During our 2018 Canadian Thyroid Patients’ petition, we were frustrated by the low rate of e-signatures as the petition entered its final month of December.
We looked with envy at the statistics of other House of Commons petitions and discovered that some of the more successful ones were about preventing cruelty to animals.
In fact, one petition against cruelty to animals in 2018 had received more than 32,000 signatures, Petition e-718.
Of course, we must protect animals, and cruelty to animals is utterly unethical.
However, what about the cruelty toward humans who are medically mistreated or under-treated for lifelong hypothyroidism?
Why isn’t our cause receiving a greater outpouring of sympathy and rage that inspires people to sign federal petitions? We thought it was likely because
- Dogs are cute.
- A person suffering from hypothyroidism is NOT cute.
A person with chronic hypothyroidism (often despite TSH-normalizing therapy) is likely to be anxious or depressed, overweight, losing hair, too fatigued to exercise or socialize, and have difficulty thinking clearly. Not very attractive to look at, or listen to.
A sad puppy evokes empathy. But a suffering thyroid patient more often evokes disgust and dismissal by health professionals, society, friends, and family.
So, we decided to launch these “sad puppy” memes. They were incredibly effective, more effective than any of our other memes had been to date.
The text at the top of this meme read as follows:
Puppies get petitions signed, apparently. Help us give our dogs a good life! Improve thyroid therapy for Canadians! Sign and share our petition!
What we’re fighting for? Free t3 and reverse t3 testing, access to medications already approved for use by Health Canada and for our primary care practitioners to learn how t3 therapy improves our lives! Why? Because we’re tired of being tired and having our pleas unheard by our doctors and having to spend money out of pocket to see Naturopaths and Functional medical doctors because thyroid care should be accessible to all Canadians Canada wide!!
Ps.: Fun fact puppies have thyroids too!!
We boosted this post (from our own private bank accounts) and the results as of December 22 for the paid boost were 2037 reached, 312 engagements, with 60 link clicks and 59 shares.
The TOTAL reach of the ad to date, including unpaid or “organic” distribution, was even higher, with 7,084 reached, 840 engagements, with 207 reactions, 137 shares, and 8 comments.
On the same day, we launched a second puppy appeal:
The text at the top of this meme read
Time is running out!!!
Our e-petition for improved and accessible thyroid care for all Canadians expires on Christmas!!
Help us get as many signatures by signing and sharing our e-petition with as many people as you possibly can! It’s not too late to make a difference! If you have already signed and shared, share again!
This Christmas give thryoid patients the gift of your support.
The paid reach of the boosted post was
- 1,847 reached (90% of meme 1’s rate),
- 296 engagements (95% of meme 1’s rate)
- 29 link clicks (48%)
- 47 shares (80%)
Meme 2’s total reach was
- 3,954 reached (56% of meme 1’s rate)
- 556 engagements (66%)
- 226 reactions (109%)
- 86 shares (63%)
- 7 comments (88%)
On Dec 21 we launched one more puppy appeal with a similar layout as Meme 1.
The text of the post read
Puppy #2 is very sad. What is her hypothyroid owner asking for Christmas? Fair access to meds that include the essential T3 hormone. The standard meds don’t work for everyone. Give the gift of hope. We deserve freedom from chronic hypoT3 illness if our thyroid gland is dying, dead or gone. “Test and treat Free T3 in hypothyroid therapy.” Sign and share our Canadian Government petition — it will be CLOSED on Dec. 25, 2018. [petition link]
This post was not boosted, but after 24 hours, it had the following response:
- 464 reached,
- 47 engagements
- 9 reactions
- 7 shares
Clearly, puppies get responses, and we likely received some signatures on our petition.
However, we can’t correlate each Facebook post with a number of signatures because we are not managing the petition, the Government of Canada is.
During these weeks, many other posts on several Facebook pages and groups as well as several Twitter accounts contributed to a rise in petition signatures from about 4800 to 5500.