My emotional engagement
Thursday, April 14, 2011
I have had the good fortune to work with the Full House Lottery for many years. It is one of those really enjoyable projects; the clients are interesting and smart, the topic is one that research respondents like talking about and discussions can get very animated, and of course, it is for a good cause (University Hospital Foundation and Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation). In addition to working on the lottery, my husband and I have been purchasing tickets for a long time. We also had the very good fortune to win the Harley Davidson bike the first time we bought a ticket - isn’t that what everyone dreams of!
One of the things we discuss every year during the research is how best to promote the cause or the beneficiaries of the lottery, so it certainly is top of mind for me. However, at the media launch for Full House Lottery in March, two men spoke about how they have benefited from the lottery and it brought home the importance of supporting the lottery in a very real and meaningful way – and in a way I had never thought of before.
After years of conducting research, I understand on an intellectual level the importance of creating a personal or emotional connection in order to motivate your audience. I've seen how a person's body language, opinions and even their demenour can change when they have made an emotional connection to a topic.
On that day, I connected in a different way to the lottery. One of the speakers at the launch was Chad, a young professional – a few years younger than me for sure, but close enough that I could say we are of the same generation. A little over a year ago, this man suffered a grand maul seizure out of the blue. He felt healthy and fine up until that day. This felt like a story that I could have heard from a friend or a peer. This was a healthy young man who could have been a brother, a friend, or a friend’s husband. It was discovered that Chad had a brain tumour, and during the treatment of that tumour, his doctor used cutting edge equipment that very few hospitals in Canada have access to (and he had access to it because the hospital foundation had purchased it with lottery proceeds).
I am not going to do him justice, but Chad said something along the lines of “You cannot control what is going to happen to you in life – you can only be prepared. So whether it is socking some money away in RRSPs or supporting great causes like this one, just do what you can to be prepared.”
I had not really ever thought about the tickets I buy for the lottery as being something you do to be prepared – as preventative. Somehow to me, it had always felt reactive, a way to solve a problem, not prevent one. But I liked that feeling, that through my support for the Full house Lottery I had helped the University and Royal Alex hospitals be prepared to treat their patients. It was just a subtle difference - but a world of difference.
POSTED BY SANDRA JOHNSTON
Posted in: Charitable Organizations