Comedian and author Stephen Fry has used his high-profile Twitter account to help boost donations for the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust, following a direct appeal via a Twitter message from the father of a sick child.
James Morley-Smith spotted that Fry had grown up in the street in which he now lived. That was enough of a link to encourage him to reach Fry via his Twitter account.
One hour later Morley-Fry thanked Fry via Twitter:
“@stephenfry Thank U so much. Many sponsors already + a lot of hits, great 4 the awareness. 4 any 1 interested, an update http://bit.ly/PrLy”.
Fry’s presence on Twitter is significant. He has 227,098 followers or people that have opted in to receive his messages. When he passed on the appeal on behalf of Morley-Smith he had a mere 100,000 followers, so you get a sense both of how popular Fry is and of the growth of Twitter in the past month or so.
The response was so rapid and positive that Morley-Smith doubled his fundraising target on Justgiving from £2,000 to £4,000.
Morley-Smith of High Wycombe was also able to demonstrate via Twitter the impact of one of the links to a news item about his campaign that he had posted on Twitter.
A good example of luck, timing, targeting and the quirky power of social media.