Friday, May 27, 2011

Competitive BBQ with a heart in Joplin

I have always had an interesting experience when trying to convince my boss how social media and online marketing can work for the college here.

Social media is a very nimble and quick moving animal when the college itself acts more like a 10-ton tanker ship. Trying to convince anyone how we should change is ... well, like trying to turn the Titanic.

We have been over case studies and data and examples, but I think I what I was missing was a real world example that she could experience and relate too...

Her son this week was able to break through to her when he organized the Operation BBQ Relief in Joplin. Her son is from Pleasant Hill but travels the country competing (and winning) in big BBQ competitions.

The day after the tornado destroyed much of Joplin, he was already on Facebook activating his network of friends and fellow competitive cookers asking them to donate food, time, anything to help feed the residents and emergency workers in southwest Missouri.

In less than 24 hours (by Tuesday) he had hundreds of BBQers from Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas and Oklahoma all headed to Joplin to start smoking meats and feeding people. Sams Club donated 2,000 lbs. of pork while OK Farms donated a truckload of chicken. All of it was headed to their smokers and to the people who needed it most all becasue he got a wild idea and looked to do something about it.

Her son's success on the ground helped recruit more help as he not only was able to coordinate people coming into Joplin, but could also easily export news and supply needs to people who were all over the country.

On Tuesday her son reported feeding 1,200 people... by Friday they had more than 6,000 people come through the lunch lines just that day. The need, he said, is still there and he continues to organize help and donations through the Facebook page.

I am not able to gives his work the credit it deserves.... I am probably an ass for looking at what he is doing from the perspective of what I do professionally. So, it is important to point out how selfless my boss's son and his family has been as they helped organize this amazing effort to help feed the folks in Joplin.

If you are interested in helping out or know of someone who does, hop over to their Facebook page and let them know. This is too important to let it pass by.

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