Popular Viral Videos

What is it that makes a viral video popular?  So many viral videos have become so popular that they have turned the people who “star” in them famous and rich. So what’s the secret? Well, first, viral videos are easy to share. Almost every day we hear about a new video that all our friends are talking about. YouTube has made it easy to share videos with others, and social media sites help us post the latest videos. Viral videos become so popular because they’re funny, or they provoke some sort of emotions.  Most videos will have babies or animals. Some just show people doing something that goes wrong and is usually funny. It is easy to relate to videos like that because it can happen to all of us. The fact that the video isn’t perfect makes it that much more genuine. On the other hand, some videos are planned out ahead of time, and they are just as funny and popular . One of my favorites is Marcel the Shell.


This is a different kind of viral video, it was scripted  and planned out. It’s very clever and cute, in my opinion. It is different because it shows an interview with a shell! The people behind this video put a lot of time and effort into making it and it shows.  

Another one I like is this

This is a favorite because the ending is so unexpected. You never know how a video is going to end, so you have to wait, and that surprise element gets people’s attention. When I saw this video, I didn’t know what’s going to be so funny about it, so when I realized what was happening I was shocked. Almost anyone’s first reaction to someone falling is laughter, and this video just made it better because it attempted to be serious.


 Last week I talked about an interview of the founder of PR Palette.  Another interview I watched is Kneale Mann and Barbara Nixon’s interview. Kneale has different aspects to his public relations career. He works in Canada for the public sector, or nonprofit,  helping to accelerate marketing principals within the government. He is also in the private sector – he has his own company YouIntegrate. He says that there are differences and similarities between the sectors.

 Some of the things he mentioned as part of his work were private businesses strategy, government marketing social media, and policy rules of engagement.

I thought it was interesting that after being in public relations for so long he only started to blog a couple of years ago. After attending a “geek dinner”, which means that the people that were there met online before the dinner, he decided to start blogging. His first post was up an hour after the dinner ended. He didn’t know what to blog about. He says you should  just start blogging about what interests you. People want to be validated by the number of followers they have, or ranking. This should not keep you from starting to write. An audience will find you eventually. Understand that there is no instant success.  If you write about what you’re passionate about, it will work out.

I was surprised that he mentioned the book Six Pixels of Separation by Mitch Joel, and World Wide Rave by David Meerman Scott, because I had just heard about the books a few days ago in class.

I learned about blog pals, a way of connecting students across universities , so they would talk about similarities and share information. This is something I would like to learn more about-how to create a network of people who can become blog pals.  

A PR Palette

I have recently watched Martin Waxman and Barbara Nixon’s interview. Martin is the co-founder of Palette PR in Toronto. The agency has clients like Olay, Herbal Essence, and more. Through the interview  I learned about the importance of having traditional PR skills , along with social media knowledge. According to Martin, traditional media relations skills are important, even when things are evolving .

I was surprised to learn of his incident with Air Canada; Martin had downloaded an e-ticket before a flight to his BlackBerry. When he got to the airport and showed it to the security, he had to explain what it was. He wrote a blog post about this, and only a year later heard back. This shows that  companies are listening, but they need to know how to use social media well and take into consideration the time frame. I learned that when you type in a name of a company on a search engine and add the word “fail”, a lot of information comes up, but a company doesn’t always have the way to know if the situation is potentially going to develop into a crisis or it is just regular customer griping about services.

The interview shed some light on things that employers are looking for in potential employees. They want you to follow people in the industry, read blogs, and follow twitter. You don’t have to do everything, but have an understanding of the happenings. In the interview, Martin mentioned that he was going to attend the conference South by Southwest. This was the first time I have heard  this, so it was nice to learn about another event that is important and well-known in the industry.

 I would like to know more about how Palette PR is helping its customers gain brand awareness and promote them through social media. I would also like to know how I could use micro- blogging like twitter to my advantage.

Have you seen this video? It got over one million hits in a few days. It was actually a video that was made by two people who work at a marketing agency to promote the new Bradley Cooper movie, Limitless.

 I thought this video was interesting and was not sure if it was real at first. When I learned it wasn’t, and was only created to promote a movie, I liked the idea.The marketing strategy used in producing this video is clever: creating a video that will go viral is a clever way of breaking through the ad clutter. This is something no one would expect, because many of us watch YouTube videos that go viral.

In the following video, the guy says he did this because he took the pill that is main focus of Limitless.

Looking for some Girl Scouts cookies? Now there is an app for that! No cash? The Girl Scouts are now using credit card readers!

The Girl Scouts of Ohio and San Francisco Imperial Council are now using credit card readers to sell their cookies. This is a great opportunity for the Girl Scouts to learn about the business aspects of sales. At the same time they are using social media to sell their cookies. This is done in a responsible way -a Girl Scout can use her Facebook page to sell cookies, and if she’s younger than 13-her parent’s. With this free app, customers in various parts of the country can find their way to the Girl Scouts cookies.

 What a great way to inspire young girls to learn even more about entrepreneurship. For now the effectiveness of incorporating the card readers in their sales is still tested, but it looks like customers are impressed with it.  I think it’s a good idea not to be limited to cash and checks in sales, so this can potentially work out for the best for the Girl Scouts.

Starbucks turns 40

Starbucks is celebrating its 40th birthday this month and I think it has done a great job in maintaining its brand image; the Starbucks logo is, after all, a well-known symbol around the world. I think one reason Starbucks is succesful at this is the fact that it has multiple social initiatives, including environmental issues that are connected to them. It also helped that it has the most delicious coffee beverages.

For its 40th anniversary, Starbucks chose to give its logo a more modern look. The result: there is no mentioning of the brand name and the siren is free of the extra circle it was in. I liked the old logo but I think this change gives their logo a cleaner and simpler look. It is also a smart choice to do this at this point in time, because the siren logo is internationally known. The need to identify the logo with the words “Starbucks Coffee” is no longer a must. Many people don’t agree with the change, but I think it’s a matter of time before people will get used to it.

Along with the logo update, I also liked the recent commercial Starbucks has been using to promote its 40th anniversiry.It shows the brand’s commitment to its customers by showing them what it takes to create that perfect coffee. It takes the consumer through the steps of growing the coffee beans and eventually brewing the coffee to the customer’s custom-made order.

 What new innovations will Starbucks come up with in its future? It will definitely be interesting to watch.


PROpenMic is a social network for PR practitioners, faculty, and students.  It is a source of news from the industry, discussions, links to members’ blog posts, and a lot more. This site can potentially serve PR students and recent graduates better than other sites because of its exclusiveness and unique public relations features; the site’s administration has to approve a member after he or she signs up for an account, making the social network exclusive.

The site offers its members a chance to connect with fellow PR students and practitioners.  Like any other social network site, it lets a member add friends and connect with them through messages and comments. I was even surprised that PROpenMic has a live chat, yet another way not to miss out on the opportunity to connect with other members.

There are posts and links to internship opportunities.This is very helpful for students and recent graduates who are looking to gain some experience. These are specifically for PR students, so the search for this kind of internship is easier here.The site provides a way to get advice from people in the industry who know what employers are looking for in prospective employees. It gives great tips on all things related to PR. I found the job interviewing skills to be very helpful, as I was just looking for advice of that sort. PrOpenMic has discussions, engaging and inviting its members to a conversation about various topics in PR. This is one that I liked. It raises the question of ethics in PR.

 The site lists upcoming PR related events, another way for students and grads to stay informed of important happenings in the industry. There are also groups on the site, allowing people to become members of specific areas that interest them. There are groups for PR classes, but also for entrainment, Public Relations for non-profit organizations, health issues, and more. Overall I think this is an important social network for PR students as they learn about the international PR community.