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Interview with Elena Gubanova

This year the project "Quarantine is not an obstacle to a responsible donor" by the Stavropol Regional Blood Transfusion Station became a laureate of the All-Russian competition of professional skills of the Blood Service in the category "Best poster" in the nomination "Do not miss the important." Elena Gubanova, PR manager of the Blood Service of the Stavropol Territory, talks about the project and the specifics of communication during the pandemic period.

How did donation during a pandemic become a source of new ideas?

When the COVID-19 wave hit the country, anxiety grew in people every day, the usual dialogue no longer worked. It was important to save a contact with the audience. That is how a series of posters about blood donation during the period of restrictions appeared. At this moment, our graphics quickly brought useful recommendations to the audience about wearing masks and observing quarantine, and at the same time reminded that it is possible and necessary to violate quarantine in order to save lives. Quarantine gave us ideas for posters.

Tell us more about the project Quarantine is not an obstacle to a responsible donor".

During the restrictions, we faced an outflow of donors. Regular donors were afraid of fines for violating quarantine, they were afraid of getting sick. Many donors have been banned by chiefs from visiting health facilities. It has become much more difficult to attract newcomers to donation than in the pre-coronavirus time.

Negative Images of the virus began to spread over the network. Memes and black humor, sarcastic pictures about the future multiplied exponentially. We decided not to stand aside, but to make the infographic in a positive way to remind donors of their mission, which is especially important at such a difficult time.

Our poster series draws attention to several points. First, quarantine must be observed and violated in extreme cases. Saving a life is such a case. Second, the donor, like a real hero, must wear a mask. Only, unlike fictional superheroes, a real donor needs a mask not to maintain a mysterious image, but to maintain health. A responsible donor does not jeopardize his health, the health of people around, and the staff of the blood transfusion station.

How was the project implemented? Were there any difficulties, how did you manage them?

Phrases "Do not forget to wear a mask!" and "Observe the quarantine!" were all over the news lately as worldwide fear grows. The ideas for the graphics were easily found. In one evening, two drops were "born": one in a medical mask and the other with a cat on a cozy sofa.

What results did you get after the completion of the project?

We shared drops with our colleagues from different regions of Russia. Posters spread across Instagram, were actively used in infographics and other visual, and maybe printed, materials. We continue to use a poster with a drop in a mask since the mask regime in medical institutions in the Stavropol Territory is still preserved.

How did the versatility of the blood drop image allow the project to be scaled up? How did your colleagues pick up this idea?

The image of a drop of blood has been transformed many times, acquiring facial expressions, body parts, and items of clothing. We aimed to create our own design of drops, and further develop a series of images for use in promoting donation in social networks.

I would also like to note that the images of blood drops on posters are universal and can be used as stickers for instant messengers or with other inscriptions. This was clearly demonstrated by our colleagues in the Blood Service from other regions, with whom we shared the result of our work.

And our traditional question: what would you wish to donors and people, who are going to join the donor program?

Doesn’t matter, what anybody says, Russian people always unite against a great disaster. We have a lot of nobility and altruism. Blood donation is the best way to feel this, to "find" this gene in yourself. I don’t want a donation to serve as a tool for boasting and self-admiration. I would like the desire to help another come from the heart and be brought up from childhood. And you can teach this to children only by personal example. Therefore, I wish to all "already donors" with joy to carry this title further, and "not yet donors" I wish one thing - to start donating blood!

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