Show-Not-Tell Message Power (Case Study: Breast Cancer Action)

Powerful Nonprofit Message
Breath this in deeply. It’s a strong model of that golden communications rule: Show, Don’t Tell.

Here, on its Facebook page, Breast Cancer Action (BCA) zigs rather than zags, with memorable results. See post in full size here.

Most nonprofits would have simply told folks that  pink-labeled water bottles is pinkwashing, and leave it at that. But…

Good thing they didn’t. Because that kind of jargon-heavy messaging is NOT likely to be understood—much less acted on—by most readers. In fact, it’s more likely to annoy them because it’s inaccessible, demands more of their attention and time than it needs to, and makes them feel dumb. Even those who are already BCA supporters.

But BCA did good. They showed, in a glance, what pinkwashing is, empowering old friends and newbie supporters alike in a flash. Success, and a mobilizing path to BCA’s Think Before You Pink campaign.

Walk through this effective call to action sequence, to experience how well it works, step by step:

  1. You enter via this Facebook post, which invites you to learn more by clicking on…
  2. This blog post featuring 5 more examples of pinkwashing, and explains how each one distracts from real progress on breast cancer, then asks you to act by…
  3. Signing this petition, asking the breast cancer “industry,” to “stop the distraction.”

Show-not-tell messages, by Breast Cancer Action. Well done, BCA!

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Nancy Schwartz on October 7, 2014 in Branding and Messages | 3 comments
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  • Nancy, thanks for sharing this really useful example, and in particular pointing us, your readers, to the campaign. In the past I have walked to raise money for breast cancer research, and fell prey to the pink products craze, mostly for little giveaways/thank yous for my own fundraising efforts. So now I am compelled to share this information with friends and family to help halt this pink distraction.

  • Easy to fall for the pink products craze. That’s why I so appreciate the messages at the heart of this so effective campaign! Great work, Breast Cancer Action!

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