“It’s urgent, we need you caped crusader! And bring Batkid!”
This was the plea that the San Francisco police chief sent out to his city and, more importantly, to Miles Scott, a.k.a “Batkid” in 2013.
Miles, a 5-year-old who was fighting leukemia, spent a day fighting “crime” alongside Batman after the Make-A-Wish foundation made his dream a reality.
“I wish to be Batkid.”
Make-A-Wish does so much to make an impact on the lives of children. Just read their mission statement:
The mission of Make-A-Wish International is to grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy.
However, as a non-profit, they have to be creative in order to get the attention of donors and volunteers to support their cause.
Well, Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area did just that when they not only found a way to give Miles an unforgettable experience, but also involved a crowd of 20,000+ citizens and reached 1,840,577,475 people online.
So, why was Batkid so successful?
Well, here are just a few reasons:
Emotional Arousal: Miles parading around San Francisco in costume is undoubtedly very cute. However, seeing the joy that he was experiencing was heartwarming and made people want to share. And share they did: a total of 555,697 tweets were dedicated to discussing Batkid. Of those tweets, 96 percent were deemed “positive”. The event caused people’s emotions to be aroused, encouraging them to share it with others. *Numbers source: Clever Girls Collective
Social Currency: Everyone wants to feel involved and like they’re contributing. Knowing what Batkid was up to and even being able to say that you were there to cheer him on as he was awarded a key to the city? Now that’s a bragging right. Even President Obama joined in. He used the video sharing app Vine for the first time to create a video to cheer Miles on.
Story Telling: A good story can get a lot of publicity, and the story of an entire city coming together to make a sick child’s wish come true? THAT is a good tale. This story also is the perfect story for Make-A-Wish to share in order to display their values and mission. What better way to let people know that you help make children’s wishes come true than letting them experience it first-hand?
While Make-A-Wish was simply doing what it does best, the social media conversation “certainly helped contribute to Miles’ incredible day and helped people worldwide become familiar with Make-A-Wish,” said Josh deBerge, national communications manager for Make-A-Wish America.
This increased publicity also helped to raise even more money for future wishes. Since it wasn’t intended to be a fundraising event, Make-A-Wish doesn’t have specific numbers for this wish’s impact. However, they did say:
We saw an increase in offers of help across all areas, including donations, volunteers, referrals and other services.
Increased publicity, funding and an unforgettable experience for a leukemia patient? All in a day’s work.
For more information on the planning of the crowd and social media participation, check out: https://digiday.com/marketing/social-media-batkid/
For Mile’s story and the official “Batkid” video, check out http://sf.wish.org/wishes/wish-stories/i-wish-to-be/wish-to-be-batkid