Audio: Learning From ‘The Dragonfly Effect’ (Podcast)

October 8, 2010, 3:38 pm

By Derek Lieu

Learning From ‘The Dragonfly Effect’

A man diagnosed with leukemia finds out that he has a one-in-20,000 chance of finding a suitable bone marrow donor. When his friends hear about it, they launch a social media campaign to register 20,000 new donors into the bone marrow registry. In a matter of weeks, when the story began appearing in traditional media outlets, the campaign already had over 24,000 new registrations.

What lessons can nonprofit organizations take away from this?

The Dragonfly Effect chronicles the story of Sameer Bhatia who, according to co-author Jennifer Aaker, eventually received his bone marrow transplant thanks to two essential factors present in his friends’ social-media campaign: an engaging narrative with the power to motivate, and the singular goal of persuading 20,000 East Asians to register as donors.

In her latest Social Good podcast, host Allison Fine interviews Ms. Aaker on how nonprofit organizations can apply these lessons to achieve greater results in their own social media campaigns.

Social media may make it easier than ever for more people to get involved in a cause, Ms. Aaker says, but it takes good stories to motivate people to act.

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