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World Wide Impact in 10 Minutes or Less: Using Social Media for Powerful Change

By Amber McCann, IBCLC

One week ago, Lactation Matters posted a blog entitled If YOU Don’t Advocate forMothers & Babies, Who Will? If there was any doubt that you, the Lactation Matters readers, were willing to step up to the plate, that doubt has been squashed. Within moments of the publishing the post, the initiative to use social media to ask the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) about their acceptance of money from major industry, including Swiftmoney Nestle, was gaining ground.

In response to the blog post, over 400 readers have joined a Facebook group, Friends of the WHO Code, to discuss advocacy and activism as it relates to the WHO Code and social media. Discussions this week have centered around gaining the attention of those involved in this situation and those who have the power to influence decisions. The group has worked hard to get the message out that that acceptance of funds that constitute a conflict of interest are unacceptable for an organization whose purpose is to protect the public health of the world. The group is primarily using Twitter as a means to connect and raise a tidal wave of support. And, it has been SUCCESSFUL!

Wednesday morning, those in the group noticed that the World Health Organization was responding to our questions with the following tweets:

In addition, WHO posted the following message on their Facebook page:

The conversation is beginning in the social media space and is a perfect example of how social media has the power to quickly bring all the players to the table. Although the World Health Organization has engaged in conversation with us, there is much work still to be done.

Do you have 10 minutes?

Would you join the conversation?

In a few short minutes, you can play a significant role in this initiative. Please consider taking 10 minutes and doing the following:

  1. Join the Friends of the WHO Code Facebook group
  2. Go to Twitter* and share the following tweets (just copy and paste!):

#WHOCode protects women&babies from predatory marketing. Shame @Nestle for trying to buy seat at the @PAHOWHO table #nonestle #breastfeeding

Tell @PAHOWHO to give back @Nestle $150K #nonestle #WHOCode #breastfeeding #conflictofinterest @WHO

We will not be bought! @PAHOWHO please return the money to @nestle . Stand up for mothers and babies. #WHOCode #breastfeeding #nonestle

If you’ve got more than 10 minutes, would you lend your expertise, insight, and skills to the movement?

Two thoughtful ladies responded to last weeks Call to Action with this quote from Margaret Meade:

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

The time is now.  Let’s change the world.

* If Twitter feels like another language to you, we understand. Check out the support from Birth Swell and Twitter’s Help Center.

Amber McCann, IBCLC is a  board certified lactation consultant in private practice with Nourish Breastfeeding Support, just outside of Washington, DC and the co-editor of this blog.  She is particularly interested in connecting with mothers through social media channels and teaching others in her profession to do the same. In addition to her work as the co-editor of Lactation Matters, the International Lactation Consultant Association’s official blog, she has written for a number of other breastfeeding support blogs including for HygeiaThe Leaky Boob, and Best for Babes. She also serves on the Social Media Coordinator for GOLD Conferences International and is a regular contributor to The Boob Group, a weekly online radio program for breastfeeding moms.  When she’s not furiously composing tweets (follow her at @iamambermccann) or updating her Facebook page, she’s probably snuggling with one of her three children or watching terrible reality TV.

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10 Responses to World Wide Impact in 10 Minutes or Less: Using Social Media for Powerful Change

  1. Liz Flight 15 November 2012 at 06:38 #

    Wah Wong was the head of PAHO when he crafted the 10 Steps!!!!!!!! Someone needs a history lesson. It is unconcionable that they would accept Nestle funding

  2. Debi Ferrarello 15 November 2012 at 13:18 #

    This post prompted me to (finallly) figure out how to tweet and do it!

  3. Jennifer Margulis 15 November 2012 at 13:40 #

    Thanks for this! I’ve tweeted, as requested. It didn’t even take 10 minutes. The problem of corporate sponsorship undermining medical and health organizations is huge and I agree it has to be stopped. The American Academy of Pediatrics takes literally over 1 million dollars a year from the infant formula manufacturers. It’s such a clear conflict of interests and it is no wonder that women are discouraged from breastfeeding by MEDICAL professionals despite the best science and best evidence. It’s just so sad. I tackle these big issues in the book I have coming out in April 2013 from Scribner called THE BUSINESS OF BABY. I hope it will help change things for the better, and get corporations with harmful products to peddle out of our NGOs, medical organizations, and doctors offices. America is becoming a laughing stock. Not just the WHO.

  4. Ana 17 November 2012 at 20:46 #

    I will do this initiative in spanish, I will post the link here as soon as I have it 🙁


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