Extra Credit Blog
If you’re not a fan of moustaches, like myself, or even if you enjoy moustaches, we all are somewhat familiar with the catch phrase “no shave november.” This actually has a meaning behind it, which concerns mens health awareness. The Movember Foundation is specifically for men to grow moustaches to raise money and promote mens health awareness.
This foundation originally began in 2003 and solely focused on bringing awareness to the public about prostate cancer. But, since 2003, advocates for Movember have raised over 526 million dollars for other health issues such as mental health initiatives, diabetes, and testicular cancer.
One of the four founders of Movember, Justin Coghlan, claims that this nonprofit organization clearly stands out from others, “We weren’t charity boys,” Coghlan says. “The four of us were skaters, entrepreneurs- we were kind of, almost the very non-charity guys.”
Question here is, how did these “non-charity guys” start a foundation that is seen to practically change the outlook on mens health awareness? The founders specifically talk about their PR success and how they marketed themselves in such a brilliant way, building the exact image they were urning for.
The first idea that these guys touched upon is when building not only a nonprofit organization, but a successful organization, one must focus on the target audience. These men took over social media, and raised money by doing so, but their success came from realizing that those two aspects are not the only initiatives that matter, the people are who matter:
“We don’t want to be known as the guys who raised 1 billion and nothing ever happened for change and effect,” says Coghlan. “Thats just not who we are.”
In 2014, 99 percent of people who were involved with raising money, or spreading the word about Movember actually took action and saw a doctor (Winchel). Also, 75 percent of people involved spoke to someone about their health (Winchel). This showed how successful the founders of the Movember Foundation were with focusing on their audience, not just their image, which built their foundation even more.
The next PR tactic these men focus their success on is one should not tell stories, but share them instead. The nonprofit and PR pros should instead be focusing on finding these passionate people who want to tell their stories, and thus find ways to share them with others who are interested in the topic of mens health. Besides sharing stories, PR pros should take away from this strategy that these stories should be “tailored to each community” (Winchel). So how Movember did this was through using stories that incorporate sports to reach out to sports fan, making them relatable to more than just one person.
Justin Coghlan also notes that one must “chose their social media platforms wisely.” One thing about the Movember Foundation is that they are not present on every form of social media (i.e., Facebook, Twitter, Blogger, Tumblr, Instagram) but instead use platforms they believe will be the most successful and focus greatly in on making those great:
“Everyone in this online world tries to be all things to all people,” Coghlan says. If you fear you’re making that mistake, he gives the following advice:
“Don’t take on new platforms [just] because they’re there. Wait. Work out how your message fits in that platform. A lot of people panic, and say, “Oh, this is going to be the new biggest thing.” And it might be the new biggest thing ever out there, but it might not be to the audience that you’re pitching to, and it might be an absolute waste of time and money” (qtd. from Coghlan).
The final successful tactic mentioned by the Movember foundation is the ability to connect with the right ambassadors. Celebrities, athletes, and many other people used to endorse the Movember Foundation are not paid. The Movember Foundation believes that paying people to endorse your foundation makes the company seem “soulless,” and “unbelievable” (Winchel). Celebrities instead do it just because it is something they follow and believe in, and if they refuse to advocate without being paid, they do not become a spokesperson. Coghlan believes that “PR pros should look beyond follower numbers and find sincere people who have an active audience who cares about your message.”
Last November, Sigma Chi at the University of Tampa held a fundraiser for the Movember Foundation. The brothers of Sigma Chi raised 6,900 dollars total through the idea of mens health awareness. They dispersed the funds between the Movember Foundation and their philanthropy, Huntsman Cancer Institute. The PR tactics that the Movember Foundation used through social media, paying attention to their audience, and sharing stories was able to reach a young crowd of fraternity men who felt motivated to raise funds for such a notable cause.
If interested on reading about Sigma Chi raising money for the Movember Foundation:
Article Link: http://www.prdaily.com/Main/Articles/19655.aspx
Photo Link: https://us.movember.com/news/7509/the-movember-foundation