Cover Story: New Media … Same Strategy
Though Music says the organization has raised probably less than $500,000 in Second Life so far, the main objective of its work there has less to do with dollars and more to do with awareness.
“It’s really totally about awareness,” she says. “None of these have been mainstream revenue opportunities or strategies for us. It’s about having the American Cancer Society be a ubiquitous brand and being where people are.”
It’s also about being a resource for those in need. Today, American Cancer Society Island in Second Life offers respite and resources, featuring a two-tiered, four-story building overlooking a lake that has a media library where avatars can browse information resources on cancer facts and myths, and questions patients should ask their doctors; two amphitheaters and a smaller meeting space where nonprofits with related missions who can’t afford their own islands in Second Life can meet; and a memorial garden where family members and friends can add pictures of loved ones who have lost the battle with cancer. The island also includes Hope Haven, a place where cancer survivors and caregivers can meet to share stories, offer support and virtually walk hand in hand with newly diagnosed patients.
The organization is holding its virtual Relay For Life again this month in this, its 25th season of the event. Holding the event in Second Life allows those who might not be able to attend the actual event in their towns to take part, as well as those from other countries.
“We’ve got lots of avatars from around the world,” Music says. “That’s the other great thing about Second Life for us. We have over 13 different countries represented in the Second Life events. So it’s really been one of our best efforts on international relationships.”
Thank you, Mr. President
Music credits President Obama’s online success during his primary and presidential campaigns with lighting the fire under the organization to really take online community building to the next level.