Going Viral

One of my biggest career goals is to combine public relations and my love of producing videos. So naturally, i didn’t just want to write an article review over the newest PR ‘tips and tricks’. I hoped to find a way to relate videos to public relations, at least in a knowledgeable way that is beneficial to you all.

So i think i found something today. Maybe a couple somethings that all relate to each other.

Everyday i usually try to watch a couple of short films on shortoftheweek.com, ya know.. for inspiration. There’s really some great stories on there, so if your interested, or just want to waste a whole afternoon with your laptop giving your stomach first degree burns from overheating, i’d definitely suggest visiting this site. Well anyways, i decided to check out the articles section and found this little gem: http://www.shortoftheweek.com/2012/09/17/the-viral-experience/

The article is called “The Viral Experience” and while it’s target audience might be filmmakers, i think we can all pull out a couple things from this article that can relate to PR and especially our class reading ‘The Tipping Point’. It’s about how videos can go viral overnight, but more importantly its about how to take those 5 million clicks and make it into something tangible. A video that does something more than just say “Hey, 5 million people have seen me.” The article says that it relies on five elements: luck, creativity, talent, timing, and content.

So why is this important to us? How does an article talking about films going viral relate to what we’re learning? Easy. Lets look back to the online video sensation that took us and the social media world by storm: Kony 2012.

The Kony 2012 video took all five elements and created one of the most memorable and compelling social media campaigns to have hit the internet. You all know you’ve watched the video. How did we sit through this 30-minute long video, while most of us we wouldn’t bother to wait more than 10 seconds for a video to load? Why did a lot of us take the time to share this video over Facebook and Twitter, or change our cover photos to the Kony 2012 banner? While it was probably more strategic than lucky, i don’t think think you can deny that the answers to these questions can be because it used the elements mentioned in the Viral Experience article. But I’m not going to apply these elements in terms of filmmaking. I’m going to apply them in terms of public relations.

First off, it was creative. It used social media in an authentic and relevant way; simply asking asked others at the end of the video to spread the word. Not much to it, yet powerful. Second, it obviously involved some talent. Yes the video was well produced, shot, and edited, but the campaign in general included some big time talent in itself: Rihanna, Ryan Seacrest, and President Obama, just to name a few. Third, the timing was on spot. Invisible children waited to release the video until they built up there core audience that included 54 thousand followers. Lastly, and most importantly, was the content of the video. The producer developed a compelling storyline to clearly connect Invisible Children’s message. He even made it personal and had his young son intertwined into the story.

To some things up, I think that videos can and do have an impact on the PR world. To me, public relations isn’t just about press releases and public speaking, it’s also about telling stories. If i can tell my client’s story through videos like Kony 2012, then i think thats a pretty powerful PR “Tip and Trick.”

Be sure to check out this article as well, it inspired some of this post.
http://blog.tunheim.com/2012/03/23/kony-2012-three-things-you-can-learn-from-the-viral-video-that-rocked-the-world/180#.UI9LMGbnux4

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