Friday, April 24, 2009

Texting With a Purpose

From Ashton Kutcher’s competitive twit-off with CNN’s Larry King (Ashton won the campaign to reach a 1,000,000 Twitter followers) to Oprah Winfrey, Barbara Walters and others’ first-time on-air twittering, social media made a big step forward in the consciousness of the public these past few weeks.

At Cable Positive, we use social media to empower and educate young people about sexual health and HIV prevention. Our Youth AIDS Media Institute (YAMI) created a multi-platform educational campaign, including print, web, video and, yes, texting components. The campaign in its entirety can be seen at

The mobile component is particularly innovative and provides an on-going reminder and engagement with the target audience over the course of an entire year. Once someone signs up, once a week for the next year they get a text message that uses humor to keep the issues of HIV/AIDS and sexual health “top of mind”.

Go ahead and sign up by texting “NOLOL” to 61827 on your mobile phone. Or, better yet, forward a link to the campaign to the young people in your life—your friends, children, nieces and nephews—and encourage them to check it out. Or link to the YAMI campaign from your Facebook or Twitter page.

The young people who created the YAMI campaign with Cable Positive scheduled the weekly text messages to deliver every Friday afternoon. That is when their peers are finishing up their school week and thinking about their social plans for the weekend.

It is Friday afternoon as I write this and not long ago, my iPhone peeped and I saw the text message from the YAMI campaign. It makes me smile every week because it reminds me of the powerful impact of Cable Positive’s work and the positive influence the cable industry is having on the lives of young people across the nation.

That influence will grow in the months to come as our YAMI campaign is rolled out nationwide. Thanks again to Motorola for their support of this innovative program.

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