If American Express's new app-based initiative is any measure, Facebook-driven marketing wrapped around the commemoration of the September 11th attacks is probably something consumers should expect to see more of in the next three weeks.
Amex is debuting an I Will Volunteer app, which allows Facebook users to search a "9/11 Day" database and to pledge their participation for goodwill activities by location. While signing up, they can share the commitment with their friends on the social site in order to encourage further volunteering.
For New York City-based users, as one local example of the national effort, there are hundreds of projects available. Here are a few examples:
- On Sept. 9, there will be a Broadway-based event held in Time Square where more than 200 Great White Way performers will sing "New York, New York" in commemoration of the 10-year anniversary of the terrorist attacks. Volunteers are needed to assist in distributing materials.
- The same day, there will be a New York Mets tribute at the ballclub's Citi Field. Volunteers can help at staff tables during the first three innings of the Mets game, handing out information about the 9/11 Day of Service and Remembrance.
- The 9/11 Memorial, an ongoing project, is seeking dedicated help for the coming weeks to support its visitor services staff near Ground Zero.
ClickZ News asked Timothy McClimon, president of the American Express Foundation, about whether or not launching a marketing campaign around 9/11 had unusual sensitivities compared to normal goodwill efforts.
McClimon replied via email, "We want to tap into the power of social media to help drive what we hope will become the largest day of charitable service in U.S. history. And as a long time members of the Lower Manhattan community – we are especially sensitive to the feelings surrounding 9/11 and want to ensure the National Day of Service is a meaningful and appropriate tribute."
Amex's effort builds on another Facebook-based goodwill item that it launched last week. With its Friends of Japan app, the credit card company is donating $1 for every "Message of Hope" post that users write on Amex's Japan wall.
The pledged monies will go to The Japan Platform, a nonprofit dedicated to the earthquake victims of the country’s catastrophe that occurred in March.
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Christopher Heine was a senior writer for ClickZ through June 2012. He covered social media, sports/entertainment marketing, retail, and more. Heine's work has also appeared via Mashable, Brandweek, DM News, MarketingSherpa, and other tech- and ad-centric publications. USA Today, Bloomberg Radio, and The Los Angeles Times have cited him as an expert journalist.