Seamus O'Regan, one of the spokespeople for the event, was the hands-down star of the show in terms of the sheer number of tweets and retweets he sent out. I swear the man must have bionic thumbs. He apparently even burned out his Blackberry at one point because it overheated. That's dedication.
I set my sights on him early and therefore increased the reach of my tweets exponentially. It was quite the feeling of power, actually. I would simply compose and send a tweet addressed to him, wait a few minutes, and there it would be, retweeted by him, followed by dozens of others.
Texts, long distance calls, and Facebook shares also counted in the total and at the end of it all, more than 100,000,000 communications had been sent. At five cents a pop, that's more than $5 million that Bell will contribute to mental health initiatives. Not bad for a day's work.
There were a couple of naysayers in the mix, griping about corporate greed and how Bell should treat its own employees better than it does. The way I see it, yes Bell receives a tonne of free publicity as a result of this campaign, but that's the way good PR works - everyone gets something out of it. And I'm sure Bell isn't squeaky clean in terms of all aspects of its business - I doubt any large corporations are. They don't have to give away this money, but they do, and they certainly don't have to create such a positive awareness campaign to coincide with their donation, but they do.
So for the purposes of this initiative, I'm quite happy to support Bell's endeavours. And you know what? All of those tweets that flooded my timeline may have had the word Bell in them, but that's not what they were "about." They talked openly and unashamedly of mental health and mental illness, and recovery, and hope, and love and triumph, and all of it lumped together created this huge mass of acceptance that ultimately cannot help but aid in the destruction of the stigma of mental illness. And that's something to tweet about - yesterday, today and always.