Have you ever thought about trading your blood for free beer? We didn’t think so. But that’s just what Pint-4-Pint blood drives involve. You give blood and in return you get a pretty awesome t-shirt, and a pre-paid voucher for a beer. Even better, you get a pint from one of the area’s craft microbreweries.
It might sound like the idea of a really clever vampire, but in reality, the current Pint-4-Pint marketing strategy is actually the brainchild of Candy Morrison, communications and community relations manager for Cascade Regional Blood Services (CRBS).
CRBS is the sole supplier of blood and blood products to MultiCare Health System hospitals and health centers in Pierce and South King Counties. Along with supplying blood and blood products, the company also provides specialty therapeutic procedures to local residents.
CRBS’s original “pint drive” concept began in 2008, before Morrison’s time, but after several years the program lost momentum and eventually ended. Morrison saw tremendous potential in such an endeavor.
“I saw the huge opportunity to target millennials and the craft brew craze, so we rebranded it Pint-4-Pint, created a logo, and marketing pieces, a robust digital and social media plan, and designed a strategy to present the opportunity to area pubs and restaurants,” recalls Morrison.
Her intuition paid off. For each Pint-4-Pint drive, CRBS attracts between 15 and 30 blood donors.
“People get excited about our Give Blood Get Beer program. There is a lot of engagement on social media. They get their friends together, roll up their sleeves, give a pint and save lives. Then come back to the pub, starting the following day, and have a pint,” she says excitedly.
There are a few drives per month hosted by pubs located throughout Pierce County to ensure access to residents in different neighborhoods. Having several events per month also allows whole blood donors to participate more than once, since you must wait 56 days before you can donate whole blood again.
“They can plan ahead and hit a pint drive within that timeframe,” says Morrison.
Morrison feels that the Pint-4-Pint drive has a broader appeal than a traditional blood drive. “We are attracting the Millennials, craft beer lovers, plus those that want to give back to the community and later enjoy a good pint of beer,” she explains.
There are three Pint-4-Pint drives coming up in Tacoma. On Sunday, May 20, donors will get enjoy a cold, fresh pint at Narrows Brewing. If you can’t make it, there are two more coming up soon: Wednesday, June 6, at the North End Social Club and Sunday, June 16, at Doyle’s Public House. For a complete list of drives, visit the CRBS website.
About the aforementioned hosts, Candy says, “They are a solid group. They promote the drive, wear our Pint-4-Pint t-shirts to advertise and embrace the program.”
She adds, “It’s so rewarding to see these establishments get excited about saving lives in our area hospitals.”
For businesses interested in hosting a Pint-4-Pint drive, Morrison says they should speak with CRSB’s pint drive community relations specialist and consultant to find out more.
Pint-4-Pint blood drives are a fun time for all, but don’t forget that as a donor, you are providing a very valuable service. Says Morrison, “Every two seconds someone needs blood. One-in-seven people entering the hospital will need blood. It cannot be manufactured. We rely on volunteer blood donors to help keep our patients alive. The need for blood is constant—it’s not just for tragic events—so we need blood donors to faithfully give every 56 days to sustain the inventory.”
When you donate to the Pint-4-Pint drive, you won’t only feel good, you’ll be doing good.