Donating Blood Twitter Style

February 14, 2011; Source: Wichita Business Journal | Credit is where credit is due, and tip of the hat to the American Red Cross' Midway-Kansas Chapter for its novel approach to getting people to give blood. The group is holding a "bleedup" at its Wichita donor center later this week.

The term "bleedup" is a play on the more common social media phrase, "meetup," where people who exchange messages on Twitter are invited come together for a face-to-face meeting. Like meetups that carry special hashtags along with their invites, the Red Cross is sending out tweets with #bleedup attached. Jennifer Keller, communications manager for the Red Cross' Midway-Kansas chapter, says the idea had been under consideration for a while, but the "tipping point" came when the group felt it had enough followers to merit putting out a call to give blood via Twitter.

All punning aside, the call for donations is coming at a crucial time. A winter storm forced cancellations of several recent blood drives, and now the group is down to only a day and a half supply, which is half the amount they like to keep on hand at all times.—Bruce Trachtenberg

  • Jennifer Keller

    Thanks for the nice story about our Wichita Bleedup this Friday, Feb. 18 at the Wichita Blood Donation Center, 707 N. Main, Wichita, Kan.

    Social media can be a very valuable tool for both for profit and nonprofits. This concept has been tried on the coasts, but is a first for the Midwest. It is my hope to encourage people to donate blood, answer misconceptions about the donation process and help Red Cross replenish units lost due to winter storms. Hopefully, the Wichita Bleedup will encourage other Blood Service regions, and other nonprofits throughout the country, to follow suit and find creative ways to use social media tools.

    Learn more at: