Twelve years ago this month, I spent my very first Mother’s Day as a mom basking in the presence of my then five-week old twin boys. It was a day I thought I’d never celebrate myself; my husband and I went through seven and a half years of tests and surgeries and procedures before we finally conceived our sons through assisted reproduction techniques (ART).
Infertility is a painful, isolating experience that those who haven’t gone through themselves don’t quite understand. It is one of the most difficult challenges a couple can face, yet many don’t seek support from family or friends. During my many years of infertility, I didn’t discuss it with many friends or even with my own mother. Mother’s Day was always one of the most difficult days for me as I said to myself, “Maybe next year.” RESOLVE became my refuge.
A Mother’s Day message from RESOLVE Executive Director Barbara Collura
RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association is the leading patient advocacy group for people experiencing infertility. It provides emotional support in the form of community and online groups, a hotline, information on the many ways to build a family, and advocates for better insurance coverage for infertility treatment and to keep the legislative path open for all forms of family building, including ART. People at RESOLVE “get it,” and countless couples turn to the organization for the kind of support only RESOLVE can provide. As Executive Director Barbara Collura says in this Mother’s Day video, RESOLVE is there for its constituents “24/7.”
Over the past few years, Spectrum has had the privilege of having RESOLVE as a client, and leading the team has been one of the most rewarding opportunities of my career. With funding from a federal grant[i], Spectrum and RESOLVE have conducted a digital communications campaign to raise awareness about embryo donation, a unique and fairly new family building option. A 2009 targeted pay-per-click campaign in the Washington, DC area increased awareness of embryo donation from 8 to 14 percentage points in surveys conducted before and after the campaign. In 2010, we built a dynamic awareness platform, My Destination Family, which provides information on embryo donation and houses the many programs we’ve conducted to drive traffic to the site and increase RESOLVE’s share of voice in the online embryo donation conversation.
The active Twitter handle @MyDestFamily has 662 followers, a number that continues to increase with each promotional program. We invited infertility and parenting bloggers and their readers to submit questions about embryo donation, which Barb responded to in a series of 11 Q&A videos, “So What Exactly is Embryo Donation?” Top 10 Must-Read Mom by Parenting magazine blogger @LavLuz conducted a Twitterview with Barb on the topic of embryo donation as one of several family building options for couples experiencing infertility. The Twitterview was featured in real time on the home page of Parenting.com.
As I mentioned, people going through infertility often keep their struggle from most everyone in their lives, but there is at least one person who is always there for them. We invited the online community to acknowledge their support people in the “By My Side” project and received more than a dozen heartfelt stories from women who paid tribute to their moms, husbands and even their online support group.
Just this week, we wrapped up our Twibbon campaign that netted more than 2,000 people who put the RESOLVE logo on their Facebook and Twitter profile photos as a show of support for RESOLVE. Next month, we’ll conduct a Father’s Day Twitterview with a man who will discuss his experience with infertility.
Providing these touchpoints for online influencers to engage with RESOLVE has resulted in increased traffic to the My Destination Family site and greater exposure to RESOLVE.org and embryo donation messages. Through the My Destination Family campaign, RESOLVE and Spectrum aim to make more couples aware of the many ways to build a family, so women experiencing infertility can experience Mother’s Day for themselves, as a mom.
The RESOLVE embryo donation awareness campaign is made possible by grant number EAAPA081008-01-01 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.