Using social media to save lives - Canadian Blood Services launches first social media site in North America for recipients to say "Thanks"



    OTTAWA, June 13 /CNW Telbec/ - Blood recipients now have an opportunity
to thank donors who may have improved or even saved their lives thanks to a
new social media site being launched by Canadian Blood Services.
Thankyourdonor.ca is a place where recipients can share their stories,
photographs and videos about how receiving blood or blood products made a
difference in their life. It is being launched as part of National Blood Donor
Week, June 9th to 14th, to pay tribute to volunteer blood donors in Canada and
inspire others to join them in saving lives.
    Angela Christopher from Ottawa is one of those recipients. She received
blood and platelets in her fight against Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia (APL), a
rare form of blood cancer. She is now in remission, but may need a stem cell
transplant in the future if her cancer returns. An excerpt from her submission
to thankyourdonor.ca reads:
    "My prayer of thanks to the donors turned into a mind-blowing epiphany of
how truly interconnected we really are as members of the human race and living
beings on this earth. Imagine: your blood and platelets are, in part, why I am
here today."
    Since blood donation is an anonymous gift, recipients normally have
little opportunity to thank the people who may have saved their lives. "It is
such a moving experience when recipients visit blood donor clinics to share
their stories and thank donors for their generosity," says Steve Harding,
Executive Director of Marketing and Communications at Canadian Blood Services.
"With this social media initiative, we are trying replicate that experience on
a wider scale so that more donors can witness first-hand the power of their
donation."
    Tribal DDB Canada and Radar DDB in Vancouver worked together to develop
the social media program for Canadian Blood Services. Tribal DDB created the
www.thankyourdonor.ca microsite, while Radar DDB developed the program and
created a communications strategy to champion the site online, build awareness
and generate participation in the program. Radar DDB will direct blood
recipients to the site to share their experiences, and invite donors to
witness the difference they've made through existing groups on Facebook and
MySpace.
    "Instead of focusing on the cause, the new site focuses on the effect of
the donation and demonstrates through powerful personal stories, photos and
videos, the positive outcome the gift of blood can make. The dialog the site
creates will be very meaningful and relevant to both recipients and donors,"
says Yvonne van Dinther, managing director, Radar DDB.
    On www.thankyourdonor.ca, a new red blood cell appears each time a
recipient creates a profile. Under their profile, recipients can express their
gratitude and post photos and videos of things they are thankful for. Video
content can be uploaded through a YouTube Channel Group:
www.youtube.com/thankyourdonor and will be merged with the recipient profiles.
The YouTube Channel Group also allows users to comment, and rate the content.
    This is the first social media thank your blood donor site in North
America, according to Canadian Blood Services. "Social media is much more than
just a channel to reach youth. It's all about community," says Harding. "It is
a perfect fit for a cause like ours that is so community-centric, allowing
people whose lives have been touched by giving or receiving blood the chance
to share, converse and interact."

    About Canadian Blood Services

    Canadian Blood Services is a national, not-for-profit charitable
organization that manages the blood supply in all provinces and territories
outside of Quebec and oversees the country's OneMatch Stem Cell and Marrow
Network. 4,800 staff and 17,000 volunteers enable us to operate 41 permanent
collection sites and more than 20,000 donor clinics annually. Canadian Blood
Services is a non-governmental organization, however the Provincial and
Territorial Ministers of Health provide operational funding, and the federal
government, through Health Canada, is responsible for regulating the blood
system. To book an appointment call 1888 2 DONATE (236-6283) or visit
www.blood.ca.

    About DDB Canada

    DDB Canada (www.ddbcanada.com) is the most creatively acclaimed,
internationally recognized marketing communications agency in Canada. Known
for advertising that generates significant results for clients, DDB Canada is
Strategy magazine's 2007 Agency of the Year, and was named one of the "Best
Small and Medium Employers in Canada" in 2007 by the Queen's University School
of Business. A "total communications company," DDB believes creativity is the
strongest business tool. DDB Canada has offices in Victoria, Vancouver,
Edmonton, Toronto and Montreal. The agency's integrated divisions include: DDB
Kid Think (youth marketing), DDB Public Relations, Tribal DDB (online and
interactive), Karacters Design Group, Rapp Collins (direct), DDB Echology
(corporate social responsibility) and Radar DDB (social media marketing).




For further information:

For further information: or to schedule an interview: Paige Calvert, DDB
Canada, (604) 608-4421, paige.calvert@ddbcanada.com; Anne Trueman, Canadian
Blood Services, (613) 739-2538, anne.trueman@blood.ca

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Canadian Blood Services

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