Last Wednesday I saw a post from Gregg Tilston letting his Twitter followers know that they may be seeing some apologizing for some of the tweets that would be coming from his account that day. Gregg happens to be the Social Media Global Lead for Flight Centre. He is one of a select number of professionals who I closely follow to keep up to date on what is happening in the world of SEO and social media. He caught my curiosity and I started to investigate.
It seemed that the Tourette Syndrome Foundation of Canada (with guidance from agency Saatchi & Saatchi Canada) was asking people to give up control of their tweets for 24 hours in an attempt to have people understand how Tourette Syndrome works.
For those who don’t know, people who have Tourette Syndrome suffer from involuntary vocal and physical outbursts known as tics, that cause them to lose control of the things they say and do.
What better way to illustrate the symptoms of Tourette then giving up control of our tweets. No editing. No giving approval before “pressing send.” Just like those who suffer from Tourette.
Here’s an example of a tweet from Gregg:
And one from me:
These were totally random tweets that Gregg, myself and thousands of people had populate their feed throughout the day.
I have seen many brands (mostly corporate for-profit companies) execute social media campaigns. However, none have been so true to their message and brand than this one run by Tourette Syndrome Foundation of Canada. Those who took part were not insulting their followers. In fact, it raised awareness in a humourous yet effective manner. For example, Gregg (because I know him personally) takes what he says publicly seriously. He’s one of those people who thinks twice before pressing enter on his keyboard. So when people saw his tweets that day they probably stopped and read his tweets twice. And because there was a link and the #SurrenderYourSay hashtag, they most likely checked out what the heck Gregg was tweeting about.
Personally, no one responded to me in a negative way. No one sent me a DM saying that what I was tweeting was insulting to them and was harming my “personal” brand. In fact, I received many retweets and a few favourites too.
According to an official post, over 3 million people were reached in the first 24 hours of this campaign. As I write this on Sunday night, over 1.5 million people have participated in the #SurrenderYourSay campaign.
Congrats to the Foundation on their great work, this campaign and everyone who participated.