It started last Thursday night with a tweet. In a week filled with some personal highs and lows it could not have been timelier to start a campaign for the hungry in our community. I believe that when challenging times call, you get up and do something for other people, especially for those who are in need of food. Last week was a holy week for many—Easter weekend for the Christian faith and Passover for the Jewish faith. What a great way to celebrate Good Friday by having a hunger call-to-action tweet go viral. That’s the power of social media. One tweet can go viral and that is what happened last week, launching a full-blown, and community wide effort now underway.
In less than 12 hours, the #MemFood hashtag was born and the number of tweets started increasing. The word began spreading throughout the Memphis community, as well as abroad—people who follow me from all over the world started helping. Donations started to flow online and Marcia Wells, Communications Director of the @MSouthFoodBank, started reaching out to us. Soon the Howell Team was communicating Twitter strategy and volunteers were stepping up. Claire Hick, @PRClaire, offered to pitch the media and Thursday night, she tweeted to as many members of the media on Twitter as she could think of! Claire is in media relations at Baptist Memorial Hospital and is one of Memphis’ social media advocates. I have watched her take her skill set to the higher levels and she is a huge asset to BMH. If she didn’t work directly for one of my best friends, @JScottFountain, I would be tempted to steal her away!
THE MEDIA: Big shout out to the media, especially @BradCarson, @KarenPerrin941, @myfoxmemphis, @MReed_WREG3, @SarahBakerE , @memphisnews, @Memphis_Parent, @AOnek_WREG3, @Weather_WREG3, @WoodyonABC, @eghelvie297, @ADouglasWMC, @MMoon_WREG3.
All if the outlets jumped on this and have reported the food bank’s needs.
Other Players to Thank: @JeremyCPark, has stepped up and is getting the @lpbreakfastclub involved which means more corporate awareness and involvement which will no doubt benefit the food bank. Thanks also to @MemphisSeth, @MphsRonnB, @tew1976 @MemphisWeather1 for physically coming to our office to deliver food. Thank you for spreading the word: @shannonRlittle, @uofmsmc, @Phoenix_Memphis, @BrizzyC, @iChaseDreams_24, @TedSeafood, @Iam1of1apparel, @eticklethomas, @dianawierpr, @jgrammer, @hartformemphis, @LRKinc, @MonaSpa, @choose901, @LaceyWash, @alysdrake, @diannelarson, @tonyajpowers, @EmergeMemphis, @ClineEllisPhoto, @BSWARMS, @MemphisBabyTime, @MOGAobgyn, @EasywayProduce, @MOGAobgyn, @johnmaddox, @explosurefactry, @hmguess, @ekcallas, @MadisonLine, @BestMemBurger, @msmorev, @Milaspage, @MarkOlivito, @gupshupblog, @MSF10710, @K62hall, @RHancock19, @NicTheEditor, @ShelbyWilson_, @cbradway, @TheSocialCMO , @cbradway, and more.
Also what amazes me is the generosity of my friends on Twitter who donated and don’t even live here! Thanks to Patricia Wilson or @brandcottage who donated all the way from Connecticut.
And we cannot forget Jim Walker and @earleonfox. Earle has the 4Memphis talk radio on AM 900 and he was kind enough to have me as a guest on the show. Jim Walker, owner of @4MemphisMag, has also committed resources to assisting in this campaign. Together our community comes together to solve issues. Alys Drake wrote a blog about the drive to further spread the word.
One tweet can start of firestorm of support. That is the value of the open platform of Twitter. Facebook was also used in our communications but it is Twitter that can really get the word out. The use of a hashtag and asking the community to adopt it is powerful and a way to unify the message.
This campaign continues all week. Team Howell has committed to do a campaign for hunger annually on Good Friday. No one in Memphis should be hungry. We need to use social to do good things in our community. Let’s keep the food bank full year round, shall we? I’d love your comments and ideas here! And, if you have donated and I have left you out of this blog, please comment and I will add you. If you want to join the #MemFood drive, we need you! Donate here: Mid-South Food Bank.
Mid-South Food Bank In Need of Donations, WREG
Mid-South Food Bank supplies dwindling, Commercial Appeal
Mid-South Food Bank Needs Help, My Fox Memphis
Mid-South Food Bank Seeks Donations, Memphis Daily News