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Chat 115 Summary: #BellLetsTalk – What good did it do?

February 22, 2013
Headshot of Fanny Gillet

Fanny Gillet

Introducing new #hcsmca member Fanny Gillet (@Fanny_Gillet). Fanny recently moved to Canada from France where she studied biology and then communications. She is passionate about social media and community management, and their use in healthcare. You can imagine she was thrilled to find a community of like-minded people in #hcsmca. But she wanted to do more than just participate. At #hcsmca we love motivated volunteers (and we have many of them doing many different things). So we jumped at the offer when Fanny said she like to write weekly summaries of the chats. Et voilà, her first edition.

#BellLetsTalk – What good did it do?

By Fanny Gillet

On February 13, #hcsmca examined the effectiveness of the Bell Let’s Talk campaign, its goals and its outcomes. Bell Canada launched a campaign to raise money and help mental health programs by donating 5 cents for every long-distance call and text message sent on the Bell network on February 12th. The company also donated 5 cents for every tweet that included the hashtag #BellLetsTalk. The main goals of this initiative were to increase awareness and encourage dialogue about mental health. The funds raised by Bell will support a wide range of programs that will enhance awareness, understanding and treatment of mental illness and promote access to care and research across Canada.

Bell Let's Talk LogoWith the first topic we considered the campaign’s effectiveness.

T1: How effective do you feel the #BellLetsTalk campaign was? How would you measure its effectiveness?

It is obvious that in terms of dollars this initiative was a success since it raised $4,813,313.30. However, did it really help raising awareness, was there a real dialogue? This question was rapidly raised and we heard different points of view. There were a huge amount of messages shared on February 12th during the campaign and some came from people talking about their mental issues for the first time, which was regarded by many as a success. These messages also had the potential to reach people not aware of mental health issues around them.

However, for some, the messages were not always high-quality and maybe Bell could have better managed the discussion by bringing more vetted content and building a stronger dialogue.

So then we asked #hcsmca

T1b: What are the ingredients needed for success of a corporate-led campaign like #BellLetsTalk?

According to #hcsmca-ers, this kind of campaign needs vetted content about mental health, surveys to analyse the evolution of the thoughts, stories and opinions expressed by advocates, professionals and people dealing with mental health.

For our second topic we asked:

T2: What outcomes would you like to see from the #BellLetsTalk campaign?

Bell Let’s Talk helped increase awareness, decrease stigmas and fight discrimination about mental health. But, one of the main doubts was that this kind of dialogue doesn’t continue after the day of the campaign.

This kind of initiative is a good start and specialized organizations can take the relay baton and reach people concerned by that cause. It is also important to have feedback on this action in order to know how the money helped and what changes it brings.

Read the full transcript.

You may also be interested in this blog post by #hcsmca participant and mental health advocate Alicia Raimundo (@asraimun) Why we need to keep the conversation going.

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