Hertfordshire, England – The National Health Service, a provider of healthcare for all UK citizens, recently had a shortage of blood. However with over 30 different types of blood groups, the organization (while not shying away any blood donation) wanted to communicate their need for a specific blood subgroup called Ro, which is commonly found in people of African descent- almost ten times more likely than Caucasians to be exact.

However when NHS started advertising the fact that they needed more people of African descent to donate, they started a social media storm with people calling the organization racist and causing confusion around who gets what blood type when in an emergency and many other questions.

Knowing they needed to act quickly and target people where they spend the most time, NHS decided to leverage Twitter with short, easy to understand content accompanied by visuals to help tell their story, often referred to as ‘threading’. With over 22K likes, 13K re-tweets and hundreds of questions asked and answered within the single thread, the organization helped shed light around the differences in blood types and people answered their original post- we need more Ro blood type!

You can read the entire thread along with responses and the questions asked here.

Why This Matters

As we wrap up our 2018 Trend reports (due out in January 2018 – reserve your copy here), we are happy to report there are several trends showcasing how expectations are changing around the type of content that is most impactful as well as the appropriate channel for your target market. With so many social media platforms and new tools in those platforms rolling out what seems like daily, it is important to know what content will resonate best (visuals along with short, bite-sized content in the case featured above) and which channel is best suited for your messaging, promotion or educational content.

No longer can we rely on the ‘blanket’ approach or ‘one-size-fits-all’ for our branded content. The best content that is most engaging and delighting fans is often custom fit for the targeted channel.

Look for a deeper dive around this trend and dozens of additional shifting expectations in January 2018!

About the Author:

As Strategist of Innovation, Drew is charged daily with championing innovative thinking and doing. Drew is part of a global team that leads new innovative ideas that attract different advocates among existing and potential brands that are shared across all agency partners. Drew is backed by over 16 years of brand, sales and marketing experience with Fortune 500 companies such as Progressive and Nationwide Insurance as well as Founder & President of his own healthcare insurance agency for 6 years. Most recently Drew was part of the agency team that launched Briviact for UCB, Foundation Medicine as well as key roles with Eli Lilly Oncology and Johnson & Johnson.