What did it take to capture the imagination of people and inspire them to take action that, collectively, tranformed into a movement of support, including financial, that gathered spontaneous and rapid momentum primarily via the micro-blogging online community that is Twitter?
This is the story of Susan Reynolds, an artist, new media consultant and mother, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in December 2007 and underwent a mastectomy later that month. From the outset, she blogged her experiences including about what she was using to ease her pain – bags of frozen peas.
It was Susan’s post and photo about a bag of frozen peas that started it all (explained here). Members of Susan’s Twitter community soon began adding peas to their avatar images; this supportive action quickly spread throughout a broader Twitter community and beyond.
It’s also the story of Connie Reece. A suggestion via Twitter for donating the equivalent of the cost of two bags of frozen peas to cancer research led to Connie Reece stepping into the peas picture with the formation of the Frozen Pea Fund, a fundraising effort for breast cancer research and programs through the American Cancer Society.
In a follow-up to a discussion about the Frozen Pea Fund in FIR #304 on December 24, 2007, FIR hosts Neville Hobson and Shel Holtz talked with Connie about the fund and awareness-raising in a discussion that also considered how organizations could learn from spontaneous and authentic communication and the role of channels such as Twitter.
If you wish to support the Frozen Pea Fund, you can donate here.
About our Conversation Partner
Connie Reece is a communications professional with more than three decades of writing and speaking experience, a conversational marketing specialist involved in the research and implementation of emerging media. Connie’s expertise as a conversational writer and her facility for quickly mastering new tools and technologies keep her in demand as a social media consultant.
Through her company, Every Dot Connects, Connie helps businesses learn to speak with an authentic voice and to participate in a dialogue with customers and constituents.
Based in Austin, Texas, USA, Connie is Executive Director of Social Media Club international and a member of the Association of Women in Communication.
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This FIR Interview is brought to you with Lawrence Ragan Communications, serving communicators worldwide for 35 years. Information: www.ragan.com.
Podsafe intro music – On A Podcast Instrumental Mix (MP3, 5Mb) by Cruisebox.
Other reports and commentaries:
- Frozen Peas: A Case Study – Young Blood PR (Michael Allison), Jan 16, 2008
- How Frozen Peas Started A Movement – Loudon Extra, Washington Post (Craig Colgan), Jan 10, 2008
- More on Twitter in the Enterprise: Susan Reynolds and PEAple – Confused of Calcutta (JP Rangaswami), Dec 23, 2007
- Can You Spare The Odd Pea For A Good Cause? – TechCrunch (Duncan Riley), Dec 21, 2007
(Cross-posted from For Immediate Release, Shel’s and my podcast blog.)