Using Social Media to Beat Cancer

Using Social Media to Beat CAncer


We’ve been seeing a lot of campaigns to promote breast cancer awareness this month, but here’s a fairly new one . . . #beatcancer. Today, the hashtag has hit the top trends on Twitter, with everyone tweeting about cancer, breast cancer being the obvious focal point for some.

The campaign was instigated by Beat Cancer Everywhere, a site that works to raise money for breast cancer research. They intend to set a Guiness World Record for the distribution of the largest mass message through social media within 24 hours. At the time of this writing there are still just over 12 hours left in the campaign and they have already hit 101,020 mentions.

For each mention of the hashtag, eBay/PayPal and MillerCoors will donate one cent to breast cancer research. People can tweet it, add it to their Facebook status, or blog about it . . . it all counts. And it would seem that thousands of people are more than willing to be part of this impressive, hopefully record breaking social media blast!


 

Even if you don’t actually want to participate in the tweeting, you can still donate. The Beat Cancer Everywhere website has four cancer foundations that you can donate directly to. Each one is dedicated to a specific area of cancer and allow visitors to the site to donate through Paypal. Here are the foundations listed as beneficiaries (you can see how much has been directly donated above each one on the Beat Cancer site).

Stand Up to Cancer is an organization dedicated to increasing the rapidity with which new groundbreaking treatments are tested so more people can be saved faster.

Bright Pink supports young women who are high risk for ovarian and breast cancer. They also help educate women on these diseases.

Alex’s Lemonade Stand helps promote the raising of funds for childhood cancer research and awareness. They encourage people, kids in particular, to host their own lemonade stands to raise money for the cause.

Spirit Jump offers hope and comfort to anyone battling cancer, whether man, woman or child.

Of these four organizations, Alex’s Lemonade stand seems to be a clear leader in popularity with nearly twice as much money donated than any of the other three charities.

While social media has been used extensively to promote disease awareness and encourage fundraising, this time we’re seeing it on a whole new level. It will be interesting to see just how it plays out and whether or not Beat Cancer Everywhere will actually make their world record by the deadline.

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Comments

  1. Kristen Nicole says

    Not sure why this sparked such a controversy but I do find it all interesting. It’s part of the struggle we’re bound to witness for at least another year or so regarding the use of Twitter, how it can be beneficial rather than annoying, and how end users feel when big brands get involved. For any reason.

  2. Jenn says

    PersonalFitCoach.com has teamed up with Yeahtips.com to raise money for Breast Cancer Research. We are also using social networking to raise at least $100 per site. We hope this initiative spreads to other blogs as well.

  3. Mihaela Lica says

    You are right, Robin – and this already gave me an idea about a follow-up. The campaign was definitely poorly organized, Tamara never replied to our emails, her phone is being redirected to an answering machine, she never replied to my tweets, and so on. There are definitely many lessons to be learned from this, and I also understand the skeptics – to an extent.

  4. Robin says

    Thanks for responding Mihaela. I have huge respect for Mashable (both the website and @mashable). It’s a great resource and most of the time it provides extremely reliable information. This is a rare case of it making a mistake. The problem is that @mashable has 1.6 million followers so his rare mistakes have a big impact, especially when he asks others to RT.

    The Beat Cancer website states very clearly that this was an experiment that lasted for a specific period of time. I am in no way criticizing it. But experiments are always useful to learn from. Something that might be a consideration for future campaigns using social media is that through the process of retweeting some information often gets dropped out. In this case some people don’t realize that there was a specific time period that counted.

    One thing that I have learned for sure, is that its a good idea not to use the word “today” in tweets if you are asking people to do something. http://beatcancereverywhere.com/about.html is extremely clear about exactly when the 24 hour time period began and ended but many people with large followings simply used the word today in their tweets.

    Genesis, I don’t think that your comments were directed primarily at me. What you wrote was completely accurate. My only concern is that many people are continuing to use the hashtag with the belief that they are helping to raise money when that part of it has ended. Some people got the mistaken idea that every use of #beatcancer counted for a penny, rather than there being one single penny donation per tweet that used the hashtag. With nothing but good intentions they are sending out tweets that just list the hashtag over and over. At this point those tweets are simply spam.

    In contrast there are some other people who are using the hashtag to show their support for people who are fighting cancer and to remember people close to them who died of cancer. Those tweets are quite moving.

    My opinion is that this was a worthy experiment but like most experiments it has also provided information to shape future programs like this.

  5. Mihaela Lica says

    Hi Robin, – we didn’t know that Mashable is still asking people to use the hashtag – even if they do, it will no longer count for the Guinness record.

    We contacted Tamara via email, we still wait for her answer – time difference :) – we are in Germany. It was late at night in Atlanta.

    @Ian – this was not a chain letter, it was a social media campaign. If you watch the videos in the post you will see that Don Lemon, who is a CNN anchor, is one of the initiators.

    @Everybody – we will publish a follow-up with more details.

  6. Robin says

    I do not question that this was a legitimate campaign but according to http://beatcancereverywhere.com/about.html the 24 hour period for donations ended at 9:00am PDT on Sat. October 17. That is more than 12 hours ago. But many people do not realize that this campaign is over. A particular problem is that Mashable has twice sent out tweets asking people to use the #beatcancer hashtag after the 24 hour period ended. Is there anything that you can do to help spread the word that the hashtag campaign has ended? Many people are sending a large number of tweets in the mistaken belief that they are still helping to raise money for an excellent cause. You may have the ability to contact directly some of the people who have a very wide readership and very large followings and who mistakenly believe that the use of the hashtag is still raising money. I am not implying that anything that you wrote misled anyone. They somehow managed to get confused on their own. I just hope that you can help to correct the misinformation that so many people are acting on.

  7. Ian Ferguson says

    I’m not here to argue, and I’m sure nobody else here has spiteful intentions. Personally, I’m more interested in truth than opinions, so I’m happy to wait this one out and see where it leads, than speculate. I’m now 99% sure the #beatcancer fundraising thing is sadly a hoax, but would love to be proved wrong.

    Here’s a quote from the Guinness World Records website for you all to chew on:

    http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/member/is_it_a_record.aspx

    “Guinness World Records no longer accepts any records relating to chain letters or similar variations sent by post or e-mail. This is due to extensive problems following a previous record attempt.”

  8. Skeptical says

    Phil, as you say many people, including me, have stories to tell about cancer in their lives, but those stories have nothing to do with trying to confirm something that I saw on the internet. I did not write or imply that anyone on this site was attempting to mislead or that they had something to gain by passing along this story. I never doubted that they believe it. What I did question was why no one was providing the research Mihaela claimed was done. If it makes me a cold hearted bastard to question and not to jump at every claim supposedly connected to a worthwhile cause then I can live with that.

    On the other hand, I hope others trying to raise money for good causes will realize that just being associated with a cause and having a web page is not enough. If you want to reach the more skeptical people then be sure that there is a way for them to verify your claims. Or you can just write us off.

    • Phil Butler says

      Well Skep, I hope that the questions have been answered at least to a degree. It was researched as best as could or needed to be just to report someone’s efforts and to support it with a little of ours.

      Always,
      Phil

  9. Spadge Fromley says

    I came here because I thought it was an interesting story and wanted to find out more, specifically whether it was genuine or a fake, and this is the only site that is reporting on it. Or rather, to put it more accurately, the source that all other sites are referring back to in their blogs.

    I joined in the discussion in the comments because it seemed like the best place to ask in light of the above.

    I am a sceptic. I like to think I don’t just believe things that are told to me without stopping and thinking about them first. I’ll take it at face value until I have more information to base an opinion on, and as I don’t think CNN broadcast here I still don’t have one. I take an interest in urban legends, hoaxes, myths and memes on the internet, so this one caught my eye.

    I apologise for not thinking that ignorance is bliss.

    Now, in case you are interested, I will explain why I first thought this could be a hoax.

    It’s purely down to the similarities with the dozens of email hoaxes along the same lines: “forward this email and the make a wish foundation will donate 7c” etc, added to the fact that it is doubtable that beat cancer everywhere are even able to count the posts. On Twitter it is easy enough, on facebook you have to be friends with most people to see their status, the blogosphere is almost entirely uncountable especially between times/dates.

    So yeah, I think it is entirely reasonable to question whether it’s genuine or not.

    And finally: if the ebay/paypal & MillerCoors offer to donate *is* genuine … how would you feel if all the millions of blogs, tweets, status updates etc netted a $10 donation to charity and some Atlanta PR firm got their Guinness world record and all that free publicity from a viral marketing stunt?

    BTW Phil, your domain registration expired on Thursday – renew it if you care. :)

    • Phil Butler says

      No time for Unplugged these days Spadge, so domain is not a priority. Actually, that was supposed to be a lifetime thing that domain, I guess I should have been skeptical of the man who donated that for some work I did huh? :)

      Phil

  10. Ian Ferguson says

    I’m suspicious of this too, although I do hope it’s real. The only evidence I’ve seen is the Beat Cancer Everywhere website… which frankly could have been made by anyone.

    If it’s real, it’s in PayPal’s / MillerCoors’ interests to big it up, as it’s good PR for them (sorry to sound cynical but good PR would be the only reason for them to be involved; corporations don’t donate money just by the goodness of their hearts).

    I would like to ‘do my research first’ as Mihaela says… that’s exactly what I’m doing and why I’m here. I don’t see anything on the Blog World Expo site either – has anyone got a source other than the Beat Cancer Everywhere website that confirms that these corporations have genuinely dedicated this money?

    • Phil Butler says

      Thank you Ian, that is a gauged, reasonable and correct response to any questions anyone has. One which anyone should have. We are all privy to so many shenanigans these days. We call the bluff of someone or other just about daily. It is time that full disclosure and transparency (I mean the real kind) supercede what used to be the status quo. Like Bil said, we are not perfect, none of us. I think that anyone who reads our stuff here, even the funny or goofy entertaining stuff, could easily detect that we care. We are not always right, but the conversation is there. Teach us, and we will teach you as best we can. Being called a PR company is not a bad thing for us as some suggest. We do not do PR like Edeleman or any of the others do it. PR about people and every aspect of their lives really. It is bad PR that has cause the industry to have a bad name.

      I hope you will let us know what you discover Ian, as we want people who come here to get the straight scoop – really. It is our best ticket to success to be truthful and helpful, a value for people like you and these others who take their precious time to come here. We know how time constrained everyone is. As Bil also said, maybe a bad week! Maybe he has no idea huh:)

      Always,
      Phil

  11. Mihaela Lica says

    Oh I am so tired of this. Just tune into CNN and watch the story. Then doubt if you still want to. Doubt God, doubt kindness, doubt everything you want, but do it in your OWN box.

  12. Spadge Fromley says

    @Phil – the original meaning of spam in email and on usenet, before it came to just mean UCE, was the noise which drowned out the signal as in the Monty Python viking sketch. If there are a million tweets posted in 24 hours just to get a hash tag out there, then that is a problem; that is a million useless tweets that didn’t really need to happen (I know this sounds crazy to anyone who has ever spent any time actually reading twitter :D ). But really, on a free service like twitter that fairly regularly buckles under its own weight, it would be counter-productive at best.

    @Mihaela – It is a sad and well documented story that God gave man free will. He may ask us to believe, but he allows us to doubt too. But let’s not get into that, as this issue has nothing at all to do with God, or religious beliefs of any kind, and I honestly don’t think you’re going to see a discussion along those lines that won’t cause offence to all parties.

    • Phil Butler says

      So what you are saying Spadge is? You wanted us to? You need? Are we arguing that some money raised for cancer victims is? Spam, Oh I get it now. People who spend half their lives pecking out worthless bits of personal hygiene, or marketing products that make baby’s soft bottom even more adoreably soft do not need to waste their time on actually doing good unless? Oh, unless there is a JD Power and Associates PDF reporting and actually guaranteeing that something so obviously correct is correct? I am actually LMMFAO right now, but I intend to go have a drink and ponder the symbolic and impactful reality that people who think like this actually do exist. They really do.

      Excuse me for going a little unplugged on this, because deep inside I know that an literal act of almighty Zeus would not reach within the case hardened heart or skull for that matter, of zealots so naturally imbued a talent for stoic and mathematical precision in their cynicism. Well, it is late here. It looks like I will not be sleeping sweetly, dreaming of the live oaks and them old cotton fields back home. I think Lowes had them all chopped down and the cotton all went to China to make shirts to sell back to Americans. And no small wonder. All the true zealots are out there in Twitter land worried about their bandwidth while back at the ranch, the country is shipped East or West or downright overturned. Unfortunately for my brother, and many thousands like him, this skepticism has been around just long enough for a cure for his cancer to not be at hand. Thank you so much for your hard earned Tweet. Don’t worry though, I will just make up the difference for you.

      Always,
      Phil

  13. Mihaela Lica says

    @Spadge – it is NOT an offer. It was a 24h campaign. It’s over now. It made it to the Guinness World – you made your contribution – one cent was donated for your hashtag.

    As for my pity, whether you need it or not, it’s there because, believe it or not, I care for people. I never said it was wrong to be a skeptic, all I said was that skeptics are never happy – because they don’t dare to believe. God asks you to believe without question – it’s a metaphor, that means: open your heart to the good, to love, to hope. Don’t ask. Believe.

  14. Spadge Fromley says

    @Mihaela

    There is nothing wrong with being a sceptic, and we are not in need of your pity.

    I don’t know if this is a genuine offer or not. At first glance it smacks of the old (and much regurgitated) email scams – see these pages for lists of them: http://tw3.it/1Q6 and http://tw3.it/1Q7

    I have tweeted asking if it is a hoax, but I’m not sure and I hope it isn’t and so I included the hash-tag in the tweet. If it turns out to be a hoax I won’t be disappointed, and if it turns out to be genuine I will be delighted. Someone who believed it without question would suffer the inverse reaction. So for whom does the light of true happiness shine after the fact?

    • Phil Butler says

      LOL Those Tweets sure do come at a high price. I am happy to the almighty and Google too that there is no money involved for most of these people. If it cost 98 cents the poor cancer patients would not get an iTunes ring tone. Are you folks really taking the time to come here and question the validity of an outreach which would cost no one anything if it were a hoax save a Tweet?

      I know it is hard to engage people on Twitter these days with all the marketers spamming it to death, but if 5 million people can Tweet about Ashton and Demi every other day, it seems taking the “risky” chance of a Tweet that could save an actual person’s life would not be the most risky proposition. Wow. I know, if this were a hoax then Cancer Research would be doomed on Twitter. I think if everyone were as anal retentive and negative as most coming here to hammer someone who just reported the news, we probably should all just hang it up. This is pitiful. Really.

      Well, at least you can see we do not seed comments, or at least we are very slow in doing so :) I wonder why positive people do not comment more? Hmmm.
      Always,
      Phil

  15. Mihaela Lica says

    @Skeptikal – no one insulted you, my friend. You are constantly insulting us by saying that we do not verify what we publish. As I said, contacting sponsors of a social media campaign to verify was not necessary to RELATE the news. As you see in the updates to the article (the video I saw before Genesis published this, it just took me some time to find it again) we did everything humanly possible to prove that this is not a fraud. As for contacting sponsors, why don’t you do it on your own time?

  16. Skeptical says

    Mihaela, you can insult me all you want, but when it comes to this report you confirmed what I said. No one checked with the alleged sponsors, so you couldn’t confirm that they were donating any money. Instead of being so sarcastic, perhaps you should have said who the people behind it are and why you think they are trustworthy. Expecting that someone should just believe what they read on the internet, but can’t confirm is asking people to be gullible. Scams and hoaxes litter the internet, so I’ll continue to question when people makes claims that seem to have little support.

    • Phil Butler says

      Sleptical, Do you have the power to check some of these things? Or, would you prefer we expend every resource we ever had trying to certify beyond a shadow of a doubt everything you need to know? Mihaela and the team on that end did verify the validity as far as could reasonably be expected. People in the know on this confirmed the validity. No huge corporation is going to have a press conference every time they do something charitable. It is tacky in the first place. If the drive were successful, the news release is built in. Don’t you see that.

      You have some valid points, but we are only resondible in as far as we are humanly capable of certifying these things. If this were a huge story, one of immeasurable gravity, or if there were indicators it was a farce, we would have checked much more deeply. As it was, everything was on the up and up. Why are you beating the drum over someone doing some good in this world? You need to win right? Do you need to win? Is winning an argument that important to you?

      Okay Skeptical, as Senior Editor of Everything PR News, I personally apologize because I did not buy US Treasury Certificates to cover any loss you might incur because you bought this story (which BTW turns out to be true magically) hook line and sinker. I doubt the Bonds would have made a difference because you have the tone of one of the VC who always read my Web 2.0 stuff, who got burned by their Wall Street guy. :)

      Always,
      Phil

  17. Mihaela Lica says

    @Anastasia – it’s now official that it was not a hoax, but for me, the number of tweets, blog posts, facebook mentions, etc is a sign that many people still care about a good cause. I pity the skeptics, the non-believers. They must live in a very very sad world – a world of insecurity and doubt, a world of frustration, where the light of true happiness will never shine. How can anyone be happy by refusing the light that is given to them by the power of so many hearts?

  18. Anastasia says

    I would just like to say that,even if this is not a hoax, there are so many viral things out there these days that even the appearance of it being a hoax can make some people shun tweeting or posting on Facebook. I usually check such things on snopes.com and if they don’t give it a green light, then I don’t post or tweet.

    I was not able to find any info about this on snopes so I took that as a good sign, but I was still reluctant to tweet about it.

    • Phil Butler says

      Anastasia, You are so correct. These things need to be on the up and up. This one obviously is, unless we are all being taken in (including CNN) by a scam which could only achieve? The problem with people is that they are skeptical when they should put their hearts in, and bit like piranha when they should not. Are they stupid? No not really, just unfortunately preyed upon too much. I will tell you a little story, perhaps it will not make sense and maybe no one will read it, but I am going to tell it any way. Before I do, let me say this. A boss of mine once told me that my biggest problem was the people do not believe someone could be so altruistic. They are so wrapped up in defense mechanisms that seeing someone act like (I did at that moment in time) me made them wonder what I was up to. I listened but did not fully understand until perhaps this very moment. People cannot see the truth most of the time, they have been hurt too much, or in the worst cases, their own mercenary thoughts make them think you are like them.

      The story goes something like this. I was piddling my way around life, trying to make ends meet, not making all that much money way back when (it could have been yesterday for all you know) when I stopped at a grocery store to get some boxes to move. I was send around back to where the dumpsters were so that one of the bag boys could pass me some boxes out the back door. While waiting, I noticed a rather old African American man rummaging around in one of the dumpsters. It made me curious, and I was waiting after all. Being an affable young man, I asked the old gentleman if I could help as he looked like he was having trouble. He politely said no he was fine, and proceeded to tell me about how the store often threw away really good produce. The man was literally looking for something to eat.

      To make the story more piognant, though it is an actual account, the polite old gentleman had a tumor on his neck about the size of a golf ball. It had to be painful and embarassing, but still he was more polite than ANY of these yahoos who come here to be “skeptical” in the face of good. Any way, to make a long story short (and I assure you not to lend any cudos toward me) I reached in my pocket and gave the man all the money I had. It turned out to be $50, which at the time was probably a lot. It was, actually, the last $50 I had to my name, but this was of no consequence. Do you know what the man said to me through tearful eyes? God Bless You Son. I could not contain my own emotion at that moment, I uttered as best I could these simple words (in the face of God actually) No Sir (you see he was older and South Carolina boys are taught to respect this) No Sir, I said, God Bless You.

      I walked away as you might imagine, sort of ashamed of my tears (you see us South Carolina boys are taught to be tough too), thinking; “God, I wish I had had $500 bucks. I thought about this scene 1000 times since. Lost my blessing for the deed in all the telling of it to reveal the real world to people. You see, most thought I wanted some pat on the back, but I never did. Do you know what the first person who seemed like he needed that story in his life said to me? He listened impatiently and said; “He probably went and bought some wine with it.” So, in an effort to offer solice to another man in trouble, skepticism stole a gift from God Almighty literally. It did not matter what the man did with the money you see.

      So, when I read all these comments. Especially one I read on these nice people’s site which was particularly nasty, I am rewarded by thoughts of how human beings once treated their savior. I am not a bible thumper, but no matter what religion or belief system you operate under, there comes a time to stand up. So, for no reward at all we could forsee, we took our time to help this cause. It was not worth much compared to Mashable’s effort (and I know Pete personally) but it did a part. All that can be asked of any of us. A great many people took their time, and in some cases money, to help in a small way. It may lead to great things, but even if it does not, the idea and ideal is what counts. We did what we could.

      I hope my 20 minutes writing this helps you in some way. I hope it helps the others who are skeptical. Sometimes as human beings we must be shamed into correct action I know. It has happened to me when I thought incorrectly. Think how many suffer because we have all be preyed upon? I hope we can do better the next go around Anastasia. I really do.

      Thanks
      Always,
      Phil

  19. Mihaela Lica says

    Skeptikal, use your better judgment. If it weren’t true, all these sponsors would have already published refutes or any material denying this. They had 24 hours time – and believe me, their PRs are fast.

    It is not our job to contact the sponsors of such a campaign – at best to contact the initiators, who are very transparent and have public contact details displayed on the site. In this case, this was not necessary, because of who Tamara Knechtel is – among other accolades, someone who doesn’t hide after a nickname to post an opinion.

  20. says

    I JUST SAW IT ON HLN CABEL NEWS…SO I WENT TO MY FACEBOOK & TWEETER
    AND PUT #beatcancer

    I HAD BREAST CANCER 11 YEARS AGO..SO ANYTHING I CAN DO..I’LL DO.

  21. Skeptical says

    Mihaela, am I allowed to be sarcastic too? Unless I can see into the future, there is no way for me to know what CNN is going to broadcast later. It’s a simple question which as yet no one on this site has seen fit to answer. How do you know that this is true? If you didn’t contact any of the sponsors, then aren’t you just relying on what you were told and in fact can not verify the truth is?

  22. Mihaela Lica says

    @Skeptikal – excuse me?! You do not trust CNN? So the whole journalistic world is full of scammers? Now why are you still reading news anyway?

  23. Skeptical says

    Phil, it seems backwards that you are asking your readers to find the answers to questions that should have been asked by the reporter. When I heard about this yesterday I did what I could think of to verify this by checking the alleged sponsor sites and google searching. I found no verification. Obviously that doesn’t mean it’s a scam, but it increased my suspicions. Since your site is passing along info, it seems reasonable to ask how you know it’s true. Telling me to prove it is false or to watch CNN as Mihaela suggests just makes me think that no one there can verify it.

    • Phil Butler says

      Skeptical, I just emailed the two principals on the other end. In point of fact this is a news story which other outlets already reported on any way? Genesis was just relating the news, and was glad about it because of her personal experience with cancer in her family. As I said in my other comments, if you read them, we have all been hit by this dreaded disease. What is so damned hard for you to believe, I am not getting this? As I said earlier, I was not on this beat and am not privy to everything.

      We had someone who was at Blog World (actually a couple) who confirmed this, as they were there and excited about the implications. How all the talk came about is kind of irrelevant, but as some of the authors were on the cancer awareness thing since the first of October, they were “in the conversation” so to speak. I hope that satisfies some of your curiosity. For me, I trust everyone who works with us, so I do not typically have to beat the bushes to pieces answering these questions. Tho I don’t really mind. It is just a time thing.

      Always,
      Phil

  24. Mihaela Lica says

    For all of you non-believers… tune in to CNN tonight at 7pm EST. And remember: you heard it here first. I expect an apology at least to Genesis, especially from you DAVID – when this is all done. Prove that you had good intentions and that you are not a cad.

  25. Mihaela Lica says

    For those who want to know, these are the people behind the project http://www.thekeyinfluencer.com/channel/2009/10/16/don-lemon-and-tamara-after-we-just-found-out-beatcancer-became-1-trending-topic-on-twitter/

    You call it hoax? Fraud? What, are you jealous you didn’t have the idea first? FIY, sponsors DO NOT capitalize on campaigns they support usually. The initiator of the campaign is the promoter. If sponsors choose to support at their own turn with press releases, that’s another story – it is NOT mandatory. The purpose of this campaign is to prove the power of the social media via an unknown company. This is what setting a Guinness Record is all about.

    I strongly advise David and any of those who come here to offend me or my team to keep distance. Any offensive comments will be deleted.

    @Bil Hatch – the about page was not updated since January when we first started this site. It will be updated to include the profile. But the tagline of Everything PR ALWAYS read: “The Public Relations News Portal” Now thanks to your pertinent observation, we will update that page.

  26. Skeptical says

    Getting your info from the Beat Cancer website isn’t exactly fact checking since they are the ones making the claim, and I’m not inclined to excuse a hoax, if this is one, because it “boosts awareness of cancer”. In fact, the very idea of some group preying on people’s good nature for any reason makes me even angrier at the hoaxers.

    Either do some real fact checking with the organizations that are supposedly sponsoring this, or admit that you are just passing along a press release.

  27. bennyNY says

    Further research finds only 2 of the 4 beneficiaries, Alex Lemonade Stand & Spirit Jump are promoting this attempt at world record.

    http://www.alexslemonade.org/slideshow
    http://spiritjump.blogspot.com/

    Nothing on the other two:
    Stand up to Cancer (even though they have a Twitter button)
    http://www.standup2cancer.org/

    Bright Pink
    http://www.bebrightpink.org/

    Only Stand up to Cancer has Ebay even listed as a Media partner. There is nothing about Paypal or MillerCoors anywhere else on any of these organization sites. Maybe not a “hoax” as far as raising awareness but I doubt anyone is writing a six figure check anytime soon.

    I hope I’m wrong.

    • Phil Butler says

      Benny, I was not actually so involved in this series of posts, I was on another beat so to speak. I know that Mihaela and Genesis will shed light on this, as will I. I do not blame you in the least, or the other fellows either. There is nothing wrong with being skeptical at all, just not accusative or nasty, that is all I ask. This is a good conversation because if there are issues, it will come to light – if there are not, your inquiry will lend credibility and help those needing help even more. Thank you for your concern and take no this.

      Comment update, not intended for Benny.
      As an update to my comment to you Benny, and since yours was the most appropriate and right minded, I just learned (as did Mihaela) that this Guiness World Record effort was successful and that CNN will be covering it on the news tonight. Unless the hoax is the world record part for people unafraid to be hunted down like Bugs Bunny by the Elmer Fudds of the FBI, I think some people should feel (as my Mom God rest her soul used to chime in such situations) “lower than a snake’s belly.” Somehow, I do not think that will be the case tho.

      Again, thank you Benny for being normally concerned as anyone should. As for the research team of “please and thank you” this is one of those opportunities to be big, or be small.

      Always,
      Phil

    • Phil Butler says

      Wow David, I am sitting here going through the comments and wondering why do many feet are throbbing for Genesis stepping on toes I never knew existed? We are an Internet PR and consulting firm, and we are doing PR News. Is there some Congressional or G20 legislation that precludes us from being a news site? Is Google under the same scrutiny for dominating everything in the clouds? I guess the implication is we get something out of all this? Genesis’ family has been stricken by cancer, and if you will notice in your ponderings of out motivations, we have been on the cancer awareness subject a bit here. FOR HER and all the other people (including me I might add, whose brother will be getting a new esophagus this month – God willing) and also including one other of our authors (just in case you missed the point), this is what we are getting out of it all.

      You know, I have been doing this thing for a long time, trying to effort the two way communication, and maybe even doing some good. It never ceases to amaze me how down right mean and nasty people can be in the reactive, small minded ways. I do not mean to be awfully crude or cruel here, but I wish to hell some people would at least figure out who they are demeaning before they do it. At least Bil down there took his precious time to read the about page and find a infinitesimally small miscue there.

      Well, I guess we need to tidy up our own little house a little and take down any icon which could be misconstrued by anyone. That is fair enough. I have done my share of microscopic analysis for sure. But you know, as long as the essence of the people or the way they treated me was fair and kind, I never went nasty on them – ever. Sorry to be a little adamant here, but this is a good cause that may not be perfect in every way. If there is something wrong with it, show your evidence, call us wrong, and we will change it. No need to call names or imply anything devious.

      Always,
      Phil

  28. David says

    I understand marketing — especially when LIES are perpetuated by it. I gave a lot of money to legitimate causes for breast cancer research this year because I knew the people involved. This is just a handful of people looking for attention via viral marketing. What happens when a REAL charity looking for REAL donations can’t raise money because people think they have done their good deed already? Have you thought about that? “Traffic scam”? Ebay, Paypal and MillerCoors ARE NOT BACKING THIS EVENT. THAT is the fraud.

  29. Bil Hatch says

    First off, I want to help save lives. Raising awareness and money to battle things like cancer is a good thing. I want to find and support legitimate efforts to do good in this world.

    When I make a personal gift to charity, I do not make a big deal about my contribution. When my business makes a gift to charity, I wring every drop of goodwill and positive exposure out of it I can. Students in Accounting 101 classes are taught how to record goodwill in the books because it is a valuable commodity. Why would a company not want to benefit from the goodwill generated by its charity giving?

    Electronic communication is comparable to travel on a freeway, hence the old term “information superhighway.” When many people are using bandwidth to support a hoax, they create a condition akin to a traffic jam. On the freeway, traffic can prevent emergency personnel from reaching accident victims. On the internet, traffic from bogus freebie offers, Amber Alerts, and charity drives keep people with the best of intentions from helping those who really need it. Someone who creates a hoax is cheating the people a legitimate campaign would help.

    I am NOT saying this particular drive is a hoax. I am saying that beatcancereverywhere.com has linked itself to placeholder web pages. MillerCoors and eBay/Paypal are not taking advantage of the goodwill such a campaign would generate. BlogWorld Expo 2009’s website does not mention this campaign outside of the Twitter feed on their homepage. After a day of searching, I have been unable to find any mention of #beatcancer outside of Twitter, Facebook, and this website.

    Maybe you should do your own research, Ms. Lica. You state in your response above, “…this is not a blog…” Yet, the About page for this very website, which you co-edit, states, “Everything PR, founded on January 6, 2009, is a webblog…” You contradict your own website, brush off the marketing benefits sponsoring a charity drive could create, and seem not to see the potentially negative impact of internet hoaxes; do you understand marketing or the internet?

    BTW – I am not perfect, nor do I know everything. B3 Global is “just” a start-up company. Everything PR could contain valuable resources, Ms. Davies could be a diligent researcher, and you could be a PR guru who just had a tough week. I am sure any response to this will be very telling.

    • Phil Butler says

      Bil, thanks for stopping in and adding some context, we appreciate all perspectives. As for the about page, that is my fault and we never really updated. I guess we got busy hammering out news and overlooked that. The site started out as a weblog sure enough, but progressed into a little more than that. I am really sorry for the confusion there. On the other points, they are well taken, but I think that many caring and charitable platforms fall short sometimes, for a variety of reasons. Perhaps just like here when we make mistakes out of either not knowing, or just being down right busy as all heck.

      Twitter? Well it is perhaps my least favorite startup out of roughly 3,000 I have personally alpha or beta tested and analyzed over the last 4 or 5 years. I refused to cover it when sent the original release stuff way back when is seemed so ridiculousness. Look where it went. I still believe unless there is much more under the hood than they are showing, that it is certainly doomed (unfortunately I now have some evidence that there are horses under there). Mihaela is, by far, one of the most informed and expert people I know of when it comes to areas of the Internet with which she is experienced (and that is most of them). I do not defer often to other so called experts, but time and again she has been right about these things. I think she and I are victims of too soft a heart and enthusiasm (passion) sometimes, but if you can believe that (and why would I lie) then maybe you could be a little more kind and understanding.

      Any way, I do appreciate your take on this, but when people are trying to impact something so needful of attention and effort, perhaps it is better to be a little more constructive. You can come and hammer me to pieces in the next few days when I beat the stuffins out of Twitter itself for Machiavellian pursuits. :)

      Always,
      Phil

  30. Mihaela Lica says

    There is no reason for eBay or PayPal to market this event. They are just sponsors, David. It is not a campaign organized by them. As Ric said, this was officially announced at BlogWorld Expo 2009 Las Vegas – it is a legit business. Besides, how can this be a fraud? Who are they cheating you think? The people who care and tweet/blog about this? A traffic scam at best, but no fraud. You don’t understand marketing, David. Our authors ALWAYS research their stories. I think it would be better if you would do your research first – as this is not a blog, but a news site. Got it?

  31. says

    First of all, I’d like to say that I got my information from the actual Beat Cancer website. The very fact that they are suggesting you donate directly to specific organizations is a sign that this isn’t a hoax . . . otherwise they would be asking you to donate to them.

    The other thing is, even if this were a hoax and no one is donating 1 cent per tweet, the idea is still a good one. It boosts awareness of cancer in general and that is something we all need. Maybe someone won’t retweet, but they’ll think about donating to a foundation. Or perhaps it will remind a woman to schedule that mammogram. It’s said that we need to see a message 7.2 times before we act on it, and this campaign pretty much ensures that people will be exposed to the beatcancer message at least that many times. And even if it only makes a difference in ten people’s lives, that’s worth it. Penny or no penny.

  32. David says

    This smells like a hoax, maybe even fraud. There is no mention of this on either the Paypal, eBay or MillerCoors websites. Knowing how fussy they are about public perception, this can only be someone playing games. Just because bloggers THINK it’s real doesn’t make it so. Do your research first!!

  33. Mihaela Lica says

    @Ric Garrido – thank you for the update. Amazing how many people doubt this campaign (I just came back from Mashable) and how many people ridicule it. I think our society has become too skeptical.

  34. says

    This is a legitimate effort announced at BlogWorld Expo 2009 Las Vegas yesterday. The effort received pre-approval from Guiness World Records committee according to the keynote address at the conference Friday morning.

    A 24 hour effort with several other companies also contributing additional donations for every Tweet, Facebook, and blog entry in 24 hours using #beatcancer.

  35. says

    Wonderful idea. Am seeting it RT’d everywhere. Close to home too as our new book ‘Bangers and Mash’ from Keith Hern is about throat cancer and NLP and raises money for the Royal Marsden cancer unit.

  36. MB says

    Would be nice to see something official on this, a Mashable post isn’t quite like Paypal saying it in their blog or Paypal.com. They aren’t even using it in their own tweets. Do you have ANY facts on this at all???

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