As a writer and communications consultant I stay very tuned into the social media evolution, as an observer, a researcher, and a participant. I find it interesting how people interact with these tools and their interpretations - and misinterpretations - about what they are capable of achieving.
So when a flood of single word, color descriptions began popping up on Facebook last week, I paid attention. I quickly learned from the comment threads that the colors represented the hue of the bra female FB friends were wearing and the intent was to build awareness about breast cancer. OK, I paid a little bit more attention. Breast cancer - all cancer - is a big deal in my family. Anything to get women to be proactive about their bodies and their health is good in my book.
As I posted to Lisa's blog, I believe this guy has a good idea and good intentions to advance the cause. His message “Cuz if you got time to post your bra color to Facebook, you got time to check your breasts” would make a compelling tag line for a PSA.
However I can't believe that just posting a color to a Facebook page- even if the person understood the connection to the cause - would motivate them to take a few minutes to do a self-exam, or look in the mirror for any dimpling or changes, or schedule an overdue mammogram.
Social media is like that. Fast. Immediate. Reactive. Fun, easy to do stuff usually does catch on and result in viral success and virtual hits. But as far as awareness leading to action, we need to remember the fundamentals of effective communications. If we build awareness, then what do we want to get as a result? If the intent is for a behavior change, or a donation to support a cause, there needs to be a connection from point A to point B, a compelling reason to do something and not just switch gears to find lost sheep in Farmville.