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130 Chippendale Drive Hendersonville, Tennessee 37075 Phone: 615-826-0011 Fax: 615-123-4567

2012 IMC Campaign Proposal Blood Donor Recruitment & Retention

Championing Brand - Audience Relationships In a Ferociously Competitive Market Place American Red Cross Campaign Proposal. Copyright Š 2011 Good Lion Communications Group. Confidential


Opening Letter................................................................................................................................................


Executive Summary.......................................................................................................................................


Good Lion Client Prospectus.........................................................................................................................


Business Cards...............................................................................................................................................




Target Market.................................................................................................................................................


Primary Research...............................................................................................................................


SWOT Analysis..............................................................................................................................................


Brand Positioning, Pesonality. Perception.....................................................................................................


Integrated Communication Strategy Statement.............................................................................................


Creative Brief.................................................................................................................................................


Communication (Media) Plan........................................................................................................................


Objectives, Strategies, Tactics, Rationale...........................................................................................


Public Relations Plan.........................................................................................................................


Internal Communications Plan...........................................................................................................


Integrated Communications Timing Flowchart..................................................................................


Campaign Budget Summary..............................................................................................................


Integration at Communication Touch Points......................................................................................


Traditional/Non-Traditional Advertising...........................................................................................


Public Relations.................................................................................................................................


Internal Communications...................................................................................................................


Evaluation Plan..................................................................................................................................






Online Survey.....................................................................................................................................


Focus Group Moderator Guide..........................................................................................................




Lloyd C. Daniel, President

130 Chippendale Drive Hendersonville, Tennessee 37075 Phone: 615-826-0011 Fax: 615-123-4567

May 16, 2011 Ms. Peggy Dyer Chief Marketing Officer American Red Cross National Headquarters 2025 East St. NW Washington, DC 20001 Dear Peggy: Thank you for selecting Good Lion Communications Group as a potential marketing communications partner. What a privilege it has been interacting with you and the many fine associates and volunteers of the American Red Cross nationwide as we explored the primary objective of encouraging blood donations among the nation’s young adults aged 18-24. The time spent learning about your organization’s culture of caring and witnessing the innumerable examples of lives transformed by these dedicated individuals has truly inspired our team. Enclosed you will find our campaign proposal for 2012, which we strongly feel can be implemented by the American Red Cross as it strives to fulfill its mission of maintaining an adequate and safe blood supply through the recruitment and retention of eligible blood donors. Our integrated marketing communications campaign will help guide your team throughout the year as the American Red Cross forms new and strengthens existing donor relationships among the target audience. Throughout the process, Good Lion will be by your side assisting your national, regional, and local teams with implementation, management, and analysis so that you are assured of the maximum return on your marketing investment. We are keenly aware of the importance of utilizing stakeholder provided resources in a sound and judicious manner and our mission is to exceed every expectation. Once you have had an opportunity to throughly review the contents of our proposal, it is my earnest hope that you will come away inspired and eager to engage our team in more detailed discussions including next steps in the campaign selection process. Rest assured that Good Lion Communications Group has the strategic expertise and resources to meet the needs and expectations of the American Red Cross. I have taken the liberty of including a copy of our client prospectus document as a reference guide to our disciplines and agency identity. In close, thank you once more for considering Good Lion Communications Group for this prestigious campaign. Feel free to contact me at your convenience with any questions you might have regarding our proposal. By the end of next week, I will follow up with you to determine next steps. Sincerely,

Lloyd C. Daniel Lloyd C. Daniel Championing Brand - Audience Relationships In a Ferociously Competitive Market Place

Executive Summary

Every generation comes of age it seems bearing the load of lofty expectations and in some instances undue criticism from those preceeding them. Millennials ages 18-24 likewise are praised for their often altruistic natures, positive attitudes, and technological savvy all the while being labeled spoiled, narcissistic, and over confident. In reality, Millennials are a unique generation who expect greatness from themselves; expectations that are tempered by an awareness of the world around them and a willingness to sacrifice for good causes – especially among the roughly 20 million Millennials currently enrolled in America’s colleges and universities. These young men and women exemplify the characteristics that make their generation so attractive to marketers. Their connectedness via all things digital coupled with a steadfast resolve to make a difference in the world elevate in-college Millennials as the premier target audience for an integrated marketing campaign such as that desired by the American Red Cross. They are motivated by real opportunities to help others and are not just willing but driven to share personal experiences with others through social media. It is this powerful mix of altruism and evangelism that sets in-college Millennials apart and it became the inspiration behind the ‘Reality Star’ campaign proposal that we believe will help the American Red Cross achieve its objective of recruting and retaining blood donors throughout the coming year and beyond. The ‘Reality Star’ theme is designed to make in-college Millennials aware of the powerful gift they possess yet likely never think about giving. While reality television programming has come to dominate the ratings in part due to society’s worship of celebrity and the allure of instant fame, the ‘Reality Star’ campaign utilizes subtle juxtaposition to convey the vitally important role blood donors play in the survival stories of those in need. Under the slogan, “Give Blood and You Give Life” Good Lion Communications Group has formulated an integrated marketing communications program that incorporates traditional and non-traditional media to communicate the constant need for blood and the leading role the American Red Cross plays in ensuring that need is met. The campaign will focus traditional media including television, radio, and out-of-home advertising in 12 largemarket metropolitan areas with significant in-college Millennial populations. National awareness will be further driven through the use of new and emerging media including the Internet, social media, and mobile marketing. Magazine print advertising in six publications will also be used. Both primary and secondary research indicates that personal appeals are the most effective approach in motivating Millennials to give. It is with that in mind, that the ‘Reality Star’ campaign proposal puts significant emphasis on marketing directly to Millennials on 1,000 of the nation’s largest campuses through face-to-face / intercept marketing and special events. Add to this special brand ambassadors from some of the most popular reality shows on air today - Tyra Banks, Tom Bergeron, Julie Chen, Randy Jackson, Phil Keoghan, and Jeff Probst, and we are extremely excited about what lies in store for the American Red Cross in 2012. With that, Good Lion Communications Group encourages you to review the campaign proposal in detail and begin to think about how the campaign can be utilized from the national level down through the local offices to recruit and retain new blood donors who will soon be helping carry the American Red Cross message through millions of Facebook pages, Tweets, and blog postings.


Marketing Communications

Social Media Branding Outdoor Cause Marketing Direct Marketing B2B Advertising B2C Broadcast Public Relations Print Web Development Brand Insights

Creative Services

Media Planning Guerrilla Marketing Crisis Management Video Production Pr Pre-Testing Research Digital Focus Groups SEM / SEO Event Logistics Satisfaction/Loyalty Photography

Client Prospectus Welcome to the Pride!

Championing Brand - Audience Relationships In a Ferociously Competitive Market Place

130 Chippendale Drive n Hendersonville, Tennessee 37075 n 615-826-0011 n Fax: 615-123-4567

w w w. g o odl ion . c om

Good Lion Commmunications Group

Tenacious Brand Champion

Good Lion Communications Group is an independent marketing communications agency dedicated to the development and nurture of long-term, mutually beneďŹ cial brand – audience relationships. Our commitment to each and every client centers on the achievement of real and measurable brand objectives that draw upon our wide array of complementary disciplines. Our expertise includes brand strategy, advertising, research and analytics, media planning and buying, creative and graphic design, interactive and social media, sales promotion, marketing, and communications. So whether a client wishes to enter a new market or channel, to introduce their latest product or service, to develop more effective two-way communications with stakeholders, or to revitalize an existing brand, Good Lion Communications Group is there to champion their cause. Founded in 2008, Good Lion Communications Group represents a growing team of talented and experienced marketing communications professionals. The team brings a passion for what they do and just one of the commonly shared beliefs is in the power of communications to reshape the world for brands and their stakeholders. Yet we are much more than just talented people working hard for our clients - any agency can make that claim. Good Lion understands the competitive market landscape and how important it is to develop and follow a sound marketing communications strategy based on a solid research and a clear understanding of target audiences and stakeholders. When you partner with Good Lion you place your trust in a tenacious brand champion. We listen. We understand the importance of customer service and respond with a sense of urgency. We are committed to pursuing your objectives with proven strategies and tactics. For in the end it is the establishment of mutually rewarding relationships between brands and audiences that produces brand equity and maximizes return on marketing investment.


Our philosophy is to immerse ourselves in our clients’ worlds so that we can strategically serve them better; bringing more energy, expertise, and commitment to each client relationship so that their brands shine brighter and their messages resonate more persuasively.


To accomplish meaningful brand objectives through the application of sound integrated marketing communications strategies.

Disciplines Marketing

Branding Business-to-Business Business-to-Consumer Cause Direct Experiential Guerrilla Social Media

Communications Crisis Internal Electronic Public Relations


Broadcast Digital Media Planning / Buying New Media Outdoor Print

Creative Services Graphic Design Photography Video Services Web Development


Brand Insights Exploratory Focus Group Pre-Testing Satisfaction/Loyalty

Championing Brand - Audience Relationships In a Ferociously Competitive Market Place


History of the American Red Cross The American Red Cross is an iconic nonprofit charitable organization with origins dating back to 1881. In spired by the International Red Cross of the mid-1860’s, founder Clara Barton led the campaign for the establishment of the American Red Cross and headed the organization for over two decades. More importantly, she set the fledgling organization on a path to grow into the premier emergency response provider in the nation, while also serving as part of the international organization recognized for providing neutral humanitarian aid to victims of man-made and natural disasters. Operating under a congressional charter dating back to 1905, the organization has and continues to play an important role in the lives of service men and their families in addition to providing national and international disaster relief services. During peace time, the American Red Cross has led the way in the development and delivery of education, social services, and health care services and training programs. Necessity during times of war further shaped the evolution of the American Red Cross as the organization became adept at managing charitable campaigns on a massive scale all the while orchestrating the deployment of thousands of staff members and volunteers worldwide. The organization also gained an expertise in logistics through managing the shipment of aid materials destined for military personnel stationed abroad. It was in response to a call from the U.S. military that the American Red Cross would initiate a national blood program for use by the armed forces. This would eventually lead to the introduction of the first nationwide civilian blood program in the United States. The blood services operation underwent a massive modernization effort in the 1990s in response to FDA guidance in the wake of the HIV/AIDS scare and today collects approximately 50 percent of the donated blood and blood products in the country (, 2011). The blood collected by the American Red Cross is considered to be among the safest in the world and the organization continuously leads the way with research and innovation to safeguard the blood supply, donors, and recipients. The American Red Cross operates as an independent, volunteer-led organization although it has close ties to the U.S. federal government. Eight governors, including the chairman, are appointed by the president of the United States to lead the organization. The American Red Cross president is nominated by the chairman and elected by the board (, 2011). The organization’s 35,000 employees and half a million volunteers provide services in six areas: domestic disaster relief; community services; support and comfort for the military and their families; the collection, processing, and distribution of blood and blood products; educational programs that promote health and safety; and, international relief and development (, 2011). Challenges & Opportunities To date, the financial picture for the American Red Cross is beginning to show some signs of improvement following a prolonged economic downturn spanning much of 2008 and 2009. For an organization solely supported through voluntary private contributions and cost-reimbursement charges, the organization must work diligently to grow its revenue, improve efficiencies, and deliver the needed services expected by domestic and international stakeholders. Considering that “an average of 91 cents of every dollar the Red Cross spends is invested in


humanitarian services and programs,” the American Red Cross is proving to be a trustworthy steward of donor funds, and maintaining trust is of paramount importance (, 2011). For the fiscal year 2010, the organization reported operating revenue of $3.6 billion and total operating expenses of $3.4 billion, leaving a $47 million operating surplus (, 2011). This is definitely welcome news given that the surplus plunged from over $209 million in 2008 to just $33.5 million in 2009. Total debt is still an ongoing concern however, although the organization has managed to whittle the $613 million owed in 2009 down to $592 million in 2010. According to Brian Rhoa, chief financial officer, the organization has had to restructure a large portion of debt to make it less vulnerable to short-term interest rate volatility and must maintain breakeven budget performance if the organization is to pay off debt in ensuing years (, 2011). Rhoa’s closing remarks in a letter to stakeholders are sobering and reveal the very real financial challenges facing the American Red Cross, “We are not out of the woods....Lasting financial stability will only come if we continue doing all of these things (building a culture of financial efficiency), grow revenues, and stay on the road to recover” (, 2011). The American Red Cross is in somewhat of a precarious financial situation in challenging economic times, striving to provide a broad range of often complex and costly services to a growing base of needy U.S. residents and international groups – some holding unrealistic expectations – all the while trying to secure funding and donors from supporters that may well be suffering from ‘crisis fatigue.’ In its favor the American Red Cross has tremendous brand equity and despite a sometimes rocky first decade in this new century marked by both real or perceived mistakes and errors in judgment such as those associated with the Liberty Fund, post-911 blood contributions, claims of fraud or misuse of funds at the local level, Hurricane Katrina relief, and what at times has seemed to be a revolving door to the president’s office, the brand is held in relatively high regard. “Trust is essential for nonprofits” because the belief that a nonprofit is doing good work and operating ethically is what keeps stakeholders engaged and donating necessary resources (Salls, 2011). The challenge will be for the American Red Cross to maintain a cultural philosophy that commands trust, made even more challenging by the somewhat decentralized organizational structure that gives regional and local offices some latitude or autonomy. With an estimated brand value of $3.15 billion, the American Red Cross ranked fourth in Cone, Inc.’s nonprofit power brand list in 2006, which included a ranking of seventh in revenue generation, and fifth in brand image (, 2006). Considering the economy was healthier at the time, these rankings would tend to support the conclusion that opportunities likely exist today for the American Red Cross to explore relationships with private sector organizations that could generate much needed revenue for the nonprofit and consumer goodwill for their business partners. In fact, the American Red Cross consistently ranks near the top of trusted and/or recognizable nonprofit brand surveys. One area where the American Red Cross can benefit is in differentiating itself from other blood collection agencies/services as well as other nonprofits with whom it competes for relevancy and stakeholder support. Although recognition and perception remain high, the American Red Cross needs to find ways to set the organization apart from the America’s Blood Centers in ways that will resonate with potential donors and perhaps sub-segments of the eligible donor audience. To its credit the American Red Cross has shown a willingness to embrace integrated marketing communications including the use of a wide range of social media and stakeholder generated content. Embracing technology is an imperative especially as the organization focuses resources in pursuit of the coveted 18-24 year-old demographic. Commonly referred to as the Millennial generation, this group accounts for roughly 46 million young


adults born between the late 1970’s to the late 1980’s (, 2010), and are of particular interest to the American Red Cross based on characteristics including heightened social awareness, an inclination to give and volunteer, and their comfort level with – some might say dependence on – technology. As the target audience of the 2012 American Red Cross campaign, the Millennial generation and the related opportunities and challenges associated with them will be explored in greater detail in the target market section and throughout the campaign proposal. As such, the marketing objective is clearly defined: Encourage blood donation among eligible individuals ages 18-24 over a 12-month period. It is important to note however that many nonprofits recognize the value of the 18-24 demographic and are investing in integrated communications strategies and exploring the use of social media in the hopes of attracting the attention of Millennials. According to Maureen West, writing for The Chronicles of Philanthropy, “both fledgling nonprofits and long-established charities are taking up [social media] in issue advocacy” (2011). Further, marketing research conducted by the University of Massachusetts found that “an astounding 97 percent of nonprofits are using social media, far surpassing even the business world” (West, 2011). This essentially means that as young adults are increasingly being targeted by nonprofit organizations it will become imperative for the American Red Cross to cut through the noise and differentiate itself in the marketplace. If Millennials represent an opportunity for the American Red Cross to increase blood donations, an aging baby boomer population will likely represent a significant challenge. With age the human body naturally begins to fail, a reality marked by increased rates of disease, complex chronic illness, and diminishing capacity that can contribute to auto accidents, serious falls, and the like. The healthcare industry is abuzz contemplating the increased demand for medical and geriatric services as 70 million baby boomers retire and their health begins to fade. In addition to the sheer population represented by this demographic, longer life expectancy may result in a doubling in the number of older Americans (, 2008). Heart disease, cancers, and accidents will surely result in more pressure on the nation’s supply of blood and blood products. Population growth as well as social and behavioral issues may prove to further exacerbate the challenges of recruitment as well as the maintenance of an adequate supply of specialty blood products. A growing, diverse population marked by increased percentages of ethnic sub-groups with higher rates of particular diseases or unique blood traits is a reality the American Red Cross is already preparing for. The increased frequency of sickle cell traits among African-Americans – the ethnic group accounts for 98 percent of all cases – is just one example. Other social and behavioral issues may limit the future pool of eligible donors further exacerbating the supply dilemma. In the short term, the prevalence of tattooing and body piercing is extremely high in teens and young adults, which can cause a one year deferment from donating blood. With an increasingly obese population, the rate of diabetes may rise to 15 percent of the adult population, or more than 37 million people by the end of 2015 (Witters, 2009). Finally, there are over 15 million sexually transmitted disease cases each year in the U.S., and adolescents and young adults are the age groups at greatest risk with nearly half of all new cases occurring among people aged 15 to 24 (, 2011). Biomedical Services Category The American Red Cross collects nearly half of the U.S. blood supply, and is the largest single supplier of blood and blood products in the U.S. biomedical services category. Whole blood, red blood cells, platelets, cryoprecipitate, and frozen plasma are made available to over 3,000 hospitals and transfusion centers throughout the nation. Organizationally, the American Red Cross is headquartered in Washington, D.C. and the biomedical services group is segmented into seven divisions and 36 blood regions supported by five testing laboratories.


Through the work of thousands of volunteers and staff, the American Red Cross collects 6.5 million units of blood from 4 million donors, which ultimately leads to the production of 9.5 million blood products. In any given year, the makeup of Red Cross blood donors is evenly split by gender, with approximately 38 percent being first-time donors, 18 percent occasional donors, and 43 percent repeat donors. The donated blood and blood products are made available to medical institutions for a fee that covers actual costs involved in collection, testing, processing, and delivery commonly referred to as cost-reimbursement charges. Upwards of 80 percent of the blood collected by the American Red Cross comes as a result of mobile blood drives supported by businesses, community organizations, educational institutions, places of worship, and military installations. The remainder is collected at fixed locations. Annually, the American Red Cross through its regional infrastructure works with over 50,000 blood drive sponsors to orchestrate over 200,000 blood drives. Convenience – both time and place – is an important consideration that cannot be overlooked in an effort to generate much needed blood donations. The need for blood and blood products truly is constant and managing appropriate levels of blood in reserve is a persistent problem. What many people fail to realize is that the blood necessary to respond to emergency situations at any given moment is already on the shelves – allogeneic blood donations, by far the most common type of donation in which blood is collected for future use by unknown recipients, must go through a rigorous process before it can be provided for transfusion. It is common for the nation’s blood reserves to dip below a three day supply. Contributing factors include recruitment and retention of eligible donors or course, but the highly perishable nature of blood makes it impossible to gather large quantities and store long-term for future use. It is important to remember that most red blood cells must be used within a 42-day window from the time of donation yet a donor typically must wait a minimum of 56 days between red blood cell donations. So while the need for blood and blood products is constant, it is highly improbable to expect even the most fervent donors to give blood precisely on their next permissible date. The American Red Cross takes this into consideration already. Donors are encouraged to make appointments for future donations in an effort to align intentions with timely follow through. Much research has been done in order to better understand the social and behavioral processes associated with blood donation with the goal of identifying strategies and tactics that will prove more fruitful in recruiting new donors and generating repeat behavior. Blood collection and biomedical services in general are regulated by the Food and Drug Adminstration’s Center for Biological Evaluation and Research (CBER). The agency’s mission is to protect and advance public health by ensuring blood and blood products are safe, effective, and available to those in need. Further the FDA, alone or in conjunction with the American Red Cross among others, provides the general public with blood safety and product information (, 2011). Under the purview of the FDA is the regulation of the collection of blood, blood products, equipment utilized in the collection, storage, and production of blood products, HIV and other disease screening tests, quality standards, inspection of facilities and practices, and monitoring of processes and reporting including reports of errors, accidents, and adverse clinical events (, 2011). The FDA closely oversees the biomedical category, and attempts to identify and respond to potential threats to blood safety. The agency sets safety standards and procedures that are intended to provide greater monitoring capabilities while assisting collection agencies acquire adequate and safe supplies of blood. Screening procedures including questions about risk factors linked to potential infection or transmission of diseases and requirements for the maintenance of lists of unsuitable donors are estimated by the FDA to eliminate approximately 90 percent of unsuitable donors (, 2011). While the FDA and the American Red Cross readily acknowledge that reaching a point of “zero risk” in the nation’s blood supply may not be possible, their combined efforts have contributed to the safest blood supply in the history of the world.


The American Red Cross, in response to increased regulatory oversight of the blood banking industry by the FDA stemming from the HIV crisis of the 1980’s, completed a major re-engineering of its blood services operations in the 1990’s. Blood services were centralized under national leadership and separated from the organization’s other services in order to standardize operations across the system. Operational changes modeled after the pharmaceutical industry and mandated by the FDA included more sophisticated systems and practices to ensure “safety, quality, integrity, purity, and potency of blood products” (, 2011). In the United States, the blood collection process occurs when a person voluntary has blood drawn. The majority are unpaid donations given to nonprofit collection agencies for replenishment of blood supplies or for the production of blood-based products and medications through a process known as fractionation. A segment of for-profit organizations pay donors for plasma donations. Donating blood is considered quite safe and a sterile needle is used only once for each donor and then is discarded. Some donors may experience bruising near the needle insertion point while others may also feel dizzy or faint. Before actually giving blood, prospective donors must register, provide a medical history and answer questions that relate to potential risk factors including travel history (malaria and vCJD) and sexual behavior. Next, donors are given a mini-physical that includes recording weight, body temperature, blood pressure, pulse and hemoglobin to make sure it is safe for the person to proceed with giving blood. Once the collection site personnel are satisfied that the donor can proceed, one pint of blood can typically be drawn in less than 15 minutes. Donors are then offered refreshments and monitored for a brief period in case of dizziness or faintness. From start to finish, the donation process takes approximately an hour. The collected blood is usually stored in flexible plastic bags that contain solutions to prevent clotting and to preserve it while in storage. Typically blood is stored as separate components with varying but limited shelf lives. Platelets can be stored for up to seven days, red blood cells for up 42 days, and plasma, if frozen, can be stored up to one year. Again, the inability to store blood products long-term makes consistent donations from a large donor base much more desirable and practical. Mass donations given during a short window of time, as occurred following the September 11th attacks, tend to overwhelm existing resources and leads to waste because for that brief period of time supply outstrips demand. Following collection, all blood donations are subjected to testing for infectious diseases including HIV, hepatitis B and C, and syphilis. Information provided to the American Red Cross and test results are kept confidential and stored in a database as required by the FDA. A list of ineligible donors is maintained and may indicate a finite period of deferment or life-long ineligibility as in the case of those testing positive for certain diseases or reporting certain at-risk behaviors. Some restrictions are controversial including the prohibition on blood donations from homosexual men; however, the FDA has addressed the issue pointing to the higher rates of infectious diseases among this group. As referenced previously, the cost of recruitment including education, collection, storage, testing, records maintenance, processing, and delivery account for the bulk of the costs associated with blood and blood products and the American Red Cross passes these expense on to medical facilities as they use the various blood products. The American Red Cross deserves much credit for being a leader in the development of innovative technology and practices that both protect the health of donors and blood product recipients while also improving testing, data analysis, counseling services, blood collection and storage, while improving efficiencies and costs.


Economy’s Effect on Blood Donations Although economists theorize that a sluggish economy should have a positive impact on blood donation because out-of-work individuals will have more time to give as well as a heightened sensitivity for those in need, the American Red Cross experienced a stark contrast in reality during the recent economic slump (, 2009). Record job losses during translated into fewer people available to donate during corporate blood drive events. When large facilities and businesses closed their doors, blood collection agencies lost contact with invaluable donors, resulting in decreases in donations. As economic woes lingered on through 2009, the American Red Cross and other nonprofit collection organizations experienced numerous corporate blood drive cancellations as some organizations scaled back their involvement to focus their attention on business. The American Red Cross collects approximately 20 percent of donated blood through corporate sponsored blood drives (Jones, 2009). Making blood donation convenient is an important element in the overall strategy employed by the American Red Cross and explains why the organization invests significant resources to bring the collection process to donors. Recruiting Struggles Research indicates that despite the constant need for blood, the supply consistently remains below adequate levels across the U.S. It is not uncommon for levels to dip below a three-day supply and there is no substitute for donor blood. While 38,000 blood donations are needed daily to meet the demand for blood that comes every two seconds in the U.S., blood collection agencies struggle when it comes to donor recruitment and retention. Statistics indicate that “only 38 percent of Americans are eligible to donate blood and of those only 8 percent do” (, 2011). Suffice to say the vast need for blood continually stresses a system severely limited by the number of voluntary donors. It is abundantly clear why recruitment and retention of blood donors remains critical to the mission of The American Red Cross to help sustain an adequate and safe national blood supply. Significant resources are required to continuously communicate the need to existing and potential donors, an unfortunate yet common reality for blood centers in the U.S. and abroad. In fact, the realization of the importance of blood donors and conversely the difficulty in recruiting and retaining suitable donors has led to significant levels of social and behavioral research to determine what methods work best in motivating people to donate blood and to become repeat donors. The American Red Cross utilizes a multi-faceted strategy to communicate the need for blood and to encourage giving among the overall target audience of suitable potential donors. With a national footprint, the organization is able to focus resources at the national, regional, and local levels to educate people about the need for blood, how the blood donation process works, and how to become a donor. Traditional as well as new and emerging media are utilized in conjunction with face-to-face appeals, which are considered to be one of the most effective tactics of recruiting especially given research that indicates one of the primary reasons people give for not donating is: “I haven’t been asked.” The retention of suitable donors also requires educational and other supporting resources to drive ongoing need awareness and to foster positive intent to donate, considered by researchers to be the most consistent predictor of behavior (Masser et al., 2008). Repeat donors are intrinsically valuable to blood collection organizations and


have two distinct advantages over first-time donors. “Repeat donors provide a relatively stable and comparatively safe supply of blood...[and] a body of repeat donors provides the long-term opportunity for blood collection agencies to save on costs associated with continual recruitment of new donors” (Masser et al., 2008). The American Red Cross actively pursues eligible potential donors from all demographic groups. Eligibility is determined by criteria established by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) as well as jurisdictional regulations, and agreed upon standards determined within the blood collection community (AABB). However, certain demographics are increasingly being targeted independent of general appeals for blood based on characteristics particular to generation, ethnicity, and blood type/content. “Encouraging people of all racial and ethnic backgrounds to become blood donors is increasingly important in addressing unique health concerns of different populations....While blood transfusions are typically based on basic blood groups...medical teams may also consider ethnicity when prescribing blood products due to certain rare blood types” with unique characteristics in order to reduce the potential for adverse transfusion reactions (, 2011). Demographic grouping by age is also becoming more important as the American Red Cross explores generational characteristics that might engender increased levels of donor activity. According to the World Health Organization “people younger than 25 account for an estimated 38 percent of blood donations” and approximately “15 percent of annual U.S. blood donations come from donors ages 16 to 19” (Mitchell, 2010). Because young donors are viewed as such an important source of blood donations in the U.S., 38 states have lowered the age limits, with 36 settling on a minimum age of 16. California allows donations from 15-year-olds with parental consent (Mitchell, 2010). Despite the promise of teens and young adults being recruited as blood donors, there are mitigating factors that can prevent them from donating. Recent tattoos or body piercings, weight, and other health and behavioral factors can prevent people of any age group from donating blood either for a specific period of time or could possible defer them indefinitely. As mentioned earlier, research also suggests that people in general do not donate unless they are asked to do so. Other reasons commonly given include fear of needles or perceptions of pain, wariness about the safety of the blood donation process, convenience (time and/or place), and knowledge or understanding of the need. A common belief among blood collection agency personnel is that “many teens and young adults are less inclined to donate on their own, or without an incentive” (Mitchell, 2010). Opinions on the effectiveness and appropriateness of incentivized blood donations vary, although research tends to support the notion that incentives can be valuable during the early recruitment phase and gradually become less effective and potentially detrimental as blood donation either becomes habitual or becomes a construct of self-identity (Masser, White, Hyde & Terry, 2008). Education beginning at a much earlier age, such as the Pint Size Hero program introduced by the American Red Cross in 2005 has been credited with introducing children in elementary school to the importance of donating blood and has led to 16- to 18-year-olds viewing the opportunity to donate as a privilege (Mitchell, 2010). As acknowledged previously, the Millennial generation is of paramount interest to the American Red Cross based on factors including heightened social awareness and an inclination to give and volunteer, and will be explored in greater detail in the target market section.


Competitive Landscape Analysis The American Red Cross operates in the highly competitive blood/biomedical category, vying for donations of blood, time, and financial support. Direct competition comes from both nonprofit and for-profit entities collecting whole blood and/or specific components such as plasma or platelets to produce blood products required by healthcare and research institutions. Nonprofit competition Significant competition comes from large networks or affiliations of nonprofit blood centers operating either nationally or across multiple regions and states. Smaller regional and metropolitan competitors include multiand single-site blood centers as well as hospitals blood banks. By and large, most of these competitors seek blood and blood components from non-enumerated voluntary donors and operate under many if not all of the same challenges as the American Red Cross. Differentiation is challenging with many competitors promoting the same commitments to research and development, meeting blood supply and other biomedical product needs, and educating people about blood donations and other avenues of gift giving. Perhaps the largest direct competitor is America’s Blood Centers, a significant national player in the blood products category with 70 blood centers located in 45 U.S. states and Quebec, Canada. Operating under separate FDA licenses, network members collect roughly 45 percent of the voluntary, non-enumerated blood donations in the U.S. (, 2011). According to America’s Blood Centers, more than 8 million units of whole blood are collected annually through their 600 donor centers to produce the nearly 10 million blood components distributed to over 3,500 hospitals and healthcare facilities throughout North America (, 2011). In addition to the substantial brand equity and national resources at the command of America’s Blood Centers, the independent blood centers comprising the network are often very strong players in their own right, with significant brand awareness and visibility at the regional and metropolitan levels. New York Blood Center (NYBC) is a prime example. Billed as one of the largest community-based, non-profit blood collection and distribution organizations in the U.S., NYBC alone provides over one million blood components to nearly 200 regional medical facilities in four states (, 2011). The organization credits nearly 2,000 daily volunteers in addition to full time staff with enabling it to meet the potential blood needs of over 22 million residents. Hospital blood banks compete for blood and blood component donations in an effort to both help ensure an adequate supply of in-house resources while also reducing the need to purchase from vendor organizations such as the American Red Cross. According to the FDA, nearly 10 percent of the blood supply donated in the U.S. is collected by FDA registered hospital blood banks (, 2011). The Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Program for example collects nearly 75 percent of the blood required to meet patients’ needs (, 2011). For-profit competition The American Red Cross also faces competition from for-profit organizations that often compensate donors for their blood. According to the FDA, there are more than 500 for-profit plasma centers in the U.S., and there are between 1.5 million and 2 million paid donors of which 70 percent donate regularly (, 2011). The high level of donor retention and increased frequency of donations are corollary to the ability of participants to donate plasma up to twice weekly and the allure of financial compensation involved. For some of these organizations, particularly those seeking plasma, compensation is a major selling point. To sway potential donors,


messages communicate the value of blood while contrasting frequent monetary rewards versus infrequent and inferior “lollipops and t-shirts” offered by non-profits like the American Red Cross. Compensation for blood donations has been called into question by researchers for decades who claim such practices encourage undesirable donors to give blood thereby potentially jeopardizing the safety of individual transfusion recipients or of entire blood supplies. Yet certain for-profits such as Southern Blood Services cater to highly select sub-segments of the potential donor audience based on unique blood traits or qualities. Southern Blood Services for instance compensates women with Rh negative blood in order to produce saleable antibodies and vaccines used by medical facilities to counteract Rh negative pregnancy problems (, 2011). Just as no artificially produced substitute exists to replace human blood, there are no artificial methods capable of producing certain antibodies and other biomedical products. Indirect Competition In addition to the competitive nature of the blood/bio-medical category, the American Red Cross also faces intense competitive pressure from thousands of organizations equally dependent on volunteers, financial support, finite resources, and the attention of an increasingly crisis-fatigued audience bombarded across virtually all media with pleas for assistance. According to the National Center for Charitable Statistics, there are currently over 1.5 million nonprofit organizations in the U.S. and after subtracting civic groups, fraternal organizations, and chambers of commerce the number of charitable nonprofit organizations still exceeds one million (http://, 2011). A prolonged economic downturn – marked by high unemployment, a housing market crash that has led to staggering foreclosure rates and increased homelessness, and local, state, and federal budget crisis, and a dramatic dip in consumer confidence – coupled with an uptick in large scale emergency and disaster situations, has resulted in a number of non-profits either closing their doors or attempting to merge with other nonprofit groups (Banjo & Kalita, 2010). Not only have private donations fallen – by six percent in 2008 alone – but states have cumulatively allocated five percent less in 2009 and four percent less in 2010 for health care, education, and human services on top of owing nonprofits more than $15 billion in backlogged payments (Banjo & Kalita, 2010). The Center of Nonprofits and Philanthropy succinctly summed up the current competitive landscape for nonprofits including the American Red Cross: “Donations are down. Government funding is down. Need is up” (Banjo & Kalita, 2010). For the American Red Cross this will likely mean greater competition for funding and other necessary resources including donors and volunteers. Competitors will include their current peers – large, highly visible nonprofits with significant brand equity operating on a national scale – and well-managed smaller nonprofits on the regional and local levels.


Target Market

American Red Cross Marketing Objective: Encourage blood donation among eligible individuals ages 18-24 over a 12-month period. Target Market Millennial Generation. Gen Y. Me Generation. Echo Boomers. Young adults between the ages of 18-24 have many labels, and stereotypes abound about their dependence on technology, their civic-mindedness, and their positive “can-do” attitudes. While demographers find it hard to agree on the exact birth year ranges, the period from 1979 to 1994 is generally assigned to the Millennial Generation. Based on the age range specified by the American Red Cross, a narrower age range of those cohorts born from 1987 to 1993 can be established. Ultimately, among these Millennials those currently enrolled in secondary and post-secondary educational institutions pose a significant opportunity for donor recruitment and retention as resources can be concentrated on university and college campuses where this segment spends significant time. Demographics As stated in the introduction, young adults ages 18-24 were born between 1987 and 1993 with 60 percent growing up in a single parent home according to Pew Research (2010). Millennials are more ethnically diverse than past generations with a current racial profile of 61 percent white, 19 percent Hispanic, 13 percent black, 4 percent Asian, and 2 percent other (, 2010). One in five Millennials are married, and


34 percent are parents – a third of the mothers giving birth in 2006 were not married (, 2010). Pew Research also reports that 39.6 percent of Millennials were enrolled in college as of 2008 according to census data (2010). Educational trends indicate that 54 percent of Millennials have at least some college education with women attending and graduating in greater percentages than men (, 2010). Pew Research reports that 39 percent of Millennials are still in school, with 26 percent attending college as an undergraduate and 5 percent attending graduate or professional school (2010). An additional 30 percent indicated that although not currently enrolled, their future plans included earning a college degree. For the 2007-2008 time period, The Chronicle of Higher Education suggests that there were over 22 million college students in the U.S., with one third attending part time (2010). Roughly 74 percent were enrolled in public two- and four-year institutions, 13 percent in private institutions, and 10 percent in for-profit institutions that include the University of Phoenix online programs (2010). Sixty percent of U.S. undergraduates fall into the 23 and younger demographic. Female enrollment outpaced that of male enrollment, 56.9 percent to 43.1 percent, and racial mix mirrored that of the overall Millennial makeup (2010). The recession has impacted this generation significantly, resulting in a challenging job market, higher levels of personal debt, and changing expectations. During the recession 37 percent of those aged 18-29 reported being underemployed or unemployed and the level of educational and personal debt for recent college graduates was high. Average student loan debt equaled $23,200, and 20 percent of millennials reported carrying over $10,000 in credit card debt in 2010 (Dugas). Median income for the demographic fell to $22,000 per year in 2010, compared to $30,000 in 2009 – contributed to a shift from full-time employment to part-time employment (Lewis, 2010). According to Austin Lewis, millennials are being forced to rely more on their families for financial and other forms of support. Quoting a 2010 Heartland Monitor poll, Lewis reported, “that 39 percent of millennials between the ages of 18-29 regularly received money from their parents or other relatives....and 33 percent currently live with their relatives” (2010). Psychographics According to research conducted by Richard Sweeney, Millennials as consumers are much less concerned about brand and focus more on having multiple options and services to select from. “They have grown up with a huge array of choices and they believe that such is their birthright....They desire ultimate consumer control: what they want, how and when they want it” (Sweeney, 2006). Products and services that offer personalization and customization options are appealing to Millennials although they tend to be impatient, expecting services delivered when they are ready to receive them (Sweeney, 2006). Reports indicate that Millennials struggle with managing their finances especially as it relates to regulating consumption and personal spending. A National Foundation for Credit Counseling survey indicates that only 58 percent pay their monthly bills on time, and a MetLife poll suggests that 43 percent are amassing too much credit card debt (Dugas, 2010). Unrealistic earning expectations, a lagging job market, and a belief that the future will bring prosperity are just some of the contributing factors. Pew Research reports that only 31 percent of working Millennials believe they are earning enough money yet 88 percent think they will be able to earn enough in the future (2010).


Erik Sass, reporting on an Alloy Media study conducted in 2009, that despite the recession discretionary spending was high and expected to rise for college-enrolled Millennials despite the challenges of the recession. In 2009, buying power was pegged at $270 billion (Sass, 2010). Male students tend to spend more of their discretionary dollars on entertainment and technology, while female students favor clothing, shoes, cosmetics, and cell phones (Sass, 2010). The study found that Millennials remained cautiously optimistic, much more so than older generations. What Makes Millennials Tick? According to researchers and to Millennials themselves, young adults have high expectations of others and have a great deal of self-confidence. They tend to learn by doing and through interaction with others as opposed to reading directions or being lectured to. Experiential learning has exposed millennials to interactivity and continuous feedback and they expect this in every facet of life (Sweeney, 2006). They are interested in processes that work and speed interactions. Convenience and flexibility are highly prized because millennials value being able to choice from and take advantage of the best available options. This impacts their outlook on work and life. “They want to work, but they don’t want work to be their life” (Armour, 2005). Because they have a high perception of self-worth fostered by child-rearing characterized by pampering, nurturing, and programming, millennials tend to be highperformers that require high maintenance (Armour, 2005). They question authority because they believe in their own creativity and independent thinking although they admit that they thrive on interaction. They abhor situations in which they feel their time is being wasted. Millennials just entering the work force are more interested in flexible work arrangements such as telecommuting, have difficulty adjusting to command-and-control management styles, and balk at dress codes or rules that infringe on their perceived level of comfort (Armour, 2005). Before the economic crisis millennials were prone to “job hopping” and considered frequent job changes a suitable solution to dealing with boredom (Armour, 2005). Companies also reported that prior to the economic meltdown millennials believed in themselves and their capabilities so much that they expected to walk into companies and serve as an instrument of change (Armour, 2005). In early 2010, millennials 25 years old and younger faced an employment rate nearly double that of the national average, 18.8 percent to 9.7 percent (Dugas, 2010). As the economy shows signs of a slow recover, a new reality is setting in as younger Millennials both in college and those recently graduated are having a much harder time finding employment, and when they do find work they are discovering that their earning potential is much less than they had anticipated (Dugas, 2010). Despite the economic challenges, many Millennials report increased spending levels, less saving for the future, and a generally upbeat attitude. Technology truly is very important to Millennials. Pew Research reports that at 75 percent, Millennials are more likely to have a profile on a social networking site than members of any other generation. In fact, when asked what makes their generation unique nearly a quarter responded that their defining characteristic is “technology use” (, 2010). “Millennials outpace older Americans in virtually all types of internet and cell use” including texting, reports Pew Research (2010). Ninety percent of millennials use the internet, and those in college use the internet and/or send e-mail in higher percentages than those with no college experience. The same holds true for cell phone ownership, with Millennials leading all other generations at 94 percent – interestingly enough, 41 percent are cell phone only. Twitter usage among Millennials enrolled in college


exceeds all other groups at 17 percent. Finally, 59 percent of Millennials responded that the internet was their primary source for news, just behind television at 65% (, 2010). Perhaps one of the more important findings reported by Pew Research is the fact that “Millennials who have attended college are more likely than those who have no college experience to be online, use social networking sites, watch and post video online, connect to the internet wirelessly, and send and receive text messages. Younger Millennials are more likely than older Millennials to use the internet and social networking sites, and to have sent or received a larger number of text messages in the past 24 hours” (, 2010). They are “prolific communicators and expect communication mobility,” says Richard Sweeney, “to remain in constant touch wherever and whenever, un-tethered” (2006). Pew Researchers point out that millennials are cautious when it comes to dealing with people, which may be “a by-product of protective parents, the age of terrorism, or a media culture that focuses on dangers” (2010). They tend to be less religious, less skeptical of the government, and on course to be the most educated generation in U.S. history (, 2010). Researchers believe the quest for education is partially driven by the modern “knowledge-based economy,” but the abysmal job market is considered a primary factor in millennials’ decisions to enroll in college and/or graduate school (2010). They tend to be liberal, and are more supportive of a domestic social agenda and less supportive of national security policy – just 2 percent of millennials are in the military or have previously served (, 2010). Volunteerism, Charitable Giving, Donating Blood, & the American Red Cross A good bit of secondary or existing research exists that suggests that Millennials are in fact more inclined toward social responsibility and civic-mindedness. Pew Research found that 20 percent of millennials responded that “helping others in need” was one of the most important things in their lives, just behind being a good parent (52 percent) and having a successful marriage (30 percent) and more important than having a high-paying career (15 percent) or being famous (1 percent). A College Senior Survey conducted by the University of California found that among 2008-09 graduating seniors, 77 percent rated “helping others who are in difficulty” as “essential” or “very important” (Barbour, 2010). Additionally Pew found that 57 percent of Millennials said that they had volunteered within the past twelve months (2010). Applications by Millennials made to volunteer programs including the Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, and Teach for America are seeing a sharp spike through 2010, although job scarcity and a desire for short term employment stability are considered as major contributing factors to the increased interest. Still, these organizations do offer “an enticing unique blend of working for the social good” in addition to a stable employment situation or “safe harbor” for new college graduates (Barbour, 2010). Nonprofit leaders and researchers alike believe Millennials do in fact have an innate desire to help. “There’s a drive and commitment of this generation to make a difference....Born as overprotected children, they are given to cohesive teamwork and trust in authority as they come of age, becoming the organized fighters during a crisis and the builders of institutions afterward (Barbour, 2010). Young adults have shown tendencies to respond well to e-mail and text campaigns, which some researchers believe is due to the ease and convenience of making a monetary donation (Marcelo, 2010). Yet when Achieve and Johnson Grossnickle & Associates surveyed Millennial donors and asked “how likely they would be to donate based on methods of asking, 66 percent of respondents said they would be likely or highly likely to respond to a face-to-face request, while only 37 percent said they would be likely to give if asked via e-mail” (2010).


This finding is substantiated by numerous other research studies that indicate face-to-face requests tend to yield the most positive results. Millennials also indicated that they are much more likely to respond to a direct request for a specific cause or emergency situation or one that explained specifically what a monetary donation would be used for; conversely, only 8 percent indicated they would respond to a general, non-specific request (, 2010). Ted Grossnickle, commenting on Millennials and how to handle them, states as “donors they are driven by personal relationships and human connections. In this way, they are more like established donors and volunteers. They expect to be treated as such” (, 2010). Having access to leadership and being involved in important matters was very important to the surveyed young adults, which again complements the profile of a generation known for being extremely confident in their capabilities. The survey also indicated that while young adults desire meaningful communication with organizations they support, nonprofits should not overdo it by sending frequent messages. Karlo Marcelo in fact warns that young people using the internet and mobile phones are increasingly becoming targets for cause solicitations and that they in essence are being “bombarded with messages in their inboxes, in blog posts, on Facebook, Twitter, and more (2010). Instead, organizations should consider a monthly or even quarterly communication, which is considered enough with e-mail being the preferred method of contact (2010). The practical implications for nonprofits including the American Red Cross is that social media and technology can be useful tools in reaching the Millennial audience, but only if the organization is prepared to pursue real personal engagement to win over donors with long-term potential. Primary Research - Donating Blood and the American Red Cross Good Lion Communications Group conducted both an online survey and a 90-minute mini-focus group to measure the attitudes and opinions of Millennials in relation to charitable giving, and more specifically the act of donating blood. Further, Millennials were asked about the American Red Cross to gauge their level of knowledge, awareness, perceptions and value placed on the organization and the services it offers. Online Survey The online survey was distributed via e-mail, social media including Facebook and LinkedIn, and posted online. A total of 134 respondents participated, with females vastly outnumbering males by a 88 percent to 12 percent margin. Nearly 81 percent fell into the target audience age range of 18-24, and 80 percent are currently enrolled at least part time in secondary or post-secondary educational institutions. A short series of questions about technology usage, communications preferences and social media choices were administered to compare against existing research. All respondents reported owning or using a cell phone. When asked about their top preference for receiving communications from an organization they embrace, over 50 percent preferred receiving a text message, and 33 percent opted for e-mail, followed by cell phone call at 13 percent and social media at just 1 percent. When asked to identify the social media or consumer-generated content sites they most often frequent, Facebook was the overwhelming favorite with 96% visiting the site a minimum of at least once a week. YouTube came in second at 72 percent, followed by Twitter and Hulu both at 24 percent. When asked about their feelings about charitable giving, 100 percent either “agreed” or “strongly agreed” that contributing to charitable organizations and good causes is important. Nearly all respondents responded that blood collection services offered by nonprofits including the American Red Cross are “important” – 4 percent; “very important” – 44 percent; and, “extremely important” – 36 percent. When asked about their overall


impression of the American Red Cross, respondents overwhelming share a favorable opinion, with nearly 58 percent responding “good” and 35 percent responding “excellent.” When asked to think about the act of donating blood, and then to respond with the descriptor that best matched them as an individual, interestingly nearly 70 responded that they had donated blood at least once in their lifetime. Just over 42 percent reported having donated blood within the past 12 months, and nearly 30 percent reported having donated previously but it had been a year or longer since the donation. Fear or unease when thinking about needles and the process was selected by 19 percent of respondents, and one percent of responses indicated that they had just never considered donating blood, no one had ever asked them to donate, or that health or other factors prevented them from being a blood donor. Questions that might give insight into how best to recruit and retain donors included asking respondents to rate their feelings about suitable rewards or incentives. Nearly 77 percent either “agreed” (62 percent) or “strongly agreed” (15 percent) that recognition and thanks from an organization were suitable rewards. When asked if incentives such as t-shirts, coupons, or gift cards encouraged them to give, 27 percent “disagreed”, 15 percent were “neutral”, 46 percent “agreed”, and 12 percent “strongly agreed.” Respondents were also asked about the importance of convenience (both time and location) as a factor in their ability to give. While 25 percent were either neutral or disagreed that convenience is a factor for them, nearly 54 percent “agreed” and 19 percent “strongly agreed” that convenient times and locations impact their ability to give. Finally, respondents were asked if courteous treatment made long wait times more tolerable. Over 65 percent either “agreed” (53.8 percent) or “strongly agreed” (11.5 percent) that being treated courteously had a positive impact on perception. Nearly 27 percent were “neutral” and nearly 8 percent “disagreed.” When given open opportunities to share their examples of their volunteerism or past donations to charitable organizations and causes – other than the Red Cross – nearly 50 percent responded. Donations and contributions included time (volunteerism), money, clothing, shoes, and other household supplies. Organizations competing for Millennials’ attention and resources include: United Way, Salvation Army, YMCA, Children’s Miracle Network, American Heart Association, Goodwill, Huntsman Cancer Institute, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Habitat for Humanity, Girl Scouts of America, and numerous local and religious causes. Mini-Focus Group (Brand Perception) A 90-minute mini-focus group brought together six university students aged 18-23, recruited via word-of-mouth with the assistance of a local high school guidance counselor who recently completed a M.S. and still maintained connections within the targeted demographic. Participants were unpaid volunteers, and the group consisted of an equal ratio of females and males. Racial makeup included three Caucasian students, two AfricanAmerican students, and one Asian-American student. The group held generally favorable opinions of numerous large nonprofit charitable organizations including the American Red Cross, United Way, Habitat for Humanity, Goodwill, and a number of children’s charities. The general consensus of the group was that such organizations, as well as smaller local organizations, are vitally important to their community specifically and for the greater good of society. While personal giving was described as an “obligation” and considered “extremely important” group members noted that nonprofit groups make giving easier because they know what the needs are and have the knowledge of how to direct resources to where they need to go and when. When the topic was probed further, members gradually came to the realization of the importance of “trust”, in knowing that resources were being used by nonprofits for the stated objective without the potential for misuse or fraud. “Giving to those in need” lead to feelings of personal satisfaction and pride.


The American Red Cross was listed and discussed unaided during the opening sequence of questions about opinions of large nonprofit organizations. When asked to discuss services, the respondents mentioned CPR and first-aid training, blood donations, emergency relief efforts in quick succession, which were then explored more fully. In general, the group showed a reasonable level of understanding about the wide range of services provided by the American Red Cross but no in-depth knowledge of the blood services category. The group responded that the services provided by the American Red Cross are necessary, have immense social value, and are worthy of individual support. Three of the participants had blood donation experience, all with the American Red Cross. None were regular donors however, instead stating that they gave when presented with an opportunity – a blood drive held in their immediate vicinity, going with friends or co-workers, etc. The concept of frequent donations whereby a person would make appointments or make it a personal priority/mission to seek out a site in order to donate blood was new to the group. However, upon continued discussion aided by statistics on the nation’s blood supply and the demand versus supply of blood, the group stated a new-found understanding and appreciation of dedicated frequent donors. Of the three who had previous donor experience, there were no areas of concern or recommendations for improvement. When discussing possible roadblocks that prevent people from becoming donors, the lack of perceived opportunity, fear of needles and/or pain, and just having never thought about donating blood were considered three of the most likely reasons young adults aren’t donating. When asked about potential ways to motivate young adults just like themselves to make a blood donation, the group coalesced around the importance of convenience, being approached face-to-face and talked to with respect, and simply being thanked and acknowledged for contributing. Convenience was considered a significant hurdle, and the group agreed that if presented with an opportunity and asked to donate they would likely agree to do so. The American Red Cross brand and the organization itself are held in high regard, with virtually no criticism. Considering the age group, this came as no real surprise. If considering the historical timeline of possible events or issues that reflected poorly on the organization, most real or perceived incidents garnering negative media attention and public scrutiny occurred when the students were well under the age of 18. As the group had no reservations about the trustworthiness of the American Red Cross and voiced strong support for the organization, its services, and the need to support it, it can be surmised that in general, many young Millennials will likely have either a positive or at a minimum a neutral impression of the organization. Both attitudes can be built upon successfully. Key Takeaways and Insights Millennials are interested in helping to influence positive change in society, especially as it relates to helping the needy. Personal solicitations are far-and-away the most productive method of encouraging their participation as volunteers or donors. Nonprofits should utilize social media to communicate with young adults, but need to be mindful of the noise this audience is already being exposed to via cell, the internet, text messaging, and social media. Less frequent but informative communications work best. For Millennial the American Red Cross brand is practically synonymous with blood donation although knowledge about the category and the breadth of the brand’s involvement in helping to maintain the nation’s blood supply was limited in scope.


Brand awareness was very high and participants viewed the American Red Cross in a positive light. Participants expressed trust in the organization to do the right thing and to help people in need. Convenience is very important to Millennials who have little patience and like to have things their way, when and where they want them. Treating them with respect and courteousness will engender a more positive response and result in a willingness to endure what they might perceive as the lengthy blood donation process. Research tends to support the notion that text giving is so popular with young adults because it is fast and clean. Millennials believe in supporting organizations and due to their level of self-conďŹ dence, they want to be more fully engaged in the direction of the entities they support. Interacting with decision-makers is important to them and can lead to long-term relationships. Recognition and thanks are very important to Millennials who have been raised on constant feedback and praise. Sincere thanks and recognition are considered suitable rewards for donating blood, and should be strategically used to encourage retention of eligible donors. Incentives can beneďŹ t recruitment of new donors and help lead to the establishment of a pattern of donations. Even those who do not expect t-shirts, mugs, hats, or other small tokens tend to appreciate the thought. Education is never ending. Even though Millennials are on track to become the most well-educated generation in American history, they require education about the blood donation process, the need for repeat blood donors, and about the role of the American Red Cross as the leading innovator in the blood services category.


SWOT Analysis

Based on the marketing objective, the target audience, and an understanding of the American Red Cross, Good Lion Communications Group developed the following SWOT analysis which provides a synopsis of the internal strengths and weaknesses as well as external opportunities and threats that are likely to have a strategic impact on the 2012 recruitment and retention campaign.


n National Footprint



n Decentralized Marketing


n Leader in Blood Donation Innovation

n Internal Communications

n Brand Image/Awareness

n Resource Limitations

n Partnerships/Blood Drives

n Dependence on Private Donations

n Semi-Autonomous Marketing

n Intense Media/Public Scrutiny

n Human Resources

n Inability to Guarantee Cust. Service




n High Brand Equity/Awareness

n Economy

n n n n n n

n n n n n n

Motivated Target Audience High Concentration - Campuses Integrated Marketing Communications Differentiation from Competition Brand Partnership Potential Bring Collection Sites to Donors



Image Management Competition Market Demand for Blood Retention of Eligible Donors Potential for Crisis Crisis Fatigue Among Eligible Donors

Strengths • National Footprint • Leader in Blood Donation Innovation – Processes, Systems, Products • Brand Image/Awareness – Synonymous with Blood Collection • Partnerships / Blood Drives – Brings Collection to Donors • Semi-Autonomous Marketing – Flexibility (cultural, language, etc.) • Human Resources - Experienced Staff & Volunteers Weaknesses • Decentralized Marketing – Potential Loss of Synergy • Internal Communications Function • Resource Limitations • Dependence on Private Donations • Coping with Intense Media/Public Scrutiny • Inability to Guarantee Consistently High Levels of Customer Service Opportunities • High Brand Equity/Awareness • Target Audience Motivated to Help Others • Highly Concentrated Audience On/Around Campuses • Integrated Marketing Communications w/Social Media • Differentiation from Competition • Develop Brand Partnerships within Private Sector • Bring Collection Site to Donors Threats • Economy • Image Management • Competition • Market Demand for Blood, Blood Products • Inability to Retain Eligible First-Time Donors • Potential for Crisis (Natural or Man-Made) • Crisis Fatigue Among Eligible Donors Strengths The American Red Cross has significant strengths to bring to bear as it undertakes a campaign to recruit and retain 18-24 year old college and university students. A national footprint means the organization has the infrastructure comprised of seven divisions, 36 regions, and over 700 centers in place to better target university and college campuses in an effort to accomplish the primary objective. With a strong leadership position in blood donation innovation, the Red Cross is continually working to provide the most efficient and pleasant donor experience possible, and the systems and product innovation to deliver the safest and most effective blood products required by the healthcare system. In fact, the American Red Cross is practically synonymous with blood donation and it is not uncommon for the less knowledgeable to assume that any blood donation drive is being conducted by the organization. The brand and image are very strong, and resonates well within all demographics. One of the core strengths of the organization is its ability to bring the collection site to prospective donors. Annually, the American Red Cross collects about 80 percent of donated blood through mobile drives at loca-


tions other than static blood centers. While blood services is managed from the national headquarters, divisions and regions have some autonomy to develop campaigns and manage the marketing communications efforts at their particular level. Having an intimate knowledge of the area and the particular stakeholders living there means marketing can be sculpted to meet the unique needs of that region including ethnic content and language considerations for example. In addition to the knowledgeable marketing teams, the American Red Cross has a large, well trained team of employees and an even larger loyal group of volunteers to accomplish the needs of the organization nationwide. Weaknesses Switching gears, the American Red Cross is truly an amazing organization. Yet, it too has areas of weakness that can be improved upon. In the case of the proposed 2012 campaign, the decentralized marketing function could also serve as a hinderance if divisions or regions fail to fully support the national initiative. A weak internal communications function could also hamper the efforts to pass along important campaign information to employees and volunteers spread across the nation. By the very nature of being a nonprofit organization, the American Red Cross is less capable of adding resources quickly. So while the desire is to increase recruitment of eligible donors, increases will have an impact on resources currently in the field. A sizeable increase could potentially strain field teams and volunteers, require more storage and testing resources, etc. The American Red Cross is dependent on the goodwill and support of private stakeholders and the blood donations freely given by volunteers. Even if the organization had a pristine past, stakeholder scrutiny is an unavoidable component of the funding formula. And the media is constantly vigilant for the next big story of financial wrongdoing or other organizational misdeeds. Therefore the American Red Cross must expend valuable resources to safeguard itself and to protect the brand from potentially embarrassing situations. With any organization of the size and scope of the American Red Cross, and given the organization’s dependence on hundreds of thousands of volunteers annually, it is extremely difficult to ensure a consistent, high-level of customer service for each and every donor. Opportunities Many opportunities exist as the American Red Cross prepares to target the coveted Millennial Generation in 2012. The organization has the opportunity to build off its extremely high brand equity and awareness, which means it is both held in high esteem and that people are readily aware of who and what the organization does. Another opportunity stems from the very characteristic that makes Millennials so important to nonprofits – this demographic is highly motivated to help others. Fortunately the American Red Cross has already embraced social media and the strategic value of an integrated marketing communications campaign that will bring the right functions and tactics together to pursue and accomplish the marketing objective. At present, the Red Cross competes against both nonprofit and for-profit organizations, many of whom promote the same services with very little to actually separate them from the competition. As a leader in the industry, the American Red Cross can take the opportunity to differentiate itself more fully in the eyes of current and future stakeholders. Another opportunity that the Red Cross can potentially take advantage of is identifying private sector organizations with which to partner to the mutual benefit of both. With a brand consistently ranked in the top 10 in terms of image, value, and revenue, the American Red Cross can potentially find the right partner or partners to align itself with for the benefit of all. Threats Threats to the American Red Cross and/or to the potential success of the 2012 campaign include the economy. Virtually no one is immune to the effects of a down economy. The recent recession has impacted blood drive efforts for the American Red Cross and has had a dramatic impact on the educational and employment decisions made by millennials. A double dip recession would threaten the organization as it copes with a significant debt


burden, and it could impact the enrollment and employment of people of all ages. As mentioned previously, managing the organization’s image is important and it requires resources. A situation that reflects negatively on the organization could tie up more resources, result in declining donations, and negatively impact brand equity. The American Red Cross faces competition from nonprofit and well as for-profit organizations both in and out of the blood services category. This means the organization must compete for available volunteers and donors, for stakeholder funding, and increasingly for the audience’s attention. The reason for the 2012 campaign is to address the constant need for blood and blood products in the U.S. While Millennials represent a potential lucrative group of potential donors, an aging Baby Boomer population make stress the blood supply as never before. Factor into the equation that people are living longer and the U.S. population continues to grow through immigration as well, and the blood supply may not be able to meet future demand at some point. One must also be cognizant of the fact that far fewer first-time donors transform into repeat donors. And finally, the potential always exists for a natural or man-made crisis that could impact the priorities or even the capabilities of the American Red Cross to fulfill its mission.



Red Cross Branding in Advertising

Brand Positioning The American Red Cross brand is positioned to speak to the minds and hearts of people capable of and willing to join forces with an organization of like-minded volunteers, donors, and financial supporters to answer the call when unexpected events threaten others. Imagery and messaging denote a sense of urgency because victims of emergency situations are likely to be caught off guard or ill prepared. Yet at the same time, elements and words convey that in the midst of crisis there are caring, confident volunteers ready with open arms to care for the sick, to cloth and feed those who may have just lost everything, to offer kindness and a shoulder to lean on to the infirm or the displaced, and to collect life-saving blood from donors willing to share a precious gift to those they will likely never meet. Brand positioning is deliberate. “Positioning takes into account the needs and wants of our volunteers and blood and financial donors. We can use our positioning to create a unique place for the Red Cross in their minds based on what is important and relevant to them” (, 2011). The Red Cross essentially says that by helping others, not only are volunteers, donors, and financial supporters changing the course of victims’ lives but of their own for the better. The American Red Cross symbol takes a prominent place in all organizational advertising and communications. The red symbol stands out as a beacon, frequently positioned on white backgrounds or in conjunction with black and white imagery. The stark contrast between the muted images and the bright red symbol makes clear what the mission of American Red Cross volunteers is. To be there in times of need, to help prevent, prepare for, and respond to emergencies. The emotional benefits of joining with the American Red Cross are: “Being involved allows people to feel good about themselves, and it allows them to aid others in times of need.” The rational benefits should describe how people view the organization and the services it provides: “The Red Cross helps people in times of need” (, 2011). In terms of current relevancy to the Millennial target audience, research would indicate that while there is a high level of brand awareness and general trust that the organization will do the


right thing, there is a disconnect in that these young adults are not drawing the necessary conclusion that the American Red Cross is only capable of providing disaster or blood services because of people willing to volunteer, donate blood, or make financial contributions thus making a difference in the lives of those in need. In that regard then, the organization’s brand positioning is irrelevant to Millennials. So while they may appreciate what the organization does and voice strong support that the services and products are worthy of financial support – they do make monetary and blood donations on occasion – until brand positioning resonates with them and they grasp that they themselves must assume active roles as volunteers, repeat donors, or financial supporters, then any campaign targeting them will likely have less than completely satisfactory results. Relevancy will come when Millennials get the message that when they become the Red Cross through blood donation and repeat donation, then they are truly changing lives for the better, including their own. Brand Personality According to the American Red Cross, the organization’s brand personality can be summed up in the following four words – passionate, genuine, human, and trustworthy (www.redcross. org, 2011). Based on research in the form of an online survey and mini-focus group, Millennials seemed to pick up on these traits although they probably wouldn’t have articulated them using the same words. During the focus group especially, participants acknowledged the importance of the work conducted by the American Red Cross, agreeing that the organization was worthy of support and that its efforts contribute to the greater social good. The young adults stated a belief that the organization was worthy of trust and that it would do the right thing – meaning coming to the aid of people in need, teaching lifesaving skills, collecting blood needed by those suffering from medical emergencies. The Red Cross identifies additional traits that consequently lend themselves to each of the four brand personality traits listed above. Considering the discussions occurring during the mini-focus group and in relation to secondary research compiled in the target audience segment of the proposal, Millennials would likely use other traits to describe their impression of what the living embodiment of the American Red Cross would be today: dedicated, committed, sensitive, compassionate, kind, honest, reliable, believable, and even principled.


While the organization might otherwise like to maintain a traditional, steady brand image for its other stakeholders and audiences, the decision to target Millennials who have been raised on technology and exposed throughout their lives to the latest and greatest in consumer product marketing may necessitate a brand personality shift, albeit perhaps one tailored and communicated solely for this demographic group’s benefit. To fall more in line with how Millennials would like to view themselves, traits such as confident, contemporary, imaginative, and perhaps even savvy might be worth exploring. Ulimately however, the American Red Cross has a set of personality descriptors that work across all demographic groups and thus a substitution is not necessary. Brand Perception Perceptions of the American Red Cross brand are typically positive. In fact, the organization and brand routinely ranks among the most recognized, trusted, and powerful in surveys and power rankings year after year. As mentioned previously in this proposal, when compared to other top nonprofit brands in a power ranking, the American Red Cross came in fourth with a brand value estimated to be in the $3.2 billion range and was fifth in brand image (, 2006). What this means is that the American Red Cross has immense brand equity that can be leveraged in numerous ways. Obviously, having exceptional brand awareness and being perceived as a trustworthy nonprofit agent affecting positive change translates into a firmer foundation when attempting to focus on a specific demographic, as is the case with the proposed 2012 campaign geared toward in-college Millennials. More resources can be directed at communicating the necessary message; in this case the need for blood and the vital role young adults can play as blood frequent blood donors through the American Red Cross. Secondarily, the American Red Cross is an attractive brand for private sector organizations interested in partnering with a respected and high-visibility nonprofit. American consumers don’t just appreciate it when the brands they buy give back; increasingly they expect business entities to be more socially conscious. Thus companies are looking for nonprofit brands that match their philosophies and desires. Given the Red Cross excels locally at bringing mobile blood collection to donors at work, at school, and other locations daily, and the organization has infrastructure to engage private sector entities at a regional and even national level, the opportunities for engaging in mutually beneficial brand partnerships that could lead to increased donations of blood as well as much needed additional resources including volunteer time and financial resources. Also depending on the private sector partners, their brand equity would also tend to increase the relevancy and perception of the Red Cross brand in the eyes of Millennials and other demographics. The American Red Cross is perceived positively by Millennials based on primary and secondary research conducted to support the development of this proposal. Recapping the information shared in the Target Audience section, when online survey respondents were asked about their overall impression of the American Red Cross, respondents overwhelming shared a favorable opinion, with nearly 58 percent responding “good” and 35 percent responding “excellent.” Nearly all respondents responded that blood collection services offered by nonprofits including the American Red Cross are “important” – 4 percent; “very important” – 44 percent; and, “extremely important” – 36 percent. However when considered in light of the fact that to many Millennials ‘blood donation’ means the Red Cross, the category and brand are virtually synonymous at least in certain sections of the country. This realization was born out of a mini-focus group with six students within the age demographic. Further testing might prove beneficial to more fully investigate the category and brand relationship as part of ongoing efforts to understand Millennials and their perceptions, opinions, and attitudes.


Based on the survey and mini-focus group, it is evident that Millennials can appreciate the value of blood donation and do appreciate the many services offered by the American Red Cross, of which they have a general knowledge. It is not uncommon to find that a portion of the target audience has made at least one blood donation in their short window of opportunity (given that the earliest that most could have donated is likely 16 years of age). Yet they typically don’t have a deeper understanding of the dynamics of the blood supply category, the short shelf life of blood products, the turnaround time from time of donation to transfusion, and especially the constant need for more blood. Millennials do believe in giving and respondents to both the survey and during the focus group clearly acknowledged that giving to good causes and charities is important to them personally. This corroborates the findings of Pew Research and others; however, young adults are prone to giving when it is quick and easy – like text message giving. Convenience then is perhaps one of the greatest challenges and potential one of the best opportunities facing the Red Cross as it sets about targeting Millennials. The challenge is competing with other organizations for the attention and resources of young adults. If texting a monetary donation satisfies their desire to help others, then it might take more to convince them that donating blood makes a more immediate and personal impact on lives – but that is the key. They need to know that giving blood is a way for them to have a deeper, far reaching impact not only on the lives of those receiving their blood, but for families, friends, and even themselves. The opportunity is great for the Red Cross due to the organization’s expertise in mobile blood drives and experience working with educational institutions. Couple that with the concentration of Millennials on college and university campuses and the potential to utilize their peers to make face-to-face requests, and the campaign can succeed in motivating more young adults in the target audience to make a blood donation. For more on the research conducted to support the proposal, see the Target Audience Profile, Primary Research Section or turn to the Appendix to review the online survey results and mini-focus group moderator guide.


Intergrated Communications Strategy Stateent

Taking into consideration the pertinent rational benefits Millennials would gain by donating blood as well as items that might be of emotional significance to these young adults based on the primary and secondary research compiled by Good Lion Communications Group, the integrated communication strategy statement for the American Red Cross campaign can be formulated.

Rational Benefits

Emotional Benefits

n Supplies Half of Blood Supply

n My Gift Matters

n Trustworthy Brand

n Feels Good to Help Others

n Helps People in Dire Need

n Giving the Promise of Hope

n Saves Lives

n Keeps Loved Ones Together

n Safe Process

n Recognition for Helping Others

n Only Takes an Hour

n Changes Someone’s Future

n Feel Obligation to Help Others

n Deep, Far-Reaching Impact

n Might Be Me Some Day

Integrated Communications Strategy Statement

Give Blood and You Become a Star to Someone In Need


Creative Brief

Agency: Good Lion Communications Group Client: American Red Cross Product/Service: Blood Donation Type: Magazine Advertisement Why are we advertising? To encourage blood donations. Whom are we talking to? Young adults ages 18-24 currently enrolled in a U.S. college or university. What do they currently think? Helping those in need is important. Donating blood is a way of helping others but isn’t top of mind. Donating money online or by text is easy and helps those in need. What would we like them to think? Donating blood is easier than you think and it saves lifes. Your blood means survival and a new reality for those in need. What is the single most persuasive idea we can convey? Give blood and you become a star to someone in need. Why should they believe it? Every two seconds a person in America needs blood to live, and there is no substitute for donated blood. Are there any creative guidelines? Four-color, full-page magazine print advertisements, with bleeds; half-page, four-color and two-color print advertisements; four-color poster print advertisements (24 x 36), with bleeds; out-of-home/outdoor advertising; online, electronic, and mobile advertisements; radio, and television.


Communication (Media) Plan

Communication Plan Overview Based on the American Red Cross marketing objective of encouraging blood donation among eligible individuals 18-24 in 2012 and supported by solid primary and secondary research, Good Lion Communications Group proposes an aggressive integrated marketing communications campaign targeting a specific sub-segment of the the Millennial audience – those 18-24 year olds currently enrolled in secondary and post-secondary educational institutions nationwide. We firmly believe this refined target audience represent a significant opportunity for the American Red Cross to recruit and retain blood donors given corollaries between educational attainment and altruistic attitudes related to charitable giving. This lucrative segment numbers well over 20 million students according to the Chronicle of Higher Education. In order to effectively engage, educate, and motivate them to donate blood and to develop into repetitive donors, Good Lion Communications Group proposes a “Reality Star” themed campaign, which will integrate traditional, non-traditional, and new media throughout the coming year with weighted emphasis on the 1,000 largest campuses (enrollment) as well as twelve markets with sizeable Millennial student populations. The rationale to focus on in-college Millennials is supported by key factors that Good Lion Communications believes will create a solid foundation for campaign success. Foremost is the fact that universities and colleges represent large and highly concentrated populations of Millennials. Many of these institutions come replete with media and communications resources ranging from campus newspapers, mail and telephone systems, and electronic communications tools that can be tapped by the American Red Cross to reach the target audience frequently and cost effectively. Students also tend to spend a significant portion of their time in and around campuses for up to two-thirds of the year, which should work to the advantage of the American Red Cross given the organization’s mobile blood drive expertise which brings the donation site to captive audiences nationwide over 200,000 times annually. Inconvenience then, as an oft-cited factor hampering donor recruitment and blood drive efforts, can be largely mitigated. Concerted direct and guerrilla marketing efforts on the 1,000 largest campuses nationwide will culminate in crucial opportunities for American Red Cross volunteers to engage potential donors face-to-face, to ask them to give blood – a preferred method of solicitation based on Millennial research, and to recognize/thank those who do. Another factor taken into consideration is that large metropolitan areas are traditionally home to numerous university and college campuses making it possible to leverage local media buys – television, radio, and outdoor – in select markets to reach a much broader base of in-college Millennials. The following twelve cities/metropolitan areas have been selected as part of the 2012 campaign: New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington D.C., San Francisco, Dallas, Boston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, and Nashville. The Nashville/Middle Tennessee metropolitan area, which is home to numerous public and private secondary institutions of varying sizes and student demographics, was selected and will be utilized by Good Lion Communications Group for on-going collateral development purposes. Celebrity brand ambassadors for the campaign include: Tyra Banks, host of America’s Next Top Model; Tom Bergeron, host of Dancing with the Stars; Julie Chen, host of Big Brother; Randy Jackson, former host of American Idol; Phil Keoghan, host of The Amazing Race; and Jeff Probst, host of Survivor.


Partnership Opportunities Because of its brand equity, the American Red Cross should also consider partnership opportunities that could potentially result in additional on-campus resources working toward the fulfillment of the organization’s on-going mission of recruiting and retaining blood donors. Two philanthropic organizations comprised of members of the target audience that appear well-suited for partnership consideration include the National Panhellenic Conference, comprising 26 member sorority organizations, and the North American Interfraternity Conference, comprising 75 member fraternity organizations. Both organizations are conveniently headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, but more importantly both organzitions place an emphasis on integrity, community service, and philanthropy. According to the North American Interfraternity Conference, “fraternities are devoted to service and philanthropy. From hosting neighborhood carwashes to participating in large-scale fundraising events, giving back to the community through service or fundraising for causes are important parts of the fraternal experience” (, 2011). The National Panhellenic Conference likewise is dedicated to promoting service to the community as part of the sorority experience. In 2010, the organization’s in-college members and alumnae “donated more than $5 million to worthy causes, provided $2.8 million in scholarships to momen, and volunteered 500,000 hours in their communities” (, 2011). At present, the National Panhellenic Conference has 4,500 chapters located on 655 university campuses, with over 4 million members (, 2011). The North American Interfraternity Conference has 5,500 chapters located on more than 800 university campuses, with approximately 350,000 undergraduate members (, 2011). Both organizations as well as the member fraternity and sorority members have web, e-mail, and social media capabilities that can be utilized to recruit blood donors from within, as well as to engage those who would be interested in volunteering for on-campus marketing activities and events as part of the ‘Reality Star” campaign. Through partnership, the American Red Cross would benefit from a strong philanthropic presence and energy on campus, which in return would reward volunteers as they learn and work alongside Red Cross leaders.


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Media Objectives Good Lion Communications Group offers the following media objectives for the Reality Star campaign, with strategies and tactics we feel will result in the achievement of the stated objectives. The rationale for all recommendations as well as the estimated cost are also provided to support this campaign proposal.




Expose at least 60 percent of in-college Millennials (12 million) ten times over the course of the next 12 months using traditional media.

Concentrate non-traditional efforts on 1,000 campuses during each of the following two-month periods: January-February, April-May, August-September, and November-December.

Generate in-college Millennial web trafďŹ c of at least 2 million unique hits (10 percent) to web site during the next 12 months.

Proposed Reality Star Campaign logo


Strategies, Tactics, & Rationale Objective 1: Expose at least 60 percent of in-college Millennials (12 million) ten times over the course of the next 12 months using traditional media. Strategy: Leverage reality television programming popular with Millennials. Tactic 1: Place a 30-second commercial in reality television programming (one per episode) in the following 12 cities/metropolitan areas: New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington D.C., San Francisco, Dallas, Boston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, and Nashville. Programs, number of episodes, and season dates are as follows: n n n n n n

Survivor – February-May (15 episodes); September-December (16 episodes) Dancing with the Stars – March-May (19 episodes); September-November (20 episodes) American Idol – January-May (39 episodes) The Amazing Race – February-May (12 episodes); September-December (12 episodes) America’s Next Top Model – March-May (12 episodes); September-December (13 episodes) Big Brother – July-September (30 episodes)

Rationale: According to Nielsen, reality television programming continues to garner high viewership ratings across demographics groups including Millennials. During their season runs, the above listed programs typically stay well within the top 20 programs each week (, 2011). Cost: 188 commercials x 12 markets = 2,256 commercials at an est. cost of $338,400 Strategy: Leverage late night television programming popular with Millennials. Tactic 1: Place a 30-second commercial in four of the top late night television programs (one per episode) in the following 12 cities/metropolitan areas: New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington D.C., San Francisco, Dallas, Boston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, and Nashville. Commercials run five days per week, Monday-Friday, during the following months - January-February; April-May; August-September; and, November-December (36 weeks) to coincide with mobile blood drive push on campuses nationwide. The four programs are: n n n n

The Daily Show (Comedy Central) The Colbert Report (Comedy Central) Conan (TBS) Sports Center (ESPN)

Rationale: According to Nielson, the late night hours see more Millennials tuning in, especially for The Daily Show, which is followed by The Colbert Report on Comedy Central. Conan outranks other late night talk/variety shows in terms of Millennial viewers. Sports Center remains a late night mainstay with young male viewers (, 2011). Cost: 20 commercials x 12 markets x 36 weeks = 8,460 commercials at an est. cost of $1,296,000 31

Strategy: Leverage radio stations most listened to by Millennials. Tactic 1: Place four 30-second radio commercials each day on the top two radio stations based on Millennial listeners in the following 12 cities/metropolitan areas: New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington D.C., San Francisco, Dallas, Boston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, and Nashville. Commercials will air Monday-Friday, during the following months - January-February; AprilMay; August-September; and, November-December (36 weeks) to coincide with mobile blood drive push on campuses nationwide. Commercials will air during morning and afternoon drive times, during the middle of the day (11 a.m. - 1 p.m.), and later in the evening (8 p.m.-midnight). Rationale: Radio remains an effective broadcast medium for reaching Millennials as evidenced by Nielsen research. Listeners in the 18-24 demographic average over 20 hours of radio listening per week, with an estimated 40 percent of listening taking place in the car, 34 percent at home, and 23 percent at work (, 2011). Cost: 24 stations x 20 commercials per week x 36 weeks = 17,280 commercials at an est. cost of $2,496,000 Strategy: Leverage consumer print magainzes popular with Millennials. Tactic 1: Place four-color, full-page advertisements in six national consumer magazines popular with Millennials. The most popular magazines will have advertisements ighted to correspond with the weighted months of the campaign - January-February; April-May; August-September; and, NovemberDecember (36 weeks) to coincide with mobile blood drive push on campuses nationwide. n n n n n n

Cosmopolitan - January, February, April, May, November, December People - January, February, April, May, November, December Glamour - February, April, June, August, October, December Time - February, April, June, August, October, December Sports Illustrated - January, February, April, May, November, December Maxim - January, February, April, May, November, December

Rationale: All six publications rank in the top 25 of all magazines based on paid and unpaid circulation and have signiďŹ cant Millennial readership. People ranks 13th, with a circulation of 3.6 million; Time ranks 14th, with a circulation of 3.3 million; Sports Illustrated ranks 16th, with a circulation of 3.2 million; Cosmopolitan ranks 17th, with a circulation of 2.9 million; and Maxim ranks 21st, with a circulation of 2.5 million (, 2011). Cost: Six publications x six issues each = 36 advertisements at an est. cost of $4,140,000


Strategy: Leverage campus print-edition newspapers. Tactic 1: Place one weekly four-color, full-page advertisements in the top 1,000 university newspapers (based on enrollment) during the following months - January-February; April-May; August-September; and, November-December (36 weeks) to coincide with mobile blood drive push on campuses nationwide. Rationale: Campus newspapers typically enjoy high readership percentages. A number of large campuses offer daily papers, with Tuesday-Thursday editions identified as being optimal for advertisers seeking to connect with in-college Millennials. Recent research conducted by Alloy Media in conjunction with MORI Research suggests that over 60 percent of college students have read their college newspaper in the past 30 days, and over 80 percent have read their college newspaper within the past 90 days (www., 2008). Those students also indicate that they read three out of every five issues. Cost: 1,000 campus publications x 36 weeks = 36,000 advertisements at an est. cost of $3,600,000 Strategy: Leverage outdoor media. Tactic 1: Place eight billboards along major roadways near major campuses in each of the following 12 cities/metropolitan areas: New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington D.C., San Francisco, Dallas, Boston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, and Nashville. The billboards will be used for the entire year, however the artwork will be replaced every quarter. Rationale: Outdoor media positioned along high traffic areas will boost the reach and frequency of impressions within the selected metropolitan areas. Cost: Eight billboards x 12 metropolitan areas x 12 months = $1,873,000


Objective 2: Concentrate non-traditional efforts on 1,000 campuses during each of the following twomonth periods: January-February, April-May, August-September, and November-December. Strategy: Leverage non-traditional marketing (intercept encounters) on campuses. Tactic 1: Equip four volunteer teams from each of the top 1,000 campuses (based on enrollment) with Promo-in-a-Box kits to engage in face-to-face and intercept marketing efforts in high traffic areas two weeks prior to every scheduled mobile blood drive on each particular campus. New Promo-in-a-Box kits will be distributed quarterly per campus to coincide with the four proposed mobile blood drives – two to be held during the spring semester and two for the fall semester, each separated by a minimum of 56 days to foster repeat donor activity. Each Reality Star-themed kit will contain: n n n n n

Two 3’ x 8’ banners (with hanging materials) Fifteen 24” x 36” posters (with hanging materials) Fifteen 3” x 6” two-sided window clings 5,000 Flyers 5,000 Save-the-date appointment cards (with detachable copy for Red Cross follow-up)

Cost: 16 kits x 1,000 campuses = 16,000 kits at an est. cost of $600,000 Tactic 2: Equip four voluntee teams from each of the top 1,000 campuses (based on enrollment) with Checkpoint kits to engage in face-to-face and intercept marketing efforts in high traffic areas during the weeks of scheduled mobile blood drive on each particular campus. New Checkpoint kits will be distribute quarterly per campus to coincide with the four proposed mobile blood drives – two to be held during the spring semester and two for the fall semester,. Each Checkpoint-themed kit will contain: One 4’ cardboard ‘checkpoint’ stand One 2.5’ diamter oval mat 5,000 two-sided 5” x 9” checkpoint cards (copy to convey the importance of blood donations and information pertinent to the mobile blood drive being held on campus that week - time, place, etc.) n n n

Cost: 16 kits x 1,000 campuses = 16,000 kits at an est. cost of $350,000 Tactic 3: Create chalk art displays and messaging on select walkways on the 1,000 largest campuses (based on enrollment). Volunteers will be provided with the necessary materials including approved messaging, chalk, and stencils to create unexpected yet highly visible/memorable touchpoints. Rationale (Tactics 1, 2, & 3): All three guerrila tactics support the strategy efficiently and cost effectively by using student volunteers to meet the target audience face-to-face on campus. All three tactics are intended to expose in-college Millennials to the Red Cross message in thought-provoking ways. The “kit” tactics will give the student volunteers opportunities and tools to make personal appeals to Millennials - research indicates that asking Millennials face-to-face results in higher response rates. Cost: 1,000 campuses at an est. cost of $75,000 34

Objective 3: Generate in-college Millennial web traffic of at least 2 million unique hits (10 percent) to web site during the next 12 months. Strategy: Leverage campaign web site / new technology Tactic 1: Develop the web site and mobile app to generate awareness and encourage blood donation among in-college Millennials. The site will offer educational content about the blood donation process and serve as a recruitment and retention portal whereby surfers can register for a PURL (personal URL – e.g.,, select their preferred method(s) for receiving updates and information about mobile blood drive, special events, and promotions, and post usergenerated content that can be linked to their social media sites. Sections of each user’s portal page will contain personalized content about their donor history and blood drive reminders if they have opted to utilize the online appointment setter or mobile device app. The remainder of each PURL page will present content generated internally by Good Lion Communications Group and the American Red Cross as part of the 2012 campaign as well as select user-generated content that has been reviewed and deemed suitable for sharing with all users. Rationale: The campaign web site will provide a 24/7/365 portal that Millennials can explore and utilize in customized fashion. The appointment setting capabilities built into the site and complementary app encourage planning and follow-through on behalf of Millennials while providing the American Red Cross with opportunities to communicate with users through the use of “reminder” messages delivered via e-mail, text, or telephone. Cost: Negligible to develop and offer. On-going maintenance and content development considered part of the communications/public relations efforts covered by the agency fee. Strategy: Leverage Internet advertising Tactic 1: Place interactive banner advertising on ten high traffic web sites frequented by Millennials for the coming year. Clicks deliver the surfer to, the American Red Cross site developed to serve as the primary online vehicle for the Reality Star campaign. The web sites include: n n n n n

Google Hulu Facebook YouTube Yahoo!

n n n n n


Rationale: Internet advertising is extremely affordable and enables marketers to mine a wealth of data that can be used for on-going testing and creative improvement, budget allocation/media spend, and evaluative purposes post-campaign. Cost: 10 sites x 365 days at an est. cost of $182,500


Strategy: Leverage social media sites

Tactic 1: Launch a Reality Star-themed Facebook page and Twitter micro-blog to engage in-college Millennials and encourage interaction between the organization and the audience. Ideally, these social media platforms should translate into additional traffic on, while also giving the Red Cross additional touchpoints and low-cost mediums to communicate important information including mobile blood drive and special event detials. Both social media sites will also facilitate the sharing of content developed internally as well as audience-produced content - videos, photograhy, etc. Rationale: Millennials are recognized for their reliance on and preference for new and emerging media, including the use of social media to stay connected and to share with others. Cost: Negligible to develop and offer. On-going maintenance and content development considered part of the communications/public relations efforts covered by the agency fee.

Strategy: Leverage user-generated content / promotions Tactic 1: To engage in-college Millennials to help spread the American Red Cross message and to drive traffic to and use of the online tools like the mobile blood drive appointment setter and mobile app, a promotion encouraging the production and submittal of relevant user-generated content will be employed during both the spring and fall semesters. In-college Millennials will be invited to submit their content online, which will be reviewed and then used on the campaign web site and social media sites. Five participants will be selected each semester to attend a taping of a reality show and have lunch with the host. The prize package includes round trip air fare, ground transportation, lodging for two nights, and meals. Rationale: User-generated content is highly effective for traffice generation and increased awareness. Cost: 10 Promotional Prize Packages x $5,000 = $50,000 Strategy: Leverage database and electronic communications technology Tactic 1: Utililize back-end database technology to collect and store Millennial web visitors’ information to facilitate on-going recruitment and retention e-mail and text messaging efforts as well as CRM initiatives. The database will also allow Good Lion Communications Group and the American Red Cross to support the population of unique user content programmed into each registrant’s PURL. Rationale: A robust database will enable the American Red Cross to supply personalized data and services to Millennials who register online or who have downloaded the mobile app. The electronic messaging capabilities provide Millennials with information they have opted-in to receive and will equip the American Red Cross with the capability of sending highly refined and targeted messaging as part of ongoing marketing communications efforts. Cost: Negligible to develop and offer. On-going maintenance and content development considered part of the communications/public relations efforts covered by the agency fee.


Public Relations Objectives Good Lion Communications Group offers the following public relations objectives for the Reality Star campaign, with strategies and tactics we feel will dovetail perfectly with the marketing and advertising efforts. The rationale for all recommendations as well as the estimated cost are also provided to support this campaign proposal.



Increase awareness of the Red Cross’ leadership role in meeting the constant demand for blood donations by 60 percent over the next 12 months among in-college Millennials ages 18-24.

Generate 500,000 online and mobile app blood donation appointments from in-college Millennials over the course of the next 12 months.


Objective 1: Increase awareness of the Red Cross’ leadership role in meeting the constant demand for blood donations by 60 percent over the next 12 months among in-college Millennials ages 18-24. Strategy: Position the American Red Cross as the leader in blood collection services

Tactic 1: Hold special events once per semester on the 1,000 largest campuses (based on enrollment). Due to a certain level of autonomy at the regional and local levels of the American Red Cross organization, there are numerous events to choose from that tie into the Reality Star campaign theme. Options include local fashion shows (America’s Next Top Model), scavenger hunts and 10K-5K-3K marathons (The Amazing Race), dance-offs and/or ball room dance competitions (Dancing with the Stars), and trivia/athletic mashup competitions (Survivor, Big Brother). Local businesses will be pursued and encouraged to participate as co-sponsors and prizes may be provided - $500 wardrobe makeover in conjunction with a fashion show supported by local retailers for instance. Rationale: Events can be utilized to promote the American Red Cross message, garner free publicity from the media, and generate buzz on campuses. Cost: 1,000 campuses x 2 events = 2,000 events at an est. cost of $2,000,000 Tactic 2: Develop and maintain targeted media relationships and opportunities on the national, regional, and local levels that will lead to increased Millennial awareness. Research and identify mediums and outlets in broadcast (TV/radio), print (magazines/newspapers), and online (organization web sites, blogs, newsletters) for placement of news and human interest content developed throughout the coming year. Work with the appropriate media to place content in a timely manner including inviting media to special events, offering interview opportunities with sponsors and volunteers, and producing video, photography, and written content including press releases and public service announcements that can be re-purposed to meet an outlet’s needs. Rationale: Media coverage of events or that employ pre-packaged content made available by the American Red Cross can positively influence Millennials’ perception of the organization and about donating blood. Cost: Considered part of on-going campaign support and as such is covered by the agency fee. Tactic 3: Take advantage of digital communications tools by developing and disseminating personalized e-mail, text messaging, and web content for Millennial consumption. In addition to appointment reminders, a monthly e-newsletter will be distributed by e-mail and text messages. Fresh content will also be produced for the campaign web site, Facebook page, and Twitter micro-blog. Rationale: Electronic communications are economical and highly practical given the target audience’s level of comfort and dependence on technology to stay informed and connected. These communications can be economical to produce and dsitribute and offer the sender numerous options for tracking campaign success based on open rates, hyperlink clicks and subsequent page clicks/time on site, etc. Cost: Considered part of on-going campaign support and as such is covered by the agency fee. 38

Tactic 4: Pursue partnership opportunities with organizations such as the National Panhellenic Conference and the National American Interfraternity Conference to maximize effectiveness of on-campus efforts. Rationale: These organizations and their members represent a large sub-segment of in-college Millennials and are committed to philanthropic and social causes. The American Red Cross can recruit blood donors from this audience as well as offer volunteer opportunities that leverage fraternity and sorority members on-campus presence. Additionally, the two national organizations have their own electronic and social media that can be tapped in conjunction with ongoing campaign efforts. Cost: Considered part of on-going campaign support and as such is covered by the agency fee.


Objective 2: Generate 500,000 online and mobile app blood donation appointments from in-college Millennials over the course of the next 12 months. Strategy: Leverage co-sponsorship and promotional tie-in Tactic 1: To engage in-college Millennials and encourage their use of the mobile blood drive appointment setter and mobile app, a promotion will reward those who make and then keep an appointment to donate blood with free music downloads. The promotion will be facilitated by sponsorships with two of the leading music download sites namely iTunes and Amazon MP3. Once registered online, a student will be required to make an appointment to donate blood at an upcoming mobile blood drive while also agreeing to accept periodic reminders sent via text, e-mail or call (they manage their preferences as part of their PURL registration) and a monthly e-newsletter. After fulfilling their blood donation commitment, the back-end database produces an automated e-mail or text with a redemption code that the Millennial can use on iTunes or Napster to download music online. The first appointment/donation results in a three-song redemption code and a subsequent appointment/donation within the next six months results in a five-song redemption code. Cost: 500,000 redemption codes + shared promotional cost = $750,000 Tactic 2: To communicate the promotion to in-college Millennials, information will be placed on the home page of as well as included in electronic communications distributed to the target audience. Amazon MP3 and iTunes will promote their sponsorship on their respective sites with links to Rationale (Tactics 1 & 2): The appointment tool can help turn initial intent to donate blood into eventual follow through with periodic reminders about upcoming mobile blood drives and special events on campus. Amazon MP3 and iTunes (both pay-per-song sites) stand to benefit from the positive press as well as the likelihood of additional sales at the point of code redemption. Cost: Considered part of on-going campaign support and as such is covered by the agency fee.


Internal Communications Objectives Good Lion Communications Group understands the need for an internal communications plan that can be utilized across the entire organization from the national level down to through the semi-autonomous local ofďŹ ces to ensure campaign synergy. Good Lion Communications Group is dedicated to providing a play and on-going support to ensure the American Red Cross is able to stay focused on the media objectives laid out in this proposal, that all efforts and communications stay on message. and the organization maximizes the return on its marketing investment.



Concentrate internal communication resources on the American Red Cross marketing and leadership teams - those at the national level, seven divisions, and 36 regions - throughout the next 12 months.

Reach 85 percent or higher of divisional and regional marketing staff members each quarter to drive campaign awareness and participation for the year.


Objective 1: Concentrate internal communication resources on the American Red Cross marketing and leadership teams - those at the national level, seven divisions, and 36 regions - throughout the next 12 months. Strategy: Leverage multiple touchpoints / communications to inform, educate, and guide campaign efforts. Tactic 1: As part of the ongoing internal communication plan, Good Lion Communications Group will produce a quaterly campaign overview kit distributed one month prior to the beginnng of an upcoming quarter. This hard copy kits will include: A DVD containing an overview of all materials covered in the printed kit. An in-depth calendar detailing national, regional, and divisional marketing communications executions being used during the quarter. This covers all media and will include photographs in an appendix. n A quarterly newsletter that presents guidance on incorporating the Reality Star campaign, answers to frequently asked questions, contact information for internal resources within the American Red Cross organization and Good Lion Communications Group. n n

Tactic 2: Good Lion Communications Group will develop and maintain an interactive campaign site for American Red Cross employees and approved volunteers. The information provided in the quarterly campaign kits will be made available in digital format in addition to internal and audience-generated content prior to making this material available on the public site - Tactic 3: Good Lion Communications Group will produce and distribute a monthly e-newsletter distributed by e-mail and text messaging to convey important up-to-the minute information and general campaign tips and reminders. Tactic 4: Good Lion Communications Group will host monthy conference calls with video conferencing to allow for digital sharing. One call will be for national, regional, and divisional representatives, and a second will be conducted with divisional and local representatives. Every third month conference calls will be replaced with actual visits from Good Lion Communication Group account executives. Rationale: By utilizing all of these various communications tools scheduled regularly, Good Lion Communications Group can provide the necessary level of support needed by the American Red Cross as an organization to stay on the same page while still allowing some autonomy at the local and divisional levels based on unqiue needs and resources. Cost: Considered part of on-going campaign support and as such is covered by the agency fee.


Objective 2: Reach 85 percent or higher of divisional and regional marketing staff members each quarter to drive campaign awareness and participation for the year. Strategy: Leverage multiple touchpoints / communications to encourage two-way communication and ensure campaign awareness and follow through at all levels.

Tactic 1: In addition to the tactics discussed under the first objective, Good Lion Communications Group will implement monthly review calls for those executives and high level volunteers missed during monthly conference calls in an attempt to ensure the entire American Red Cross team is aware of campaign schedules and related tasks and that appropriate follow-through is being undertaken at all levels.

Tactic 2: Good Lion Communications Group account representatives will visit all regional and divisional offices quarterly (revolving schedule to ensure all offices are visited at least once per quarter). Rationale: Through these calls and site visits, Good Lion Communications Group will seek to address any concerns, coach where appropriate, and provide additional assistance to facilitate the successful implementation and management of the Reality Star campaign at all levels. Cost: Considered part of on-going campaign support and as such is covered by the agency fee.













Agency Agency Agency $600,000 $350,000 $75,000

Social Media

E-mail / Mobile


Check Point Kit

Sidewalk Art


On-going Initiatives

Research & Evaluation




Music Downloads

Internal Communications



Public Relations













Web Advertising

Internet / Elec.

Promotions - Trips

Outdoor - Billboard






TV - Late Night

Feb. $338,400


TV - Reality



Integrated Communications Timing Flowchart - 2012

Campaign Budget Summary - 2012 IMC Function Advertising

Media / Activity TV - Reality Programming x 12 Markets


Outdoor - Eight Locations x 12 Markets


Print - University Newspapers x Top 1,000 Campuses

Print - Magazines - Six Pubs. Flighted Nationally Internet - Banner Ads x 10 Sites Nationally

$3,600,000 $4,140,000 $182,500


Non-Trad. - Sidewalk Art (Chalk) x Top 1,000 Campuses


Promotion - Reality Taping Trips

Celebrity Ambassadors - Banks, Bergeron, Chen, Jackson, Keoghan, Probst

$350,000 $50,000


Internet -, Mobile App

See Agency

Social Media - Facebook

See Agency

Press Releases, Social Media Monitoring/Adminstration/Content Development, Monthly E-Newsletter Production/Distribution, all Internal Communications Activities and Deliverables, Graphic Design, Web Programming, Video Production, Radio Production, Photography, Logistics, Mobile Messaging, On-going campaign support (e.g., permits, security, etc.).


Social Media - Twitter Micro-blog

Co-Sponsored Events - Fashion Shows, Marathons, Competitions

Co-Sponosred Music Download Promotion - Amazon MP3, iTunes



Non-Trad. - Campus Promo-in-a-Box x Top 1,000 Campuses

Non-Trad. - Check Point Kit x Top 1,000 Campuses

Public Relations/Agency


TV - Late Night x 12 Markets

Radio - Top 2 Stations x 12 Markets



See Agency

$2,000,000 $750,000

Focus Groups - Pre-Campaign


Media Tracking Service (PR Effectiveness)


Text & Response Licensing/Maintenance Focus Groups - Post-Campaign


$115,000 $19,998,400



Integration at Communication Touch Points

Traditional / Non-Traditional Executions Print: Campus Newspapers Four-color, full-page


Print: Campus Newspapers Four-color, full-page


Print: Magazine - Cosmo Four-color, full-page


Out of Home: Billboards 12 Cities, 8 locations for the entire year.


Internet Advertising: Interactive Web Ads Duration: 10 sites, 12 months


Internet Advertising: Interactive Web Ads Duration: 10 sites, 12 months


Mobile Application: Download from Duration: 12 months


Mobile Application: Download from Duration: 12 months


Intercept (Face-toFace) Marketing: Checkpoint Kits Cardboard Display Four ft. tall, 4-color Checkpoint Cards 5 1/2 x 9, four-color To be used by volunteers the day before a mobile blood drive. Four kits per campus, four times per year.

Front of Checkpoint Card


Intercept (Face-toFace) Marketing: Checkpoint Kits Cardboard Display Four ft. tall, 4-color Checkpoint Cards 5 1/2 x 9, four-color To be used by volunteers the day before a mobile blood drive. Four kits per campus, four times per year.

Back of Checkpoint Card 55

Awareness Event: Spring Fashion show with local retail sponsors and with the on-campus support of fraternity and sorority partners.

Public Relations Executions

36� x 24� Poster Four-color


Awareness Event: Mini-marathon series with local retail sponsors and with the support of four local universities. 36� x 24� Poster Four-color


Live-Read Public Service Announcement (PSA) scripts Give Blood and You Give Life (:15) Life is often ompared to a race, but for many, medical emergencies become unwelcome detours. In fact, every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood to survive. That is why the American Red Cross asks you to consider becoming a blood donor. With each donation up to three lives are saved. Give blood and you give life. Be a Star (:15) Want to know how you can become a star? When you donate blood to the American Red Cross, you make a life-changing difference in the lives of families facing medical crises. With each donation, up to three people will recover and make it home to their loved ones. So just remember one thing. Give blood and you give life. That will make you a reality star.


Quarterly Review Kit: Produced and delivered prior to the beginning of each quarter, this hard copy kit incorporates a folder which contains a DVD, calendars for the quarter, and a quarterly newsletter containing tips and reminders.

Internal Communications Execution

Produced four times per year and distributed: n December 2011 n March 2012 n June 2012 n September 2012


Research & Evaluation Objectives Understanding the level of awareness prior to the start of the Reality Star campaign and then being able to evaluate the effectiveness of the various media and components as outlined in this proposal are vitally important if the Amerian Red Cross is going to be able to gauge the return on its marketing investment. Therefore Good Lion Communications Group offers the following research and evaluation objectives.


Evaluate the level of in-college Millennial awareness about donating blood and the American Red Cross prior to the launch of the campaign slated for January 2012.


Measure the effectiveness of advertising efforts over the course of the next 12 months.


Measure the effectiveness of public relations efforts over the course of the next 12 months.


Evaluate the level of in-college Millennial awareness about donating blood and the American Red Cross post-campaign.


Objective 1: Evaluate the level of in-college Millennial awareness about donating blood and the American Red Cross prior to the launch of the campaign slated for January 2012. Strategy: Leverage focus groups. Tactic 1: To document the awareness of in-college Millennials about donating blood and the American Red Cross, focus groups will be held in Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Chicago, Dallas, New York City, and Atlanta in October and November 2011. Six focus groups composed of 20 students each will be held in each location over the course of two days. The research will then be evaluated and findings will be reported prior to the launch of the camnpaign. Rationale: Focus groups are very useful tools to gauge awareness about topics. While more costly, focus groups have tremedous upside in that marketers can control a number of variables and guide discussions to get the information being sought. Cost: 6 focus groups x 6 cities = 36 focus groups and 720 participants at an estimated cost of $115,000. Objective 2: Measure the effectiveness of advertising efforts over the course of the next 12 months. Strategy: Leverage web analytics. Tactic 1: By using existing web analytics tools, it will be possible to gather data from Internet advertising, including the ability to determine where a visitor to came from - in other words, which banner advertisement and on what site led to the visit. Likewise, it will be possible to measure open rates for e-mail and to track if e-mail or text messages produce visitors to the campaign site. Once on the site, metrics such as length of time on site and per page, the number of pages clicked through, etc. can be captured for analyis Rationale: Web analytics allow for very effective and economical measurement of online activity and responsiveness to electronic communications. Cost: Considered part of on-going campaign support and as such is covered by the agency fee. Strategy: Leverage unique response codes in print advertising. Tactic 2: By using unique text message codes on print and non-electronic advertising, it is possible to correlate contacts that originate from each particlar code. If the text code “Fierce” is only used in connection with print advertising appearing in Cosmopolitan, then it becomes easier to determine the effectiveness of advertisements in generating responses. Rationale: Managing response codes and methods efficiently leads to trustworthy and useful response data. Cost: Cost associated with acquiring and maintaining multiple response options for telephone and text estimated to be $7,500. 61

Objective 3: Measure the effectiveness of public relations efforts over the course of the next 12 months. Strategy: Leverage media tracking service. Tactic 1: To guage the effectiveness of public relations efforts, Good Lion Communications Group will contract with a media tracking service to monitor and analyze media coverage of the Reality Star campaign and to produce monthly reports that then can be used to adjust efforts as required. Rationale: Reports detailing the source, type, and rated value/effectiveness of coverage linked to campaign public relations efforts will be produced on an ongoing basis.. Cost: Estimated annual cost of the media tracking service, with weighted emphasis on the 12 primary cities is $60,,000. Objective 4: Evaluate the level of in-college Millennial awareness about donating blood and the American Red Cross post-campaign. Strategy: Leverage focus groups. Tactic 1: To document the change in the level of awareness of in-college Millennials about donating blood and the American Red Cross, focus groups will be held once more in Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Chicago, Dallas, New York City, and Atlanta in December 2012. Six new focus groups composed of 20 students each will be held in each location over the course of two days. The research will then be evaluated and compared to pre-campaign data. A comprehensive report will then be prepared for and presented to the American Red Cross. Rationale: By following the same format, it should be possible to determine if a noticeable increase in the level of awareness among the target audience has occured in the past 12 months. Cost: 6 focus groups x 6 cities = 36 focus groups and 720 participants at an estimated cost of $115,000.



The American Red Cross, as the premier blood collection organization in the U.S., shoulders immense responsibility for helping to maintain the nation’s blood supply. The demand for blood from those in dire need is constant. Unfortunately so is the struggle to recruit and retain eligible donors. Yet like in times past, the American Red Cross rises to the challenge finding ways to meet the needs of its stakeholders. So when the organization approached Good Lion Communications with the primary objective of encouraging blood donations among the nation’s young adults aged 18-24, we realized the importance of the task at hand. It is not overly dramatic to think that life truly does hang in the balance so it is with that sobering realization that we poured over existing research and conducted primary research of our own to better understand not only the target audience but the potential client and the bioservices industry as a whole. What we found was that in-college Millennials pose the greatest opporunity for recruitment and retention based on several factors including their altruistic beliefs, their positive outlook, their connectedness via new and emerging technologies, and an almost evangelistic need to share information about their activities, feelings, and causes. The ‘Reality Star’ campaign grew out of the realization that if made aware about the need for blood and how important every donation is to meeting that need, in-college Millennials would likely seize upon the opportunity to make a lasting difference in the lives of those facing life or death situations. The integrated marketing campaign outlined in this campaign proposal provides realistic and achievable objectives supported by a thorough, creative, and motivating set of strategies and tactics. The theme allows for creativity without losing sight of the seriousness of the campaign. And by utilizing brand ambassadors that are so entrenched in the reality television genre, the potential exists for an increased boost in awareness and word-ofmouth soon after campaign rollout. Further, the ‘Reality Star’ campaign provides a secure platform from which the entire American Red Cross organization can work from throughout 2012. There are even creative options so that semi-autonomous offices at the divisional and local levels can pick and choose without weakening the effectiveness of the campaign. Good Lion Communications Group is committed to assisting the American Red Cross achieve its marketing objective of seeing an in crease in recruitment and retention of 18-24 year olds in 2012. From the start, we will provide the expertise and guidance that will get the appropriate messaging out effectively and efficiently throughout the year. From regular interaction with leadership and marketing teams to continuous creative and promotional support, our team stands ready to show in-college Millennials that stardom is coursing through their veins and by donating blood to the American Red Cross they can and will change the lives of those in need for the better.



Online Survey






Open Ended Questions If you have volunteered or made donations to a charitable organization or casue within the past ďŹ ve years, other than blood donation, please share the anme of the organization(s) and a general description of the types of donation(s)/contribution(s). Please provide any additional comments in the space below regarding the American Red Cross, donating blood, or thoughts and opinions about charitable giving.


Focus Group Moderator Guide Research Objectives Determine how 18-24 year-old students perceive the American Red Cross Explore their feelings about donating blood. Respondent Profile Six university students between the ages of 18-24 recruited without monetary compensation via word-of-mouth. Participants’ gender evenly distributed: • Allison, age 19, Freshman, African-American • Michelle, age 21, Junior, Caucasian • Tiffany, age 23, Graduate Student, Asian-American • Brian, age 18, Freshman, Caucasian • Damien, age 20, Sophomore, Caucasian • Jevon, age 20, Sophomore, African-American Logistics Date: Sunday, March 3, 2011, from 5:00-6:30 p.m. Location: Private residence – Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Set-up: Round table format. Incentive: Catered food and beverages served following the interview. Introduction A. General purpose of the focus group. B. Casual, relaxed, informal. C. No right or wrong answers. D. Be honest. Tell the truth. E. Discussion rules: • Talk one at a time • Allow others the opportunity to speak • Respond freely, no set order • Listen to others F. Participant self-introductions – first name, age, student status, major General Attitudes about Non-Profits/Charities A. Most admired non-profits/charities? Why? B. Importance of non-profits/charitable organizations today? Explore reasons. C. Importance of personal giving? Explore reasons. Perceptions of the American Red Cross A. Awareness of role of ARC in providing services and products? Explore. • Emergency/Disaster Response • Blood Collection/Bio-Medical B. Experiences with ARC? Explore. • As volunteer or donor if applicable. • As recipient of services if applicable. • Level of customer service


• • C. D. E.

Areas worthy of praise Areas needing improvement Experience with comparable organizations? Perceived level of trust in ARC? Versus comparable organizations? Anything preventing future giving to the ARC?

Attitudes toward Donating Blood A. Perception of donating blood? B. Awareness of on-going need? C. Experience donating blood? • For those that have – explore. • When, why, and frequency since? • Take away’s, reflections? • Future intent? • For those that have not – explore • Why not? • Willingness to donate in the future? D. What might motivate others to donate? Young adults? E. Does convenience influence willingness to donate? How strongly? Conclusion A. Is there anything we missed that you would like to talk about? B. What is the most important point we discussed? C. Final wrap up – thanks


References web site (2008). The Fix: Newspaper readership. Retrieved April 21, 2011, from: www. Armour, S. (2005, November). Generation Y: They’re arrived at work with a new attitude. Retrieved March 22, 2011, from: web site (2011). Consumer Magazines. Retrieved April 20, 2011, from: http://www.accessabc. com/. Banjo, S. and Kalita, S. M. (2010, February). Once-robust charity sector hit with mergers, closings. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved March 18, 2011, from: Barbour, S. (2010, September). Me generation actually the us generation. Retrieved March 22, 2011, from: web site (2010, December). Who are the undergraduates? Retrieved March 22, 2011, from: Dugas, C. (2010, April). Generation Y’s steep financial hurdles: Huge debt, no savings. Retrieved March 22, 2011, from: web site (2011). Sexually transmitted diseases. Retrieved March 20, 2011, from: http://www.epigee. org/guide/stds.html. web site (2011). Retrieved March 18, 2011, from: web site (2009). Does a bad economy increase blood donation? Retrieved March 20, 2011, from: Jones, B. (2009, July). Blood banks brace for donation drop. Retrieved March 20, from: http://www.usatoday. com/news/nation/2009-08-13-companyblood_N.htm Lewis, A. (2010, May). Have millennials learned from the recession? Retrieved March 22, 2011, from: http:// Marcelo, K. (2010, December). ‘Tis the season for solicitations. Retrieved March 22, 2011, from: http://ncoc. net/onlinesolicitations web site (2006, May). Top 100 nonprofit brands: YMCA, Salvation Army rank high. Retrieved March 19, 2011, from:


Masser, B., White, K., Hyde, M., and Terry, D. (2008). The psychology of blood donation: Current research and future directions. Retrieved March 18, 2011, from: web site (2010). Millennial donors: A study of Millennial giving and engagement habits. Retrieved, March 23, 2011, from: Mitchell, E. (2010, July). American Red Cross recruiting young blood. Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Retrieved March, 19, 2011, from: web site (2011). Television. Retrieved April 20, 2011, from: web site (2011). Millennials: A portrait of generation next. Retrieved March 19, 2011, from: web site (2011). Retrieved March 18, 2011, from: Salls, M. (2011). The tricky business of nonprofit brands. Harvard Business School. Retrieved March 29, 2011, from: Sass, E. (2010, July). Sell me: College student’s spending power soars. Retrieved March 22, 2011, from: http:// web site (2011). Diverse donors called to help build blood supply. Retrieved March 19, 2011, from: West, M. (2011, February). How nonprofits can use social media to spark change. Retrieved March, 18, 2011, from: Witters, D. (2009, October). U.S. Diabetes rate climb above 11%; Could hit 15% by 2015. Retrieved March 20, 2011, from:


Graduate Capestone Project: Good Lion Campaign Proposal for American Red Cross  
Graduate Capestone Project: Good Lion Campaign Proposal for American Red Cross  

A comprehensive integrated marketing communications campaign from a fictional agency (student) for the Red Cross. The project was completed...