Awareness, awareness, awareness… Georgia Alford is Medtronic’s community manager for the UK and Ireland. While she looks after the company’s Facebook, Instagram and other social media sites, she’s also part of a social media campaign, the purpose of which is to raise awareness not so much of Medtronic but of how challenging living with diabetes is.
Alford says, “The blue balloon campaign does not feature any products, it is purely about raising awareness of the complexities of a life with diabetes. Before we decided on the campaign, we formed a consultation group of 60 people living with diabetes Type I diabetes. One of the things that came up on a regular basis was other people’s assumptions. When being told that a person had Type I diabetes, other people assumed it was due to bad diet and lifestyle choices, whereas chances are, the person was more likely to be making very healthy choices on a daily basis.”
Social media challenges might not be to everyone’s taste, but for others they can be great fun. A few years ago, the ‘ice bucket’ challenge took off and did the rounds. The blue balloon challenge, should be less wet and cold to participate in. There is an official ‘lead’ video, which gives the idea of the challenge – to do something typical in their day while keeping a blue balloon in the air at the same time. The analogy is that this is what it’s like living with diabetes – you have to get on with everything else in your day, while also constantly allowing time for looking after your diabetes.
“We are hoping that the idea will appeal to people with diabetes and anyone who knows someone with diabetes well enough to understand the point of the challenge. Then they can challenge their friends to do it,” says Alford. “The idea is about caring – and sharing – to help raise awareness.”
To see a video about the campaign, CLICK HERE.