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Mayors and Celebs Use Status and Social Media to Inspire

Many celebrities and public officials use Twitter to communicate with their fans/constituents. While some celebs use it to simply promote themselves (ehhem, Britney Spears), others use it to inspire their millions of followers.

Last week, celebrity Twitter-user, Ashton Kutcher joined New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg and many other celebrities and U.S. mayors in Times Square to talk about power of community service. They were meeting to unveil “I Participate,” an initiative that calls upon Americans to participate in community service.  I Participate was started by the Entertainment Industry Foundation, an organization that leverages the “power of the entertainment industry to advance charitable causes.”

Recruiting people for community service isn’t something new. Recruiting in a kick-a#s way…is.

I Participate is solid because it has celebrity endorsements. And it’s not just another “I do this, so you should too,” kind of endorsement. I Participate is leveraging  social media-using celebrities to get people to contribute to their communities. Ashton Kutcher has 3.5 million followers on Twitter. Through a series of  tweets last week, he invited his followers to meet him in Times Square, directed them to video streaming live from the unveil of I Participate and encouraged them to join-in the Twitter conversation. He also streamed video of a conversation with he and the Mayor of Newark, NJ, Cory Booker, who is also an avid Twitter user.

The I Particpate Twitter profile has accumulated more than 600 followers since the launch, the #iparticipate hastag has picked up some momentum, and the Facebook Fan Page has nearly 2,000 fans. Although it’s not a social media phenomenon, it still has some pretty impressive numbers.  (I did honestly expected more from something Ashton Kutcher and so many celebrities  endorsed). But, they’re trying to get people revved up about COMMUNITY SERVICE. Don’t get me wrong, it’s an awesome effort–but a really tough sell.

Although it may be hard to get people excited about doing community service, I Participate is going about it the right way. They are reaching their audience through a medium that enables them to watch and participate.They give their audience the tools to search for volunteer opportunities, post opportunities and  share the site with others. Kudos to everyone involved in the I Participation initiative.

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