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Special Project

Special Project
From the 8th Annual Shorty Awards

“Ask Eric Anything”

Entered in Non-Profit


When people are diagnosed with a spinal cord injury or paralysis, they oftentimes are unsure of where to go for support when dealing with their condition. The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation strives to cure spinal cord injury by funding innovative research, and improve the quality of life for people living with paralysis through grants, information and advocacy. Through the creation of their Paralysis Resource Center (PRC), the Reeve Foundation provides resources and content to aid in the health and well-being of people living with SCI, mobility impairment and paralysis.

Apart from engaging the SCI community on their website and social channels, the Reeve Foundation wanted to find a new avenue to engage with their younger audiences in a real-time and interactive way to support content that the PRC develops and gain additional fundraising for spinal cord research.

The Reeve Foundation's goal was to leverage and engage an online community to drive additional funds for important spinal cord research and attract and captivate a new, younger audience.

Strategy and Execution

Reddit was an untapped community for the Reeve Foundation and after conducting research, the team found that there have been multiple subreddits that featured SCI and paralysis content, paving the way for the Foundation to host a Reddit AMA, so long as they could leverage an engaging leader for the AMA.

Eric LeGrand, the former Rutgers Football player who sustained a spinal cord injury during a game in 2010, and is paralyzed from the neck down, was that leader. To make the most of the AMA, the teams aimed to:

• Leverage the 5th anniversary of Eric's injury as a rallying point to answer the public's questions about living with spinal cord injury

• Activate Eric's extensive social media following, as well as the Foundation's, to spread the word and encourage participation in the Q&A on the platform

• Utilize "Giving Tuesday," as a "reason to be" and call for donations to the SCI research

The Foundation and Coyne hosted the Reddit AMA with Eric LeGrand on Tuesday, December 1st2015 to help engage a younger SCI audience – as well as their caregivers and friends - interact with each other and learn about the resources available from the PRC.


Eric LeGrand's Reddit Ask Me Anything produced:

• Scored 2,074 points
• 84% of questions and comments were upvoted
• Eric's AMA was the second most popular of eight AMAs on Dec. 1
• Eric's AMA was featured on the IAmA subreddit's main page for two days
• 24-hours later, Reddit users were still asking questions on his AMA
• 100% positive sentiment through genuinely engaged commenters

LeGrand answered questions about his own experience with SCI and explained where he found support. One truly touching question, which received the most "up votes" from users, was submitted by a parent whose daughter was paralyzed in a car accident and, as a result, suffers from depression and a lack of socialization. LeGrand was able to suggest resources available through the Reeve Foundation that could help her.

Users also asked LeGrand about his opinion on football, Rutgers, his No. 1 pump-up song ("Sky is the Limit" by Lil Wayne), his favorite central Jersey mall (Woodbridge Center) and his preferred grease truck sandwich (the Fat Bedi Boy). And LeGrand was more than happy to use the time to settle two age-old debates, advocating for Taylor Ham versus pork roll and subs versus hoagies.

The AMA successfully increased visits to the Foundation website by 114% on the day of the event, as compared to the previous day. In addition to doubling website visits, the Foundation saw an increase in donations of 413% compared to the previous day.


Entrant Company / Organization Name

Coyne Public Relations, Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation


Entry Credits