This week I was at a really great event organised by the Diana Award, which is the only charity bearing the name of the former Princess of Wales inspired by her belief that young people have the power to change toe world for the better.
The event was held at the European Headquarters of Facebook in Dublin and it was part of the Diana Award schools Anti bullying programme. In their very effective programme they organise activities in schools to help eradicate bullying and as part of that they quite cleverly appoint and train anti-bullying ambassadors in the school.
The ambassadors are chosen from the students themselves and judging from the results we witnessed in the videos the programmes have been very effective. We were invited to the event because of our Safebook poster, which has been used by many of the participating schools as part of their anti cyber-bullying work.
There was one huge common thread to the speeches and stories that I heard on the day.
Tessy Ojo the CEO of Diana Award spoke about being bullied as a child because she was so tall.
Brian McFadden of Westlife fame spoke about being bullied because he liked stage and dance when all his schoolmates were playing football.
Young actor Will Poulter spoke about being bullied because he was into acting.
We heard some of the young children speak in the videos about being bullied because they had red hair, because they had freckles, because they were chubby or because they were black.
The one thing that pretty much everyone being bullied had in common was that they were different in some way – being different in any way can get you bullied!
I was chatting about this event with my son, Brendan and he sent me on a link to a video produced by a really popular guy online, 19 year old Cian Twomey about how he has been cyberbullied. Cian is really popular, producing funny clever videos and on Facebook alone he has built up a following of over 180,000 since late last year.
In his video he explains how along with huge numbers of followers he seems to be gathering ‘haters‘ as he gains in popularity, which really hurts him in particular when they get really nasty. One person was so horrible they even referred to Cian’s father who had recently passed away. Is this another case of someone being bullied because they are different?
Ironically in our work at Fuzion with clients the first thing we do with clients is find out how they are different!
Being different is what makes you stand out, it’s what makes you interesting – whether its a product, a service or the individuals involved we aways look for how these are different and this is where the magic is, that sets you and your business apart from from the competitors. This difference will get you media coverage and attention from customers and will contribute to your success.
The most successful musicians, artists, models, designers, products and services are the ones that are different.
So …if you are being bullied because you are a little bit different just realise that this is what makes you really special and in time you will be the one getting the right attention.
Vive la Différence (long live difference) as the French would say !