Don’t worry, I’m not trying to start an adjective revolution! Totally Baldacious is the latest campaign from The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and it’s turning heads! Well, it’s turning them bald…

“The Totally Baldacious campaign is a great way to show your love and solidarity with cancer patients while you help raise awareness and funds for cures.  Whether you decide to shave your head or color your hair, you will be helping The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society raise money for much-needed, life-saving cancer research.”

I really like so many aspects of this campaign that instead of simply changing my profile picture or tweeting about the campaign, I wanted to take a closer look, share with you some of the elements that are making it a great campaign, and some suggestions for ways it can be improved.

What Works:

Microsite: Creating a space for your campaign that is separate from your organization’s website can be really helpful for those new to your work or finding your campaign via social media.  People know they are in the right place, any tabs or links they click on will help them learn more about the campaign (and not get lost in the various sections of your organization’s website) and target information to them about the rest of your work based on their interest in the campaign.  Creating a separate web space isn’t always necessary, but in this example it really works.

Options: The barrier to entry to the Totally Baldacious campaign is low enough that everyone can participate in a way that contributes to the campaign, but that they are still comfortable with.  Asking people to shave their heads is a big deal, so creating innovative ways for them to join together without having to commit to something they just can’t commit to is really essential to high participation numbers.  Encouraging people to lighten the color of their hair instead of shaving it, or changing their online profile picture to a bald head to raise awareness all play on the same theme for support of those who’ve lost their hair from their fight with cancer, but don’t make people feel bad if they don’t want to “go all the way.”

Calls to Action: What may seem simple, is often very difficult to achieve, and in this case it’s the calls to action.  The Totally Baldacious campaign, though, does an excellent job making the calls to action clear, consistent, and do-able.  It’s so important that your calls to action – both buttons and actions – are the same throughout your site or campaign space (don’t want people getting confused about what you want them to do) and are easy to identify quickly (don’t want people poking around trying to find how they can participate).  Make it as clear as possible, like they did, with a “how can I participate” section.

What Could Improve:

Visible Goal: Even though the calls to action are very clear, the goal of those actions is a bit muddled. Is it to raise money? Is it to raise awareness? Is it to grow the list of supporters? It can’t be all of them.  It can be one, and the others can be bonuses; but all three can’t exist together as the ultimate goal.  Depending on the page you are on or the call to action you are joining, the goal you are helping to reach can be different.  It would be great if all signs pointed back to the same place.  (Individual fundraising pages have goal meters, why not an overall goal and thermometer graphic?)

Visible Participants: A campaign like this draws on the power of social media and the networks of it’s supporters. People that change their profile image to a Baldacious bald image (like mine above) should be able to see others who have done the same, and those who haven’t done it yet should get to see the latest newly-bald faces to inspire them to join.  People contributing money to an individual’s campaign or to the campaign over all should be able to see other’s who have donated, and those thinking about donating should be able to see other recent donors to inspire them to give.  These are just a few of the many ways to make the participating community more visible.

Movement Building: Don’t ever forget that what we are trying to do isn’t just get people to change a picture or donate money; it’s to change our world into one without the issues, illnesses, and struggles too many people face every day.  With that in mind, it would be great to see the Totally Baldacious campaign create a global-facing or at least globally open portal, too – through the way participation is made visible (previous point) or in other ways.  I see such potential in campaigns that get it right on so many levels to also get it right by catalyzing collaborations and truly building towards a movement.

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Thanks to all those at The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and everyone else who made the campaign possible.  It looks great, is creating some fun ways for people to join in, and I hope it continues towards success!

If you haven’t yet, why not make yourself Totally Baldacious?!

A Totally Baldacious Campaign
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  • Amy,
    Thank you for your review of Totally Baldacious. I’ll admit that it was thrilling to read through what’s a very thoughtful and constructive analysis.

    I was glad you found the ‘calls to action’ clear in the What Works section. We wanted to craft a campaign that allowed people to participate at different levels, but honor our patients by emphasizing the solidarity that participating in this campaign signifies. That’s something that has resonated clearly on our Facebook Fan Page (www.facebook.com/baldacious ), as well.

    Under What Could Improve your comments are very helpful, especially the point about making participants more visible (loved that!). This is great feedback for us to apply as the campaign and program evolve.

    Last week, our President and CEO, John Walter, joined the campaign (see: http://totallybaldacious.llsevent.org/CEOJOHNWALTER ) – with a bold, if not baldacious, goal to raise $50,000. His participation has been an inspiration to staff and volunteer leadership, alike, as well as the patients who’ve voiced their support online. His participation and support have been galvanizing for this campaign.

    Finally, we’ve been posting stories every other day on the @LLS Blog (see: http://community.lls.org/blogs/atlls ) of participants and supporters and we’ll continue to do so through this month. Perhaps we can feature you in a post?…:)

    Thanks again, Amy!
    All the best,
    TW
    Todd Whitley
    VP eMarketing
    The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

    • Todd-

      So great to have your feedback and insight weighing in here! Thanks for joining the conversation. I’m so glad to have provided some useful recommendations for the team and the campaign – my pleasure!

      The participation of the CEO in the campaign is another prime example of the many ways to make community more visible that could be improved with this campaign: I knew that he had a fundraising campaign page as I was given a direct link to it, but once I had closed that page and was navigating information about the campaign from the Totally Baldacious website, I couldn’t find a link back (let alone the profile and story of his participation). As you say, his participation has inspired many others to participate and/or give and it’s a terrific story of the CEO getting his hands dirty for the cause, too 🙂 It’s just a matter of pushing the stories and the inspirations out into the spotlight!

      I’m really happy to see that you are sharing stories on the blog. But, I wouldn’t have found that blog had you not provided the link as I was looking for information and resources from the Totally Baldacious campaign site. In this case, I think it’s just a matter of ensuring your content matches the location – be sure campaign-related content is accessible and clear from the campaign site. Great that it isn’t only on the campaign site, otherwise people who visit your blog or the organization’s website may not find the campaign!

      Thanks for all that you’re doing and I hope the Baldacious campaign sees a lot of fundraising goals met and bald heads 🙂

  • I appreciate you honing in on the specifics, Amy. Your point about featuring the blog content is well taken (and confirms the homepage link is too obscure). We’ll be amending the page accordingly. Thanks again!
    All the best,
    TW

    • Todd, really, it’s my pleasure to help and share any ideas/feedback I have. Am so excited for the campaign and hope to see a picture very soon of a bald CEO 🙂

  • Loved reading this Amy. btw I going for it on Sept 25.. shaving all 24 inches of my hair!

    • Woohoo! Thanks, Karrie – so great to hear you’re in 🙂

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