DC Influencer: Larry Hausner, American Diabetes Association

Larry Hausner, CEO, American Diabetes Association, talks about effectively using social media and imagery to increase awareness.

Larry Hausner, CEO, American Diabetes Association, talks about effectively using social media and imagery to increase awareness. 

What was the impetus behind the A Day in the Life of Diabetes campaign?
The goal was to demonstrate the impact diabetes has on families and communities nationwide through a socially focused initiative during American Diabetes Month last November.

Successfully managing diabetes can be a herculean task, making what might seem like an otherwise ordinary life rather extra-ordinary. Using imagery, the power of social engagement, and a larger-than-life stage, light was shone on diabetes and those who live with it every day.

What were key tactics for this effort?
The campaign asked the public to show what A Day in the Life of Diabetes truly means by sharing a personal image through a mosaic on the American Diabetes Association's Facebook page, which was a universal image that embodied the campaign.

The image could be a picture of themselves or someone they care about or represent how the disease impacts their lives.

What have been effective outreach methods and messages?
We have increasingly seen the true power of social media engagement through our past campaigns, which proved once again to be a very effective outreach method. We launched our campaign on October 1, 2012, and by the end of November, more than 6,000 photos were uploaded by users.

Our program is not over yet. The mosaic will be up on the association's Facebook page until March 1. In addition, collaborating with our American Diabetes Month sponsor, CVS/ pharmacy, we were able to add a powerful incentive to the public. For every image uploaded, CVS/pharmacy donated $1 to the association, up to $25,000.

Do you get a sense there is an appropriate awareness about what it means to be diabetic?
No. The research we've done shows people don't take this disease as seriously as they should. That is why we are doing everything we can to turn up the volume.

People need to know its immediacy, reach, and impact. It is very important that in all our work we emphasize mission delivery, revenue generation, and better inclusion of populations we serve. That is what will help us reach our vision: Life free of diabetes and all its burdens. 

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