Public Relations and Viral Videos

Communicating with an organization’s publics has grown from the traditional way of shaking hands with a smile to a more savvy way with cyber-relations.  While shaking hands and meeting people is still a great way to make connections, it has become easier to make connections over the Internet.  Chapter 11 of our book mentions viral videos and how they are quickly becoming part of public relations.  A specific viral video creator, Jessica Rose, was featured in our book as someone who filled others in on her life via YouTube.  Here is an example of one of her videos which reached over 6 million views!  Jessica (Bree) talks about her 1st kiss.  This video is informative, funny, and cute because it shows the inside scoop of a young girl.  It’s amazing to me how a 16-year-old girl interested and drew so many people into her life by simply talking about everyday issues. 

Viral videos can also be used to help in an organization’s public relations efforts.  For example, last year in Stakeholder Communication, we studied the YouTube video below from Verizon Wireless.  While most everyone knows that Verizon Wireless’ main theme is that the network is with you wherever you go, I doubt anyone took that meaning literally.  This video took the meaning of the “most reliable network” to another level.  Although it does not have as many views as Jessica Rose’s, this video has been viewed by over 150,000 YouTubers.  This video could have made an impression on those viewers to switch to the Verizon Wireless network.  And the best part about this viral video… it was FREE to publish.  Take a look:

Introduction for Public Relations Class

Hi Everyone in Professor Vargas’ class!  My name is Madison Fisher and I am a senior communications major at Clemson University.  I am currently enrolled in Professor Lauren Vargas’ Principles of Public Relations class.  I have held a few internships in public relations and am very interested in pursuing a career in this area. 

I started interning at the Verizon Wireless corporate headquarters in Greenville, S.C. for North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee after my freshman year of college and continued the same internship during my next summer as well.  I worked under Carly Culbertson, the then public relations manager for the Carolinas/Tennessee region.  While interning under Carly for two summers, I also interned at  Jeff Dezen Public Relations (JDPR) in downtown Greenville, S.C. for a few days a week. 

This past summer, I strictly interned for Jeff Dezen Public Relations and worked mainly on the Verizon account.  I also began interning at Toussaint Law Firm in Seneca, S.C. as their marketing director.  I’ve enjoyed all of my internships and have gained valuable experience that I hope will help me in the future. 

Last semester, I took Dr. Mihaela Vorvoreanu’s public relation stakeholder communication class.  It’s interesting to see how my classes at Clemson have actually helped me in my internships.  I’m looking forward to learning more basic theories and practices of public relations through this semester’s Principles of Public Relations class.

I’ve had my blog for about 9 months now and I can see that my blog posts have slowly matured.  I hope to continue to learn and add more ideas and thoughts about public relations through my blog.  Let me know if you have any suggestions!!

A Luz de Giselli

For the past two summers, I have interned at Verizon Wireless in their public relations department and Jeff Dezen Public Relations in Greenville, S.C.  While there, I wrote a variety of news releases and helped distribute them to the correct media.  Last week, in my stakeholder comm. class, we discussed news releases.  We also discussed how to figure out who to send certain pitches and releases  to and how to create media lists.

We were given a PR challenge in class to pitch an artist from Seneca, S.C. who makes interesting light  bulbs.  Our team assignment was to make up our artist’s name, background, and story.  We decided that our artist’s name was going to be Giselli Dias and she was going to be from Brazil.  Our imaginary artist moved to Seneca after meeting her husband while he was doing research in Brazil for his new restaurant.  She makes one of a kind, moderately priced light bulbs.  Our artist’s business is named “A Luz de Giselli”, which translates to: The Light of Giselli.

We also needed to create a media list of 15 media sources and 5 bloggers.  Our team’s strategy was to mainly look for South Carolina print media who specifically wrote about the home.  We each searched individually and collaborated our findings in a folder on  It was really easy to navigate the Web site and figure out how to search for journalists with a certain niche.

Our group assignment was to draft two pitches: one to a specific blogger and one to a specific journalist.  It was good working with a group because everyone had a new idea to contribute that made the pitches better.  After researching the blog that we pitched to, we molded our pitch to appeal to the “home decorator blogger”.  We made our pitch short, sweet, and to the point.  We also explained that the blogger hadn’t posted about home decorating with lights and that featuring lights would be a good idea.  For our journalist pitch, we decided on a writer for the South Carolina Home and Garden magazine.  In this pitch, we made sure to mention that the light bulbs were made in the state of South Carolina so that it was relevant to their magazine.

I feel as though my internships have helped me in my stakeholder comm class because of the experience that I have gained through hands on practice.  Before we talked about media lists in class, I knew what they were because I created many of them over the past two summers.  Instead of Vocus, I used to make media lists at JDPR.  After using both Web sites, I’ve noticed that they are very similar and give just about the same information.  To me, it is interesting to learn how to pitch stories to certain journalists or bloggers because pitching wasn’t one of my responsibilities during my internships.

I like putting my past experiences to use… especially when they have to deal with class assignments.

Your Mom Has Facebook?

For the past few months, my mom has been asking my sister and me to set up a Facebook page for her.  She said that she wanted one to get in touch with her friends from her childhood and stay connected easier.  My dad even suggested making my mom a Facebook page for one of her Christmas presents.  My sister and I keep explaining that it’s not cool for our mom to have a Facebook and that she needs to wait until it becomes more popular for older women.  However, after reading this article by Amanda Lenhart, I realized that maybe more moms have Facebook then I thought.  In a study conducted by Pew Internet and American Life Project, they found that the percentage of adults that use social media has increased by 27% since 2005.  Specifically, 22% of adults have a Facebook profile.

I talk to my mom about my stakeholder communication class and I’ve tried to explain all of the new social media tools that I’ve been learning and using on a regular basis.  I don’t know if the new media that I’ve learned would be useful to her because of her profession, but I think that Facebook would be beneficial.  I think that my mom would be able to easily pick up on the do’s and don’ts of Facebook and figure out how to work her profile page.  After reading the statistics of what adults use Facebook for, I’ve realized that my mom wants to use it for the exact same reasons as other adult users.  I don’t want my mom to miss out on being a part of social media.  I want her to be able to have a Facebook because she IS a cool mom.

So… Happy Valentines Day, Mom. I’ll make you a Facebook.   🙂