BOOK EXCERPT: HYPERCREATIVE PR by Darren Shuster, CEO of Pop Culture PR
PR Confession #18: ‘Going Viral’ is just a fancy name
for word-of-mouth marketing.
Big companies do it. Small companies do it. Presidential candidates do it. Successful Peacocks do it. Each strives to stand-out in the noisy and fragmented marketplace. The marketing term du jour is “viral marketing” — which is really just a fancy term for word-of-mouth, word-of-mouse, buzz marketing or watercooler talk.
“Viral Marketing” itself has become infectious, while the basic driving force has remained unchanged for many years.
In 1996, an ad appeared in The New York Times with the following headline and copy: “Taco bell was pleased to announce that we have agreed to purchase the Liberty Bell, one of our country’s most historic treasures. It will now be called the ‘Taco Liberty Bell’ and will still be accessible to the American public for viewing.” The company’s revenue increased by $500,00 that day and by $600,000 more the following day.
Whether news is discussed at the proverbial office watercoler, on the Web or via mobile app, it’s all the same thing: The self-replication of story on a mass consumer scale. If people are talking, writing or sharing anything about a company, that’s ‘viral marketing’ in a nutshell. Call it what you will.
But what works? How to get people talking and sharing in such a cluttered environment? Which approaches and headlines go viral the most? To pre-order a copy of “Hypercreative PR,” please email Darren Shuster directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.