Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Harlem Shake: A PR Lesson

Do me a favor, go to YouTube and type in the words "Harlem Shake."  Tell me what you see. I'll wait (there are more than 220,000 results).  *sips smoothie*  

The Harlem Shake.  Get into it.  It goes a lil' something like this... Put something on your head /over your face (a hat, scarf or ______)... *Harlem Shake techno music plays*  Start dancing slow, do whatever you want.  Then, as the music climaxes, just wild out.  Get crazy, wacky, jump up and down....do you for about 30 seconds.  That's it! 

Crazy, right?    

As a PR professional, I'm always fascinated when something goes "viral."  Part of me thinks, hey--this kinda stuff doesn't just happen.  No freakin way!  There has to be someone or something behind this. The other part of me understands and appreciates great PR.  

The "PR me" knows that phenomenons like these are unexpected, totally organic and will eventually fade away.  But for me, great PR is addictive.  And viral PR?  Woo la la.  LOVE it!  And while you can't predict when something will go viral, there are some things you can do to get people interested and excited about your product/company/service, and grab their attention like the Harlem Shake: 
  • Create something that quickly entertains/educates your audience, and hits a nerve.
  • Use the power of the Internet/social media to pass it on to others; make it sharable (If it's a video, make it focused, consistent and short.)

  • Don't duplicate what's already been done - People won't be as engaged if they've seen/done it before.

  • Don't be afraid to add a bit of humor (be careful...it HAS to be funny or it could backfire.)

  • Luck - Even with the best strategy in place, sometimes success involves a little luck.

Remember there's no blueprint to creating something viral.  But if you incorporate the above elements in your PR plan, you'll create something that's impactful and memorable.

1 comment:

  1. I love this post! You are spot on with your advice.


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