Going Viral Delivers the Bacon

I love nostalgia.  Right now, I’m addicted to the radio classics channel on XM Satellite radio hosted by Greg Bell.  I’ve also been watching the first season of the Mission Impossible and Combat DVD sets I received for Christmas.  As someone who has been in the public relations industry for over 20 years, I love reminiscing about great campaigns and placements of the past.  However, while it’s great to wax nostalgic about one’s career and revisit classic television shows from my youth, when it comes to my profession, I love the new tools we have at our disposal.

Over the weekend, I activated our company’s account on Twitter (@imediapr).  As I began posting my tweets, I was impressed at how quickly one can engage the audience, and the valuable information shared by those you elect to follow. 

While following Mike Hayes on Twitter, one of my favorite former employees, I saw a link he posted about the Chicago Sun Times running an item on bacon haiku’s in a feature column about the bacon craze that is taking over the internet.    For months, bacon has been “sizzling.” From a New York Times story last week to numerous Facebook groups devoted to pork’s favorite offspring, the online world has made bacon the most talked about food in America.

The ability to engage people from all walks of life by letting them share their passions is what social media is all about. It is now how we can effectively take a client’s message directly to a broad spectrum of audiences. 

My colleagues at Capital Public Affairs are currently driving a viral campaign to change the direct shipping laws in New Jersey, which currently prohibit the purchase of wine over the web, via fax or shipped to their homes after being purchased in-person out-of-state.  They have created a web site www.uncorknj.com where consumers are given a chance to contact their legislators directly through a legislative action center.  Those participating can write letters, post their own stories about how they have been prevented from purchasing wine from out-of-state and receive updates on the campaign.

News has also been posted on attempts in Illinois, Massachusetts and Michigan, to change their archaic direct shipping laws.  Uncorknj.com is now serving as a means to join consumers in a common bond to encourage change. Legislators in New Jersey are indeed acknowledging the receipt of letters from their constituents about this issue and are taking notice.  A legislative hearing is expected soon.   

So whether it’s voting on your favorite Super Bowl ad to helping eradicate an archaic state law to writing haiku about your favorite food, going viral in the right way can earn you the bacon.

 

Tom Cosentino

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