Pregnancy can be a stressful experience at the best of times. But when faced with the unexpected Coronavirus pandemic and being forced to self-isolate for at least 12 weeks, it is no doubt an incredibly unnerving time for expectant mothers everywhere. With non-essential antenatal appointments also being cancelled and other forms of support like NCT classes being forced to stop running, it is inevitable that pregnant women would be feeling a bit abandoned when the network around them is so important.
So, to offer support for mums-to-be, we coordinated a giveaway with our client, Hammersmith Health Books, a specialist health book publisher. We decided to organize a Facebook giveaway competition to give away copies of Preparing for Birth; a beautiful colouring book created by experienced midwife and teacher Bridget Sheeran. The book features pages of detailed line drawings for colouring in, all related to the theme of childbirth to allow pregnant women to reflect on their journey to becoming a mother. Entering the competition was simple, the first 10 people to comment received a copy of the book. Through the therapeutic medium of colouring, the giveaway hoped to offer some much-needed comfort to pregnant women and to help them relax during this frightening time.
To add relevance to the competition, we launched it on Mother’s Day.
What came next was totally unexpected. In the week that the competition ran, the Facebook post reached over 20,000 people, received more than 250 likes and over 100 comments. The comment section was inundated with feedback from pregnant women, expressing how just seeing the thoughtful post had made their day during a lonely isolation. The space became more than just a place to enter another Facebook competition, but developed organically into a community hub for mothers-to-be. Where one woman expressed fear of having her first child during the pandemic, several other women who were expecting their second or third child offered comforting and reassuring words. With many avenues of support being unavailable to expectant mothers at the time, it was heartwarming to see how the power of social media could be harnessed to reach women around the country all faced with the same situation.
The idea of winning a copy of Preparing for Birth didn’t seem to matter so much anymore, with many women enquiring about how they could purchase the book regardless. For the women that did win, they shared words of gratitude and appreciation, voicing how much the giveaway had really lifted their spirits when they’d felt incredibly worried and anxious. How one small giveaway competition ended up reaching thousands of people just shows how in times of adversity, a sense of community can mean everything.
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