Awareness Raising - A View from the Trenches

It's almost the month of lurve...

The month most closely associated with hearts...

And that means it's time to think about awareness raising...

But what about?

Is it - we exist... some of us die as children... some of us have life limiting conditions... some of us defy the odds and run, cycle etc more than we were ever allowed in our childhoods - or it all of them.

In marketing terms its a complicated sell, what is the USP of being affected by a congenital heart defect?

I honestly don't know - 20+ years in the awareness raising game and I'm not sure if anything makes us a unique group of individuals.  We can be defined by having or knowing someone with a congenital heart defect but that in itself is not a selling point.

We're not all cute...
We're not all blue...
We don't all need help to do things...

So I'm still struggling with the USP...

What I do know, is that awareness raising is about going out into the wider world, telling people who do not know, and may be interested, that we exist.  Self referential awareness raising doesn't work - telling someone something they already know is a bit odd...

So break out of the shackles of Facebook and Twitter and do something to tell someone else about us... If that's wearing red, and most importantly explaining why, then do that!  If it is helping the Children's Heart Federation collect at one of the busiest train stations in the UK then click here

As for me, I'll be do my mix of behind the scenes stuff (yes you can raise awareness without it being plastered everywhere, its about influence) and running in CHF colours at my first formal race of the year - http://www.maddog10k.co.uk/

And trust me, when I tell some of the other runners that I have a heart condition they gain some awareness...

So pick your message, sell it well, say it true and remember just because congenital heart defects are important to us, doesn't mean they are to others - so be nice and respect people!

TTFN

Paul

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