Riding Shotgun with Social Media Pioneers!

Riding Shotgun with Social Media Pioneers!

276547565 9162bdf411 - Riding Shotgun with Social Media Pioneers!I recently presented on a panel at the Immunization Action Coalition‘s Social Media Summit in Washington, DC where I met great people from the CDC, American Academy of Pediatrics, Every Child By Two, GAVI Alliance, Autism Science Foundation and public health departments across the country. We gathered to learn how to best use social media to promote childhood vaccines and answer parent’s concerns about vaccines. I was struck by the cooperation and collaboration of this group. I was also reminded of how we are still pioneers in this wild frontier of social media.

I have become well-versed in social media, digging in deep and getting my hands dirty learning about this new communications tool. For me, social media is a perfect confluence of technology and communication. I have always had the gift for communication. I have wanted to be a writer since 3rd grade. I’ve also always flirted with technology and science. Alas, my right brain is dormant in comparison to my left brain’s creativity.

Since joining the Colorado Children’s Immunization Coalition in January, we have struck out on the wild frontier of childhood immunizations on the web. We are in a controversial field. There are a lot of arguments swirling around shots for kids. Honestly, I never thought this position would be so controversial. Who knew protecting kids from diseases could get people so upset.

Until now the individuals and organizations who are concerned about vaccines have owned social media. Setting up Facebook groups, tweeting misinformation about vaccines, and blogging endlessly to refute the science that has proved that vaccines do not cause autism.

The reason that these organizations have been so convincing is that they have become part of pop culture. They have used emotion and personal stories to shade science. They have used the internet to share their beliefs. They are to be commended for their work in this field. Their strategy has been impressive and invasive.

Now with organizations using Twitter (GAVI, IAC & CCIC), Facebook (Every Child By Two) and blogging Autism Science Foundation the pro-vaccine movement has started to gain a foothold in social media. They are all working together to give parents a balance of scientifically-based information to make a fully informed decision about their child’s health care. They are bringing a balance of emotional stories of parents who believe in vaccines for the health of their child. They are giving a voice to parents who feel the social responsibility that vaccinating their children stops the spread of disease.

In their covered wagons, pro-vaccine organizations are striking out across this great country, bringing their pro-vaccine message to moms and the public. These organizations are setting up camp to listen to parent’s concerns about vaccines. These organizations are answering questions and engaging in conversations around vaccines.

It’s exciting to be part of a sector that is just now fully utilizing social media. There is so much to learn from these new pioneers. As pioneer Davy Crockett said, “Be always sure you’re right, then go ahead.”

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Kate Runy


A passionate technical wizard, Kate thrives on managing online content, social media for communications, and development projects.  Kate is the workhorse of the team, pulling out amazing feats of content creation and management week in and week out. 

Prior to joining BC/DC Ideas, Kate coordinated website and social media content, communications, and advertising for Go Global NC and Alzheimer’s NC.

Things that make her happy: I love animals about as much as I love working for nonprofits.

Mishel Gomez Cespedes


Mishel brings a passion for video storytelling and quippy social media content to the team.  At BC/DC Ideas, she is most likely editing video or scheduling the next moving social media post for our clients.

Her ear for storytelling is her greatest asset. Mishel has a unique ability to assemble content into a concise story that moves audiences to action.

A graduate of Wake Forest University she spent a semester in Spain and years serving her community through the campus organizations. Now, she is putting her passion for good to work.

Brian Crawford

creative director

Mix equal parts nerd and creativity and that’s Brian. A natural problem-solver, Brian’s ability to cut to the core of any problem helps guide our creative team to the correct solution without wasted time or money. It’s the core, this little nugget of truth, that helps our clients take the next step with their audiences.

Brian gets the greatest joy out of helping our clients realize and connect with their story. He is a true believer that everyone and every organization has a compelling story to tell, you just have to listen with an open heart.

Things that make him happy: Hanging out at the park with family, toddler-speak, hitting the focus pull, and good coffee.

Dawn Crawford


The engine behind BC/DC Ideas, Dawn has dedicated her career to good. Dawn brings her considerable experience and expertise to helping elevate the nonprofit sector. Our team’s lead strategist, Dawn is often seen leading our IdeaStorms, penning communications plans, or checking in with clients.

Before launching BC/DC Ideas in 2010, she earned her chops in 10+ years of communications leadership roles for public health, healthcare and youth-focused nonprofits. Working for nonprofits is Dawn’s dream job, and she loves that her 40+ hours a week make the world a better place.

Things that make her happy: A glass of champagne to celebrate big wins, Basecamp, living in the South, seeing the world, and a well-formatted spreadsheet.