My Future Heart Attack: The Medium and Message of Rosie O’Donnell
I doubt I’ve ever said this out loud: I’ve had (and ignored) chest pains. More than once.
I learned from a Mashable blog post this week that Rosie O’Donnell did too.
I’ve wondered since why Rosie’s three-word Tweet, “my heart attack,” which she also posted on Facebook, so effectively got my attention.
- I don’t follow Rosie.
- I don’t really have any affinity for Rosie or her work.
- Mostly, I think she’s annoying.
- I actually avoid Rosie.
But damn if she didn’t get my attention this week. For that, I give her credit.
If imitation is the highest form of flattery, then Rosie, consider yourself flattered. I want to be like you.
I’d like to use social media to positively contribute to people’s lives the way she did.
Here’s my analysis. See if you agree.
- She created huge curiosity and urgency with three tiny words dropped on Twitter and Facebook with no fanfare or build-up.
- She linked me to her blog. I could not resist.
- She used an unusual art form, a poem, to disarm me. It sucked me in. I read it from beginning to end, several times. Had her “message” been delivered in straight prose, I believe I would have glanced at it and clicked on.
Here’s what she accomplished:
- She got me to identify with her.
- She overcame my resistance, my habitual reaction to her.
- She “made” me take action.
- She motivated others (followers, bloggers, journalists) to tell her story over and over again on their channels. (That’s how I found her Tweet.)
- She taught me a thing or two.
- I really don’t want a heart attack. But Rosie somehow made me imagine a future in which I could do what she did not do: dial 911.
Well done. She hit the sweet spot. She mastered the medium and, as a result, I got the message.
Oddly enough, she’s crediting a different medium for saving her life: a stupid TV commercial. Even though she didn’t call 911, she did take an aspirin.
Have you ignored chest pain? What now?