By: Josh Wegman
When a 16-year-old girl from his hometown of Kincardine, Ont. was diagnosed with leukemia, first year public relations student AJ Adams decided to do something about it.
Adams chose to organize a tweet-a-thon, where everyone would tweet at Canadian pop sensation Justin Bieber, in order to encourage him to meet his biggest fan, Jorie Elliot.
“As a PR student I have learned that twitter is a great communication tool,” said Adams. “After seeing how the Bell Let’s Talk campaign was such a success, I thought why not try something like this for Jorie.” Bell Let’s Talk was a campaign to help raise awareness for mental health issues.
On March 8, 2013, over 25,000 tweets were sent to Bieber with #JustinMeetJorie or #TurtlesForJorie. Tweets came from Kincardine residents, Algonquin students, radio stations and even corporate companies.
“I never thought we would reach such a high number of tweets or that so many people would be tweeting all day,” said Elliot’s aunt, Cathy Smith. “This means a lot to me and my family to see the amount of support there is out there for Jorie.”
Elliot has been a fan of Justin Bieber for a long time.
“Meeting Justin Bieber would mean the world to Jorie,” said Smith. “She has followed him ever since he posted his first videos on YouTube, long before he became so famous.”
Jorie’s campaign is entitled #TurtlesForJorie due to her love of turtles.
“In the summer of 2008 when Jorie was 10 she wrote her first letter to the Municipality of Kincardine about her concerns that turtles would get killed trying to cross the street,” said Adams. “After not hearing any news about this issue Jorie decided to send in another letter this time including an essay about Ontario’s turtle population and how six of Ontario’s eight species of turtles are at-risk. Jorie’s two year wait paid off as the municipality began to search for a turtle crossing sign. Jorie set out to raise money to pay for the signs herself.”
Due to the dedication and support of people throughout Ontario, tweets have still been ongoing well past the official March 8 tweet-a-thon day.
“She’s going through a tough time and maybe meeting Bieber could help her feel a bit better,” said Adams.
As of yet, there has been no response from Bieber.