PR marketing group promotes blood drive

In Campus News, News
Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation raises money for research of cancer in children. Cal State Fullerton public relations students have partnered with the charity to bring it to CSUF for the first time. (Courtesy of Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation)
Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation raises money for research of cancer in children. Cal State Fullerton public relations students have partnered with the charity to bring it to CSUF for the first time. (Courtesy of Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation)

Free pizza is almost always a cause for a crowd on campus, but when it’s for a good cause, the excitement is even greater.

A public relations senior capstone marketing group is putting together a red-carpet event as part of Titan Lifesavers to encourage people to donate blood.

The event will be held Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Quad on campus.

“The Titan Lifesavers Event celebrates the gift of life and opportunity to inspire CSUF students and staff to donate blood and register as an organ/tissue donor and bone marrow donor,” said Guinevere Endter, senior account manager for Red Cross.

The Red Cross started participating in Titan Lifesavers five years ago, Endter said. Donate Life, an organ and tissue recovery organization, started this college-based campaign five years ago and invited them to participate, along with Bone Marrow registry.

After a couple of years of organizing the event, Donate Life could not continue spearheading the event, so Endter decided to continue the event with the help of the Volunteer and Service Center.

“It’s such a great event and we have the potential to save so many lives if we can reach out to the student body and urge them to take action,” Endter said.

The student group chose American Red Cross because they knew that they were active on campus, which appealed to them.

Endter said her desired outcome is to save more lives than last year, when they collected 192 units of blood in four days. For each person who donates one unit of blood, up to 576 lives could be saved.

Endter hopes to have at least 1 percent of the student body participate, which would be about 350 people. This could save 1,050 lives.

“Using the knowledge and experience we have gained from our communication classes, we created several strategies and tactics to put this project together,” said group member Domonique Isabeau, 24.

They sent out pitch letters, contacted sponsors, blasted social media, researched where the client lacked visibility on campus, created and passed out flyers and came up with the red-carpet theme.

“We also knew that they are always looking for volunteers, and it just so happened that they had their big life-saving event during the course of our class,” said group member Kelly Riek, 23.

As a group, they hope to get 100 people to sign up for blood donations and/or register as organ donors.

They also hope for the same number to participate in their Instagram photo contest, in which participants will take a photo with Buddy the Blood Drop on the red carpet.

To participate in the contest, participants use the hashtag #redcarpet4redcross to join a random drawing to win prizes, in addition to receiving a free T-shirt and a slice of pizza while supplies last.

The group will set up a red carpet in front of the Red Cross bus, where participants will be able to walk down and take a photo with Buddy the Blood Drop.

Additionally, those who found Buddy the Blood Drop posts around campus Monday will receive a slice of pizza.

After the event, the group will evaluate their success of the campaign by measuring how many people signed up to donate, how many participated in the photo contest and how much more awareness American Red Cross received as a result.

“We gained real-life public relations experience that we had never learned before in any of our other classes,” Isabeau said. “We all have done several public relations campaigns throughout our communication classes, but with this project, we actually got to use our ideas and see them come to life.”

For those who can’t donate blood because they aren’t eligible or for religious or personal reasons, there are other ways to save a life, such as registering to be a bone marrow, tissue or organ donor.

“I believe strongly in blood donation and do it whenever I can, so to be helping the American Red Cross in any way feels good but actually using my public relations knowledge to gain them awareness is amazing,” Isabeau said.

Endter, a CSUF alumna, is proud to be part of this event every year. “I want to show other colleges that Titans are lifesavers,” Endter said.

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