The blue balloon challenge!
Awareness, awareness, awareness…
Georgia Alford is Medtronic's community
manager for the UK and Ireland. While she
looks after the company's Facebook, Instagram
and other social media sites, she's also part
of a social media campaign, the purpose of which is to
raise awareness not so much of Medtronic but of how
challenging living with diabetes is.
Alford says, "The blue balloon campaign does not
feature any products, it is purely about raising awareness
of the complexities of a life with diabetes. Before we
decided on the campaign, we formed a consultation
group of 60 people living with diabetes Type I diabetes.
One of the things that came up on a regular basis was
other people's assumptions. When being told that a
person had Type I diabetes, other people assumed it was
due to bad diet and lifestyle choices, whereas chances
are, the person was more likely to be making very healthy
choices on a daily basis."
Social media challenges might not be to everyone's
taste, but for others they can be great fun. A few years
ago, the 'ice bucket' challenge took off and did the rounds.
The blue balloon challenge,should be less wet and cold
to participate in. There is an official 'lead' video, which
gives the idea of the challenge - to do something typical
in their day while keeping a blue balloon in the air at the
same time. The analogy is that this is what it's like living
with diabetes - you have to get on with everything else in
your day, while also constantly allowing time for looking
after your diabetes.
"We are hoping that the idea will appeal to people with
diabetes and anyone who knows someone with diabetes
well enough to understand the point of the challenge.
Then they can challenge their friends to do it," says
Alford. "The idea is about caring - and sharing - to help