The journey and adventures of engagement.

ScotiaBank AIDS Walk 2011 Key Learnings

As some of you may know I am the Social Media Head for the ScotiaBank AIDS Walk for Life steering committee. This was my second year in this voluntary position and by far my most entrenched.  This year was our best and most successful on many! Although our final numbers are still coming in but we know we surpassed last years amount … and raised … over $430,000 so far! We also exceeded attendees with roughly 4,000 participants. We couldn’t be happier.

A few key learning’s I had this year were:

  • The importance of a Facebook ad buy to support your efforts online efforts.
  • The importance  of making sure that ad buy directs people to your fostering community.
  • Challenging your community and encouraging them is a great way to spur sharable content and produce interesting conversation
  • Live posting shouldn’t be live at all. If you have a well thought out timeline and critical path, you should also have pre-constructed messages made so all you have to do is put in your images.
  • Get a WiFi sponsor for the event.
  • Figure out who the influencers within the community you have built are and build on those relationship and conversations.

Special thanks to my friends over at ACT Toronto, GayBachelorBlog, and SantaMargh Canada

For more info and pics please visit and follow us on


Filed under: Aids Walk

Well worth the walk!

Yesterday was AWESOME!

The 2010 ScotiaBank AIDS Walk For Life went off without a hitch and raised over $340,000.00 for HIV and AIDS research.

Thanks to all who came out to support and all of you online who followed me an my tweets @AIDSwalktoronto. I am so proud of the steering committee and ACT team. It was an absolute pleasure to work with them.

Here are some pics from the walk, community fair and after party.

In case you missed the walk but would still like to donate money please check the website, or Text AIDS to 20222 for a $5 donation.

Filed under: Aids Walk, Personal, Social, , , , , , , , ,

Do You Walk The Walk?

This Sunday, September the 19th is the ScotiaBank AIDS Walk For Life. As the Social Media chair I have been responsible for that side of the marketing mix. I have loved every moment of preparing for this event. The event itself usually raises half a million in funds for AIDS research, and acts as a reminder that this decease is still killing millions of people from every walk of life. Gay, Straight, Male, Female, Black, White, we are all affected!

As you may recall from my blog post “The dark side of social media. Using your powers for good, not (just) evil.” It hasn’t been an easy ride for the AIDS walk steering committee. But I am happy to announce that we are ready! We are ready to walk, talk, and step up to the challenge of this cause. I have had the privilege of working with some of the most talented people I have ever met on this committee. They have selflessly giving their time, energy, and resources to create an event that will subsequently help thousands.

We have the sponsors (My personal favorite bank) Scotiabank. We have the amazing talent of Blake McGrath from So You Think You Can Dance Canada! And fingers crossed we have good weather. Now all we need is YOU. Come out and support, walk, and donate!

You can join the Facebook group here and follow us on twitter here. You can also sign up to walk and donate money here.

I can’t wait to see you out on Sunday!


(Here is the PSA from @AidsWalkToronto)

Filed under: Aids Walk, Events, , , , , , , , , ,

The dark side of social media. Using your powers for good, not (just) evil.

For the past year or so I have been beefing up my social media muscle, primarily using SM to help me out with networking and facilitating PR. This summer I wanted help out and to use my growing powers for good and not just evil (not that my work is evil, but it is for money to support my lavish and glammy lifestyle) #Hardly. I want to use what I know and what I seem to be good at for a good cause. At a party one night I was talking to my dear friend Bobby Hrehoruk, a board member for the Aids Committee of Toronto (ACT). He was telling me that they were eagerly looking to get into social media given they are trying to target youth this year. I knew ACT would be a perfect fit for me given that I have a number of friends who have been affected by HIV and AIDS. I eagerly perused his leads and two months ago, I came on board as the Social Media Chair for the Scotia Bank Aids Walk for Life. This Is an amazing event that happens once a year in early September.

Last week, I attended my 3rd strategy meeting with the other board members. As always, I tweeted that I was attending a strategy meeting at ACT and was looking forward to seeing the progress we had made and talking about work yet to be done. The Tweet was simple and was followed by a Foursquare log in.

My meeting with the 12 other members who make up our board was quickly interrupted by the receptionist who asked if “Andrew Stewart” was available for an urgent call. Immediately I was taken aback. I do not have an extension at ACT nor would anyone know to contact me there.
Anyone who knows me knows that my iPhone is my point of contact (never leaves my hands or sight). I exited the room and went up to reception where I was handed the phone.

The dialog went something like this:

Me: “Hello, Andrew Stewart”
Steve: “Hi this is Steve the manager of ACT I am calling because your services are no longer needed. Please leave”
Me: “Pardon, who is this”
Steve: My name is Steve, I am the manager of ACT. You should leave now, you aren’t wanted”
Me: You mean ACT as in Aids Committee of Toronto? I’m pretty sure I was in a meeting with everyone I am accountable too”
Steve: “I said get out, we don’t want you”
Me: “Who is this? Where are you?”
Steve: I’m the manager and I’m telling you to get out now. I am at ACT in my office”
Me: “No you’re not I’m in the ACT office”
Steve: “You have tested positive for faggotry, you f#cking faggot”
Me: “#^#&$**^$*#(#^#*$& #^#*$^ Steve” (Slams down phone)

I went back to the meeting fuming from this episode, and recounted what just happened. One of my fellow board members said “this is exactly why we do what we do, we have to keep on educating people” Another member said “I hope this doesn’t put you off helping us”, I replied, “It most certainly doesn’t!”.

I have had a number of incidents like this in my life but none that have been this creepy. The person found me on Twitter, or is following me on Twitter. They looked up ACT, called and insisted that I leave a meeting to take their call.

I have no problem with haters, I say bring em’ on! There are lots of reasons not to like me I’m sure, but not ACT and not me helping ACT. This is a wonderful organization that does amazing work. This incident will not stop me or slow me down. It did shake me up and force me to realize that I have to be more careful with what I put out there, but if anything it has empowered me to fight back with love and education.

Love and education will always defeat hate and bigotry.

So get ready kids teacher’s bringing you all to school, and you better get an A.

And to my beloved “Steve”… Here’s a picture of me seductively eating a banana in a pink shirt. Take that loser.

Filed under: Aids Walk, Events, Marketing Mix, Personal, Social, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Andrew Fraser Stewart

A digital story teller and his dog

Social Media Marketing Beast Looking for Engagement & Conversation. Community Builder, Digital PR Pro & Networking Ninja! Lover of big brands who do it right and small brands that do it better. Cooker, influencer, lover, coffee expert, pug enthusiast. Follow my adventures while we create some awesome content together.

Contact Info:

Twitter: @AndrewFstewart

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