By Jerry Ashton, co-founder of RIP Medical Debt and Founder, Let’s Rethink This.
One of the major lessons I learned from my RIP Medical Debt experience was the importance of creating awareness as the cornerstone of any success we had – and did we succeed! To date, close to $5 billion in medical debt has been removed from the backs of over 2.5 million Americans.
That has required millions of dollars and thousands of donors. How in the world did they/we do that?
To a person or organization, none of our benefactors and partners would have been able to create the enthusiasm and raise these millions without creating campaigns. And the purpose of these campaigns was first to raise awareness – out of which came the donations.
We at RIP grew quite proficient at providing these partners with education, tips, collateral materials, fundraising devices, publicity, PR and lots of collaboration. Our donors and partners provided their infrastructure and energy. The results surpassed anyone’s expectations in a charity just seven years old.
Let’s Rethink This (LRT) intends to duplicate – and perhaps surpass – the RIP successes.
This time around it will be by going beyond a single issue (medical debt) and instead employing our knowledge to find the s/heroes among us who will – with help – make those miracles happen in a broad swath of societal issues that problems be rethought and that the solution promise major positive social and economic impact. An example of just such a person is Physician Marion Mass, pediatrician, who came to us to see if we could help create a greater general awareness of the almost insoluble problems to be found in our healthcare system. Together, we crafted a campaign employing an unusual way in which to make these issues clear – by turning her into a cartoon.
Our two camps then proceeded to write articles, publish interviews and to see to it that social media outlets were used to great, targeted effect. The response was wonderful. So, what is a campaign? A sustained and unusual approach applied by LRT to help our client’s solutions come into the awareness of the public, her industry and to her supporters. It is the physical manifestation of what we call: Searchlight. Spotlight. Ignite. We search you out. We put you in the spotlight. Ignition is sure to follow.