The Dream 

100wellwishes-logo_finalIt was two weeks until Oct. 1 – National Breast Cancer Awareness month. Two individuals wanted to bring one idea to life. This idea, they envisioned, would help spread positivity through words of encouragement. In short, here it was:

The idea: generate 100 “Well Wish” videos via Facebook for a particular person going through breast cancer treatments. 

Bringing this to life involved meetings, brainstorming sessions, outreach tactics, filming, production, design, content and social posts involving every single member of the Obu team. Together, we became inspired to continue.

In our perfect Obu world, we dreamed the campaign would gain traction and go “viral,” perhaps as fast as the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge had only a month earlier. If people across the country were willing to take videos of themselves dumping buckets of ice water on their head for a good cause, wouldn’t they do something similar (and less chilling) for a woman in need of encouragement?

“But at the end of October, we didn’t reach 100. Did we fail?!” Absolutely not. Heartfelt videos poured in from San Diego, California to Sydney, Australia. Through road bumps and challenges, what mattered at the end of the day was the difference we did make. Whether you are a marketing professional, legal expert or other knowledge seeker, I hope our adventure can spark some useful insight so that YOU can make a successful difference on your own. 

To get an overall sense of these heartfelt well-wish videos, skip to 0:33 in our highlight video below. This was specifically made for Angel McIlwain, a breast cancer fighter from Ohio.

Preparation for Take Off – Detailing the Action Plan

“The achievements of an organization are the result of the combined effort of each individual.” – Vince Lombardi

Vince preaches the truth. Gears were turned up and minds were put in motion. As soon as our six law firm clients were on board, internal meetings took off like a golf ball hit with Thor’s hammer. We detailed what needed to be done, and we were focused on our October launch date.

In addition to our overarching goal of getting 100 videos made for a breast cancer fighter throughout October, we had smaller, subsequent goals of improving SEO through social signals for our six law firm client sites who we wanted to sponsor each fighter. Recently, Searchmetrics analyzed the search results for 10,000 keywords. From this, a correlation of the top 30 ranking-factors were broken down. The top half of their chart proved that social signals (share, comments and likes of Facebook, tweets, etc.) did indeed play an overall role in ranking. We hoped the engagement from these posts would improve search engine rankings.

The following action items were broken down and built upon:

  1. Find six women fighting breast cancer who were already public about their battle and wouldn’t mind being in the spotlight to receive these well wishes:
    • Sarah Kurtz

      Sarah Kurtz

      GoFundMe, a crowd-funding website, proved to be the best platform to find these fighters in each of the law firm’s local cities. We wanted to keep the “well wishes” local and coming from others living around that fighter. Linked below are the six amazing fighters we contacted from across the country.  

      • Sarah Kurtz 

      • Yvonne Dick 
      • Karen Costello-Buck 
      • Angel McIlwain
      • Cherie Diggs
      • Debbie Brodka 
  2. 100 Well Wishes brand:
    • 100wellwishes logoLogo/brand identity:
      • Our team chose from six different options that Derrick, our creative director, designed. The pink was representative of the breast cancer ribbon color, while the #100WellWishes text clearly defined our campaign name and goal.
    • Domain purchase and website design:
      • We purchased 100wellwishes.org. Derrick crafted a clean and clear design incorporating four main features: an instructional video, a social feed with the hashtag #100wellwishes, the teams and our law firm sponsors in the footer.
    • 100WellWishesSocial media pages (Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube):
  3. An instructional video for the campaign:
    • With the help of everyone at Obu, we brought this detailed instructional video to life. We incorporated examples of how people wished others well (with a friend, by themselves, outside on a bench, on their computer at home, etc.), and what our goal for the campaign was throughout Breast Cancer Awareness Month. 
  4. A sub-page on each of the six law firm websites incorporating the #100WellWishes brand:

    100WellWishes  TeamSarah   Sarah Kurtz 100 Well Wishes sponsored by Fried  Rogers  Goldberg  LLC

    Sarah Kurtz – 100 Well Wishes content – Fried Rogers Goldberg’s sponsor

  5. Barron & Berry
  6. Fried Rogers Goldberg 
  7. Oshman & Mirisola 
  8. Plevin & Gallucci
  9. Brain Injury Law Center 
  10. Robinson, Calcagnie, Robinson, et al 
  11. Two paid Facebook posts per client to help with local promotion and 100 Well Wishes’ identity:
    • Brain Injury Law Center_post examplePost #1: One image with content that linked to each law firm landing page describing 100 Well Wishes:
      • We targeted females ages 25-45 on Facebook who had an interest in breast cancer.
      • The target audience had to be within a 50-mile radius of the law firm.
    • Post #2: One post that contained only the instructional video:
      • We wanted users to have access to the video, which explained the campaign in more detail, without having to navigate away from Facebook. By keeping users on the page, we hoped to retain attention and increase participation.
  12. Six new Facebook cover photos for each law firm page:
    • We made a cover photo that incorporated simply the team name (e.g. #TeamKaren) and the #100WellWishes logo.
    • Note: We left blank space throughout the bottom left portion when designing to account for the profile picture and description when uploaded.
  13. Content:
    • Stories about each of the six breast cancer fighters:
      • Through email and the GoFundMe pages we were able to write a short story about each fighter. These could be found on the individual 100WellWishes landing pages, as well as on 100wellwishes.org. 
    • Landing pages and website:
      • We incorporated instructions on 100wellwishes.org, the landing pages, Facebook promoted posts and social media pages. This alleviated any confusion about how to participate, helping us reach our overall goal. 

100WellWishes  TeamAngel   Angel McIlwain 100 Well Wishes sponsored by Plevin and Gallucci

100WellWishes preparation - luxi choi and lauren fitzpatrick

Me and Luxi on launch day

On Thursday, Oct. 2, we went full throttle and launched each of the paid Facebook post ads – our main source of outreach at the time. Coincidentally, the timing went hand-in-hand with our bi-annual Obu outing, in which we launched directly from our hotel room — mimosas in hand. With planning and preparation behind us, we were feeling accomplished, eager and excited for the month ahead.

Oct. 2-17: Road Bumps and Resolutions

We kicked it off internally with everyone at Obu. We watched our Facebook ads get clicks, likes and shares, and we enjoyed the reaction and participation of friends and family as word spread. We even had a small competition going, with each of us broken into groups and representing one of the fighters. It was an exciting start, but we were also running into issues and realizing problems that may be hindering the general public – our main target – from uploading a video.

CommentsBulleted below were some of our issues, and how we attempted to alleviate most:

  • Hashtags on Facebook
    • Road Bump: Facebook’s hashtag filter was not as reliable and resourceful as we had hoped. The hashtags:
      1. Did not filter through to 100wellwishes.org.
      2. Only showed videos for the last 1-5 days.
      3. Showed different results depending on how you were using Facebook (person vs. brand).
      4. Did not show posts that were set as “private” (usually the default) vs. “public.”
    • Resolution:  We asked friends and family to edit previous videos and change the post type to “public” instead of “private.” In addition, we edited our instructions, which we hoped people would first read. However, as you and I both know, instructions are usually overlooked. It was an easily forgotten step that prevented videos from ever being found or seen.
  • Technology Barrier
    • Friends on camera - fall theme (2)Road Bump: Can you imagine your mom, dad or grandparent taking and posting a “selfie” video? While many baby boomers impress me with their knowledge of using social media and/or apps on their phone, combining these elements and incorporating hashtags proved too complex for most. Since confusion was apparent, further participation was hindered.
    • Resolution: We lowered our age range for Facebook paid ads from ages 25-45 to 21-35 to more finely target individuals who would be more likely to know both Facebook, hashtags and the process of recording and uploading a “selfie” video.
  • ‘I Totally Would, But I Hate Being on Camera’
    • Road Bump: People are shy to get in front of a camera, take a video of themselves and then post it publicly. We were getting friends and family to do videos when we asked, but were also surprised at the number of friends who said “sure, I’ll do one!” (and we never saw it), or those who were “too busy” or simply blunt about the fact that filming and sharing a video was nerve-wracking.
    • Resolution: We decided the video process should be more “fun” and “lighthearted,” so we took initiative internally and posted videos with each other. Perhaps if we had another option to wish these fighters well – whether it be more personal with a note, a comment in a forum, blog or social post, it would have triggered more engagement.  Lesson learned!
      • Special shout-out to Shanna from Classy who specifically forewarned us about this barrier. And thank you to the Classy team for their participation with amazing, inspirational videos for our fighters along the way – very #ClassyIs 
  • Facebook Paid Posts
    • Road Bump: The images on each Facebook page were rejected a couple of times because they did not abide by Facebook’s paid promotion guidelines.
    • Resolution: Changed the images that did not capitalize the “F” in “Facebook” and re-sized the whole image to contain only 20% text.

      Our approved paid ad for Brain Injury Law Center's Facebook post - 100 Well Wishes

      Our approved paid ad for Brain Injury Law Center’s Facebook post

  • Pre-Planned Outreach and Distribution Plan
    • Content is king, but distribution isRoad Bump: A short time time frame available to brainstorm and put together an outreach plan. As soon as the campaign started, we relied on Twitter and Google+, as well as our paid ads, to get some traction going. However, distributing these posts was like speaking to an empty room. Without an audience, our outreach effort was null.
    • Resolution: I used our client twitter handles and tweeted to celebrities. But, as you can imagine, tweeting to celebrities and praying for a response was ambitious in itself. Time, of course, was not on our side.

Overall, the first couple weeks were full of testing, patience and attempting to start, push and promote the campaign. The mission, purpose and heart were in it, but October was slipping away before us. We knew we needed to shift our tactics to bring awareness to #100WellWishes, gain followers and hopefully bring in more participation. This led to some changes in how we distributed and promoted the #100WellWishes brand.

Oct. 17- 31: Alterations and Adjustments

Yep, time for a shift in mindset! As almost all of the videos were from friends and family of Obu, we needed a way to not only expand reach, but gain a following. We decided to veer from the law firm pages and focus on the main #100WellWishes Facebook page instead. Below are the specific adjustments we made:

  • Turned off the two paid Facebook posts for each law firm client.
  • Promoted the main #100WellWishes Facebook page for page likes.
  • Shared every “well wishes” video to this page. This made a big impact! Whoever “liked” the Facebook page had the potential to see all the videos in their news feed, and therefore become a true follower of the campaign.
  • Reduced “option overload” by featuring only one of our six fighters per day (instead of all six) on the Facebook page and 100WellWishes website.  100WellWishes_angel featured fighter
  • Altered the 100wellwishes.org design and content to coincide with each featured fighter daily.
  • Incorporated inspirational image quotes, memes with specific CTAs and other breast cancer news and stories into the #100WellWishes feed.
  • Promoted two competitions right before Halloween with a $100 prize to those with the best video.
    • The first: A Halloween costume contest. We wanted parents to film their kids wishing a fighter well in their Halloween costume.
    • The second: A “most creative well-wish” contest. Here, we wanted people to get together in groups of two or more and have fun with the video – maybe make a poster and talk in sync, make up a little dance routine, etc. Just as Luxi and Alyssa, as well as Madeline and Derrick, had demonstrated, making a video together was definitely more fun!

The Result

Overall, the page likes for our main #100WellWishes page took off! It was thrilling, heartwarming and uplifting to see “real” engagement with these posts. The campaign felt a lot less scattered, and truly felt like it was coming to life. This shift of focus helped to get the #100WellWishes brand off the ground more than our initial plan. Even though we did not reach 100 videos for each fighter (there were about 75 total videos come Oct. 31), our fighters were our inspiration-, and we were happy with how the campaign evolved.

Wrapping Up the Campaign

Throughout November we put together highlight videos for each of the fighters. The videos were overwhelmingly wonderful displaying snippets of each well wish, and can be viewed on the #100WellWishes Facebook page. It was a great way to wrap up everything we put together, thank everyone who participated and be able to give something tangible to the six ladies we were rooting for.  

 Overarching Lessons

  • 10612887_586340811491450_5371601075400937813_nTest your campaign to alleviate any potential barriers to participation. Technology walls, Facebook functionality issues and shy participants who want to help but are reluctant to being filmed are all big barriers that hurt our goal of 100 videos per fighter.
  • One of the biggest lessons we learned was planning and preparation. Make connections well in advance so that when the time comes for launch, the buzz has created a wildfire of anticipation.
  • Don’t assume something is viral before it is. We went into the campaign with the assumption that the well wishes could take off on their own. It’s great to WANT to have that happen, but let nature take its course. If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be. Plan, organize and get many hands involved in the outreach/promotion of the project.

All in all, we dreamed big and made an impact, and that’s what mattered. At the end of the month, we helped to make a positive difference in six breast cancer fighters’ lives, and we couldn’t have been more appreciative of every video participant. Our fighters may not have seen that many videos along the way, but we are absolutely ready to embark on our next adventure with a whole ton of knowledge in our marketing pockets.

Watch out, 2015!

We would LOVE your feedback! Comment below and let us know what you think.

Videos from: California, Washington, Nevada, Colorado, Illinois, Texas, Virginia, Ohio, New York, Tennessee, Australia, Russia and Thailand

This campaign is dedicated specifically to my mother, Joanne Fitzpatrick, who passed away from breast cancer in 2008. To cancer fighters everywhere – know that there are infinite others behind you throughout your battle.

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