As someone now benefiting from periodic transfusions, I’ve been promoting the importance of blood and platelet donations. I am also always on the lookout for innovative consumer marketing approaches in the preparedness area. So, I wanted to highlight two ideas I heard about recently.
First, I learned that the New York Blood Center has a ‘frequent giver’ program calledÂ Red Cell AdvantageÂ in which blood can be turned into points and then prizes. According to the program, donors get 50 Advantage points for every whole blood donation (75 points for platelets) and can begin cashing them in from an extensive prize list at 400 points. Blood can be donated every 56 days, and double points are offered during periods of particular need such as right now. I applaud the Center for employing a private sector marketing technique to achieve the important objective of bringing in more blood.Â
But not every incentive has to involve concrete objects.Â My friends at Cross Blog in Portland, Oregon came up with another angle to spur donations. Not surprisingly coming from them, it’s fun, creative and I think effective. They argue that donating blood could help your sex life.Â In a recent post, “Top Three Reasons Why Being A Blood Donor is Sexy”,Â Cross Blog’s Lise Harwin writes:
“The discussion about why giving blood is sexy began months ago, as I tested out the logic on a variety of female friends and co-workers. All agreed — there’s no doubt that dating (or marrying) a blood donor is definitely where it’s at.
REASON 1: Because they are (mostly) disease-free….
REASON 2: Because they can take a little pain…
REASON 3: Because they care about others…
Single men and women, I urge you to make a point of dating donors. And think seriously about becoming a blood donor yourself; someone may just be looking for you.”
So, whatever the incentive — points, dates or anything else — donating blood is a great idea.Â It’s also a relatively easy way that all of us can contribute to our society’s preparedness for emergencies. And personally, I thank you in advance.
The American Association of Blood Banks has a website which allows you to search by zip codes for places (like hospitals) where you can donate blood and platelets.Â The American Red Cross has a site, www.givelife.org, and a toll-free number, 1-800-448-3543, to find blood drives in your area.