One of my colleagues, Bill Moller sent me a link to a posting: 2o Winning Elements of a Viral Campaign. At the top of the list were topics on humor, edginess and brevity. It’s funny because when I mentor public relations professionals, I always share the three things that usually gets publicity are connected to concepts like “first,” “biggest,” and “controversial.” Those are the elements that since the history of public relations began in the United States continue to work regardless if the medium is a newspaper or a new social medium.
When doing a search for “viral marketing” at YouTube, the video with highest number of hits is titled: Champion cardstacker builds capitol with 22,000 cards. While it’s an entertaining video, it did not help me directly see what viral marketing is all about. Actually the video titled How to Sell Soap:
This video was the first one that helped me see the value of viral marketing compared to traditional marketing. It took an everyday product like soap and brought into the latest trend with promoting products.
The PR laugh I find is that clear communications still wins in the end. The “sell soap” video is almost three years old and comes up number 15 based on views of video connected to a search for “viral marketing.” Since that time so much has been said on how to become an “instant” success with making your promotion for a product or service go viral online. Here’s a case where video creator was “first,” used “humor” and is one of the “biggest” hits when it comes to views, which is why I paid attention to it for this post. Three years in viral marketing is almost like 100 years in normal history.
An article in the New York Times made the rounds about lawyers that have made online social media part of their legal strategy. However, many have failed to recognize the risks they face when they forget limits set by the codes of conduct in their respective states.
I have some sad news to report: Lou Albano is dead. You might ask, who is he? Lou was a professional wrestler and managed other wrestlers. He even played Cindi Lauper’s father in her music videos.
As a child, my father took me to the professional wrestling matches in Philadelphia (go Phillies, you can catch up in the World series!) and I hated Lou. He was one of the dark characters played out in the ring. However, while we bought tickets to the cheap seats ($5) we often exchanged them for close views of the wrestlers. That’s because my dad knew an usher and he moved us from the cheap seats to the primo locations that had not sold out.
To show his gratitude to this usher, my father would give him a pint of whiskey (I don’t advocate drinking liquor anymore) to show our appreciation.
The PR laugh for me is that marketers and public relations professionals are so keen on social media and new ways to spread our clients’ messages. And while that is very important, there’s nothing like remembering the positive impressions that come from showing appreciation.
Law.com’s “Legal Blog Watch” has a terrific posting about SueEasy.com. It’s a matching Web site service for clients and lawyers that allows potential litigants to post grievances and wait for responses from attorneys with offers to represent them. It also allows users to find class actions to join in with others.
On the surface, it seems like a great marketing service for lawyers. For the consumer, it potentially represents a “one-stop” shopping location for legal services. However, from what I gather from online comments, the site got a reputation and an “on-line ambulance chasing” operation. I particularly like this comment that was posted about SueEasy.com at Techcrunch.com
The name of this website alone will cause problems in some states. According to the code of ethics in many states, lawyers have to follow strict standards when joining referral services. Names like “Sue Easy” will probably prove to be offensive to many authorities governing attorneys. I would not be surprised if there is some court activity surrounding lawyers using this as a referral service.
The PR laugh for me is that while lawyers today market their services more than even, some opportunities cross the line. Legal services should be marketed effectively. However, it is a respected profession and this type of website service hurts the legal marketing industry.
As a board member of the Legal Marketing Association’s Chicago Chapter, I would be hard pressed to consider this a service to mention to my associates.
I just caught up with reading PR Week and came across a story that brought tears to my eyes: last month, The Writers Guild of America West (WGAW) launched its American Idol Truth Tour in protest of reality-show working conditions. Give me a break.
So when does coming up with the crazy ideas to help ordinary people make a spectacle of themselves become a tough job? We’ll I imagine the writers who encourage people to eat slime, fight with mean nannies, and tear down roach invested homes, are in danger of breaking into a sweat. This might be worse than child labor in third world countries.
- David Weiss, WGA vice president, said during an LA rally: “Time cards have been filled out often illegally, people are being asked to work through their lunch breaks . . . and work 15- to 20-hour days, frequently seven days a week.”
If that’s true, then maybe the writers need better representation. Come on, you mean to tell me the writers need a PR campaign to travel around on a bus and cry about the horrible behind the scenes abuses that the public needs to know about? All for a product that has managed to survive longer than it should have that continues to turn television into the vast wasteland?
I say, get off the bus and stop being big babies. Maybe if your life had more reality, you’d find more important issues to protest.
Personally, I enjoy when someone finds a fun way to take everyday activities and turn them into news. However, this story is more than just a “flush in the pan.” (For those who don’t know the reference the original line was “flash in the pan”, and I’m not sure if everyone will get that reference.) Anyway…
Take a look at this excerpt from the story regarding the subject:
She advised: Wash your hands, of course, and avoid touching things a lot of other people have touched, like elevator buttons. Use your elbows to push the revolving door.
She also says, when in doubt, disinfect.
As you might imagine, Janse has a bit of a reputation among her fellow workers of being over-the-top when it comes to germs. But consider this: since she launched her anti-germ campaign three years ago, not one person in her family has gotten sick.
Take a look at the first sentence in red. It makes me wonder how my life would be if I used my elbow to do everything I normally do with my hands. Combing hair is just one thought that comes to mind. Now take a look at the second sentence. Clearly there is a payoff this expert is able to show. Self-serving, yes. Yet, a payoff.
I often tell my clients that saying or doing something provocative to get media attention is something that I love to do. However, I believe a “publicity stunt” or “headline grabbing quote” alway needs a real payoff.
So get out there and start re-purposing your elbows because it may save your life.
The purpose of this blog will be to share my sense of humor with some of the day’s headlines.