Recruiting and retaining blood donors - Your first time, what was it like?

MONTREAL, Nov. 15, 2011 /CNW Telbec/ - In an effort to increase the number of younger donors contributing to Québec's collective blood supply—for which the average age of donors is 42 years old—Héma-Québec is launching a social media campaign and focusing its efforts on the next generation of donors, targeting 18-39 year-olds.

Knowing that this clientele had to be reached in a clever and compelling way, Héma-Québec bet on the Web and social media to connect with the next generation. It created ten video vignettes to be deployed by the end of February 2012 that depict donors overcoming their fears or working toward doing so. The goals are to dispel any fears related to blood donation and to retain new donors. Everyone who took part in this project was a real donor.

The first two video vignettes are being unveiled today. One of them is in English and features Nirvair, who shares her first experience. The other video is in French and tells the story of Guillaume, who has made a commitment to donate blood for the first time this year, even though, according to him, he's a bit of a "wimp." With his engaging and friendly personality, he turns it over to the audience and challenges them by asking: "Are you up to the challenge?"

Facing reality

Blood donor loyalty and retention are major challenges for Héma-Québec, which must also cope with a stagnating number of donations per person.

Through its strong presence in cegeps and universities, the supplier of blood products in Québec managed to reach a sizeable pool of candidates aged between 18 and 29 years old. Almost one out of every four donors falls within this age range today, whereas they only made up 17% of donors in 2005.

While Héma-Québec is scoring points among youth on campus, it is struggling to retain them once they have entered the workforce. Those aged between 30 and 39 years old only represent 13% of blood donors.

Héma-Québec would like to thank Desjardins and the Héma-Québec Foundation for funding this campaign.

To view the videos:

About Héma-Québec

Héma-Québec aims to efficiently provide adequate quantities of safe, optimal blood components, substitutes, human tissues and cord blood to meet the needs of all Quebecers provide and develop expertise along with specialized and innovative services and products in the fields of transfusion medicine and human tissue transplantation.

Héma-Québec counts 1,300 employees, some 3,000 blood drives and more than 300,000 blood donors every year, 16,000 partner volunteers and more than 500,000 blood products annually delivered to hospitals in Québec to fulfill patients' needs.

Give blood. Give life.


For further information:

Laurent Paul Ménard
Director - External Communications 
Information:              514-832-0871
Marjorie Dubois       
Information Officer

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