April 8, 2010
Endometriosis Research Center Goes Social
Delray Beach, FL, April 8, 2010 -- The Endometriosis Research Center (ERC) is embarking on a social change. "We are looking internally to determine how we can effectively cross-promote disease education, awareness and information to women and girls in the global endometriosis community by using such social media tools as Twitter and Facebook," says Kimberly Latona, Director of Internet Marketing for the charitable foundation.
Social media is one of the fastest growing - and free - means of communication for non-profit organizations like the ERC. Facebook alone boasts more than 400 million active users, with half of those users logging onto the application each day. The ERC's own Facebook Page has grown to more than 2,000 fans in the mere couple of months since the page was launched, and promotes active participation from fans on a daily basis. "We engage our followers by asking questions, responding to comments, and creating a sense of community, " says Latona. The ERC page is among the largest Endometriosis communities on Facebook, and the organization's internet-based ERC Angel support and education forum is the largest gathering of its kind on the web.
Effective execution of social media efforts can translate into more website visitors, donations, volunteers and more positive feedback for organizations, with the ERC's own campaigns paying off by creating an increase in disease awareness and facilitating global collaborative efforts with related associations. With the success of its social media efforts, the foundation plans to revamp its website soon to accommodate the organization's burgeoning social following.
Endometriosis is a painful reproductive and immunological disease in which tissue similar to the uterine lining (endometrium) migrates outside the womb and implants in other areas of the body. The disorder, for which there is no absolute cure, affects over 5.5 million women and girls in the U.S. alone and more than 70 million globally. Often stigmatized as simply "killer cramps," symptoms include painful periods, pelvic pain at any point in a woman or girl's cycle, infertility, pain with sexual activity, gastrointestinal and urinary tract difficulties and much more. The disease can even implant in areas like lungs, diaphragm, and in some cases, even the brain.
The ERC was founded more than 13 years ago by Executive Director Michelle E. Marvel due to the need for more research, support, education and awareness for Endometriosis. No one with this disease should ever feel alone, and one of the ERC's goals is to create enough awareness to ensure that women and adolescents - and their loved ones - never have to feel that way. The ERC is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt, tax-deductible organization that operates from contributions generously donated by individuals, corporations and foundations that share the organization's goals of making a positive difference in the lives of those with the disease, and ultimately, of finding a cure. Unlike similar women's health organizations, the ERC is unique in that it does not have a membership fee, and there is never a cost to participate in or benefit from the foundation's vast education and support programs.
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