COM 584 PR Campaigns

Inspirations, deep thoughts, surprising insights, or random ideas on how social media intersects PR.

It wasn’t until his 222nd video that Stephen Cronk hit marketing gold and had a viral video. The film in question lasts all of 50 seconds, and consists of Cronk opening a bottle of wine with his shoe. Now, I understand the reasoning behind that video getting views; I certainly would have shown it someone as well. But what about other viral videos that seem to have cropped up out of nowhere? As it turns out, there are several qualities a video must have in order for it to go viral, and an article on Forbes.com has highlighted everything we need to know about viral videos.

According to Forbes, a viral video must be “short and sweet,” along with upbeat, timely, involved, informative, and inspiring (Pozin). Cronk’s video fits most, if not all, of that criteria, so the question is, if he had known that before, would it have taken 221 videos to get a viral hit? Viral video, as Cronk has seen, is an incredibly powerful marketing tool, if used correctly. The Ice Bucket Challenge raised $115 million in a 6 week period, and has become an annual event since its start in 2014 (ALS Ice Bucket Challenge). Producing viral videos is important to the field of public relations because it’s a marketing tool that is difficult but ultimately worth it if it succeeds.

A viral video is a great tool that can reach members of a target audience that had not even been determined, simply through the process of sharing the video through social media. By expanding the horizons of traditional marketing techniques, a public relations practitioner is more likely to be successful and help their clients overcome any competition they may be facing.

I still find the viral video phenomenon to be incredibly perplexing, but I am glad to know that there is some method to the madness. I hope to use the information I have discovered wisely, and to those of you who are reading, I hope you do the same as well.

Works Cited

Mirabeau en Provence. “Mirabeau Wine//How to open a bottle of wine – without a corkscrew.” Online video clip. YouTube. YouTube, 7 January 2014. Web. 26 January 2016.

“ALS Ice Bucket Challenge – FAQ.” ALSA.org. Web. 26 Jan. 2016.

Pozin, Ilya. “6 Qualities to Make Your Videos Go Viral.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 7 Aug. 2014. Web. 26 Jan. 2016.

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