Monday, August 1, 2011

How I found Rachel's Story

Lunch was late today for me, so this post is a bit late

Quick recap: I caught this PSA with Jennifer Connelly for charity: water on TV. My thoughts went to all the great work the Social Media Club of Kansas City (SMCKC) team did a few years back on the charity: water international twestival kick-off and I was thinking how mainstream the initiative is now. How it had gone transmedia. I also thought about how we had a boiling water advisory a few weeks ago and how terrible it would be to not have clean water. The ad reminded me to check up on what charity:water was doing online.

My first search online was on Twitter. I searched on "charitywater" and up popped Chris Wragge's tweet. Here's the unique twist,
I didn't click on Chris' tweet because I knew who he was - CBS The Early Show Anchor. I didn't know him. If I watch a morning news program which is rare, it's another network or cable show. Anyway, I clicked on Chris' content in relationship to my search charity:water. And this is how I came across Rachel's story.

If you haven't heard about Rachel's 9th Birthday Wish, her tragic death and the media keeping her wish going see this CNN story, read this Huffington Post article, take in this NBC Nightly News video, or probably the best way is to read Rachel's Mom's update on Rachel's charity:water page.

And why did Rachel's story move me to post today?????
I was overwhelmed with Rachel's mom's response on Rachel's charity:water page. You have no idea how much it means to get support from people (some you have met, some you haven't met) but all mean well for you and your family through giving in honor of a lost don't understand until you've gone through it. It gives you hope. It helps you breathe. It helps you live.

The way I came across Rachel's story was typical for me. A PSA that I ran across yesterday, I thought about this morning with SMCKC, I searched on Twitter mid-morning, a link from the tweet took me to Rachel's page which made me aware of an amazing 9 year olds' wish that I had missed in the masses. This is my real-time transmedia search-and-find.

This cross-media, back-and-forth sourcing happens everyday for all of us and it's a no-brainer. Rachel's story crystalized this process for me because her story resonated with me and it unfolded for me through multi-channels on and offline. From losing a loved one unexpectedly; to the non-profit charity:waterwith a social media start; and, to button it up - how social media plays an integral part in getting the word out, period - it all made sense to me, I related to it.

The back-and-forth, transmedia sourcing, and especially my ask to consider donating on Rachel's page, are things I want to share, hence the post.

I'm sure y'all had hear about Rachel's story, thanks for taking the time to read my take. Do you have a transmedia story to share? I'd love to hear it.


Tim Walker said...


As if Rachel's story weren't compelling enough . . .

Coming at this from the marketing side, I was just thinking about how many companies / marketers still think of their activities in silos. Sure, they publish their URL on their print ads -- but they're not thinking in terms of ecosystems, i.e. how one media channel / outlet / network flows into another.

It's too late in the evening for me to make more sense than that, and I'm too sappy about my own 10-year-old to dwell on Rachel's story. But thanks for posting this.

Average Jane said...

What an inspiring story.

I've been thinking a lot about charity:water lately as I've been hauling buckets of water to my community garden plot. Of course, I have the luxury of filling the buckets from the hose and then driving them to the garden. I only end up carrying them from the yard to the car and from the car to the garden, but they're SO HEAVY.

I can just imagine how incredibly difficult it is for people who have no choice but to carry water for long distances every day.

Greg Matthews said...

This is a remarkable story all the way around. Even if the story was only about a 9-year-old forgoing birthday presents, it's a great story.
I think that's the amazing thing about great stories. People find ways to tell them. They are *compelled* to tell them. And today, that means that great stories can spread to unimaginable scale, with unimaginable speed.
Thanks for sharing *this* story. I, like you, somehow missed the media coverage ... but I'm glad to know it now, and to pass it on.