As I'm writing this, I don't feel quite like myself. But that's just because I don't look like myself. And that's because of this ridiculous mustache I've been growing for the past month.
And I'm not alone. By the time you read this, another Movember will be behind us. Many of us participating have been literally itching to shave our mustaches. I'm still trying to figure out if I should be bummed or happy that I was dubbed as having only the second creepiest mustache of the group of 18 in my office.
But while I'm looking forward to being once-again clean shaven, I will look back fondly on the month of sharing knowing nods and conversations with those of various hairy lip arrangements. We helped raise money for the good cause of prostate cancer research. And we helped encourage many men to take care of their health.
To be honest, I probably wouldn't have joined this movement as an active mustache-growing participant had it not been for the amazing experience I had just one month earlier working with my wife and friends for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure walk.
After helping out just a little bit with a pre-walk benefit rally, I was super-impressed with the fundraising prowess of a group of people who were connected by a mutual friend and breast cancer survivor. I was also impressed by how the participants were able to leverage web and social media tools to take an active role in supporting the cause. It left a profound impact on me and left me wanting to do more.
All of these efforts got me thinking about how much easier it is for many to become involved in causes, and make an impact, than ever before. It also got me thinking about opportunities health marketers have to leverage the goodwill of others to support good causes.
For example, let’s say you have a hospital site, and you also support research on a variety of conditions, or you know of clinical trials that are being undertaken. Is this information easily available on your web site? Is it available on the most relevant pages of your site for that condition? Is the information sharable so that loved ones of those with the condition could support those research efforts or pass along the clinical trial information? Is your social media manager regularly informed of this information so that they can periodically share/promote it?
Do you have targeted communities dedicated to specific conditions? Is that information easy to find? Are the threads searchable from your main site’s search apparatus? Could specific, helpful engagement opportunities like the ones listed above be listed as featured search results?
Whether people are wearing pink ribbons or silly mustaches or joining fund-raising walks to support research, one thing is abundantly clear: These are people who often have deep, personal connections to specific people with specific conditions, and they’re frustrated that there’s only so much they can do to help. The more organizations can do to help these people find targeted support opportunities and enable them to feel like they’re making a real difference, the better off we will all be in the long run.