Called the Red Cross “Bleedup,” the $65 million TECU Credit Union of Wichita, Kan., found a way last week to harness the power of social media by joining a local blood drive.
TECU used a Twitter feed to arrange for its members and the public to give blood in an American Red Cross “bleedup” drive conducted in a van on a credit union parking lot.
Some 20 donors gave blood the first day of the drive after they got tweets about the blood drive.
“Originally, last January we sat down with our marketing group trying to figure out a way our credit union could get involved in a meaningful community project, and we settled on a blood drive,” explained Chuck Bullock, president/CEO.
One problem, said Bullock, was that “pardon the pun, our effort to hold a blood drive among our own employees was a bit anemic, so our head of marketing, Jenny Boyd, suggested we open it up to social media.”
TECU thus became the first credit union to sign up for the Red Cross “Bleedup” drive using Twitter, Boyd said.
Boyd said she is a member of DigitalICT, a local business group devoted to social media applications, and thought the blood drive idea seemed workable for TECU.
“We knew we wanted to fill all available slots for blood donations and so we thought Twitter might spread the word,” said Boyd, adding that donor appointments were also arranged via tweets.
“We even had one employee of another credit union give blood,” she said. TECU said the venture was so successful the American Red Cross Blood Services-Central Plains Region has asked TECU to host another twitter “Bleedup” in 2013.
TECU also received favorable media coverage with stories about the credit union “Bleedup” participation appearing in Wichita publications.