin Timberlake and many more all were filmed challenging others and dumping cold water on their heads.
The ALS organization took precautions and considered staffing and hired temps and volunteers to handle call volume and donations. It was important to keep donors informed of the allocation of the funds. The ALS website hosted an ice-bucket information tab with lots of press releases. A social-media manager was employed to defuse rumors on Facebook and other sites. This infographic gives facts about where the funds have been allocated.
Fellowships for scientists pursuing careers in ALS research will receive funds from the challenge for clinical trials. So, don’t forget! There is opportunity for you to post your video with this summers continuation of ALS awareness. Keep the momentum going! #ChallengeALS