How Social Media Raised the Bar on Breast Cancer Awareness

English: pink ribbon

Photo credit: Wikipedia


National Breast Cancer Awareness Month was founded in 1985, but it was only in 1993 that Evelyn Lauder, Senior Corporate Vice President of the Estée Lauder Companies, established the pink ribbon as its symbol. Ever since then, October has turned into a “pink” month, with ribbons and limited edition pink items showing up in stores as well as more and more companies and organizations taking on the challenge to help find a cure. Raising awareness for breast cancer is a wonderful thing, and social media has taken it to the next level!

Whether you and your company are looking for ideas on how you can help support National Breast Cancer Awareness month, or if you are simply looking for more information on how to support your own cause of choice, look no further than these three inspiring and successful social media campaigns from the past two years:

The Avon Foundation’s “Pin It to End It” Pinterest Campaign

The ever-growing popularity of Pinterest has made it easy for individuals to participate in company-led campaigns. Last October, the Avon Foundation encouraged Pinterest members to “pin” pictures in memory of their loved ones for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The Avon Foundation donated a total of $100,000 to the Avon Breast Health Outreach Program and the Virus Breast Cancer Research Consortium. Their “Pin It To End It” board reached more than 100 pins and 900 followers.

Estée Lauder’s Facebook Timeline

As the birthplace of the pink ribbon, it’s not surprising that Estée Lauder’s Facebook Timeline was dedicated to celebrating 20 years of its Breast Cancer Awareness campaign in October 2012. The company launched an app on their timeline, “20 Years of Courage,” which outlined the campaign’s history as well as featured stories of individuals personally affected by the fight against breast cancer. The timeline included interactive components, including pulling social commentary from the hashtag #BCA20 in real time from Twitter, Instagram and Viddy. During the last twelve months, The Estée Lauder Companies collectively raised $3.2 million for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

General Electric

In September 2011, General Electric launched the HealthyImagination Challenge to identify ways to advance breast cancer diagnostics and early detection. General Electric promoted the campaign through Twitter, Facebook, YouTube as well as a blog. Being on multiple social media platforms allowed more individuals to actively engage in the campaign and spread the word. To add a personal touch, General Electric posted YouTube videos of six of their employees recounting their breast cancer survival stories. The HealthyImagination Challenge is a $6 billion strategy, and General Electric continues to use their website and social media platforms to help empower communities to get healthier, become more informed and work towards affordable and easily accessible healthcare.
October is only two months away, but there’s still plenty of time to get started creating an online breast cancer awareness campaign of your own!


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