Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Red Cross Jumps on the Charlie Sheen Bandwagon

It didn't take long for the American Red Cross (ARC) to take advantage of actor Charlie Sheen's newfound popularity.  After the organization used a Twitter 'hash-tag' that was inspired by Sheen's now legendary internet rantings, ARC found itself in the middle of the entertainment train wreck.

On March 2nd, ARC posted the following tweet on its official Twitter account:

We may not collect #tigerblood, but we know our donors & volunteers have fierce passion for doing good! #RedCrossMonth

It's amazing what adding popularity can do for a simple "thank you" tweet.  Soon after the tweet hit the internet, it was re-tweeted by more than 100 people, and it became the third result when you clicked #tigerblood on Twitter trends.

Wendy Harmon, director of Social Media at ARC, did have some explaining to do, however.  Although the tweet was popular, it also caused some outrage among the community.   In fact, the original tweet was soon removed, and a blog post was put up to apologize for it.  In explaining what happened, Harmon said the organization noticed #tigerblood was trending fast on Twitter, so it was spontaneously used in that tweet (which was meant to thank blood donors).

To micro-breweries across the country, however, the apology was not needed.  They were among the organizations that re-tweeted the original message, and they even suggested to their followers that they donate to the Red Cross.  Donors heeded this message, apparently, as ARC said they saw a slight increase in their overall donations.

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