Examples of Online Public Relations Efforts

Now, either you got here on your own, or you were directed here by clicking the submit button. Either way, that is just a small and primative demonstration of how some viral campaigns begin. Click on one thing and be directed to another.

Below are examples of different online efforts used to generate publicity for different events. Each uses a strategy called "viral marketing" which is a strategy used to get consumers to tell other consumers about your product, service or Web site. These examples will show how the online efforts utilized different aspects of the Web to create a buzz and influence as many viewers as possible.

Movie Marketing

Propaganda Defensive

Product Campaign Launch

 


 

Movie Marketing

Along with the usual movie trailers, press junkets and reputation generated hype generated by the name Stephen Spielberg, 2001's Artificial Intelligence: AI was propelled forward into one of the largest multimedia marketed films. The majority of the buzz surrounding this film was created by the viral marketing plan of using Internet surfers and the online gaming community. Warner Brothers spent over $1 million on the game project. Users could sign on and play a highly interactive and intricate murder mystery. It required users to have a broad knowledge of history, mathematics, sciences and other subjects. Gamers created online "communities" to play the game. Faxes and phone calls and emails would be sent from "Mother" as clues to help users solve the game.

Though the game was specifically designed for the most experienced and dedicated science fiction online community, movie makers wanted to draw in that specific audience as research had proven that that particular audience wouldn't have responded favorably to AI, because it would've been seen as too mainstream. As more buzz was generated more and more everyday users would log on and search on Google for names such as "evan chan" or "jeaninne sallis" and enter into the labyrinth that is the game.

As more and more buzz was generated, an undercurrent of anti-buzz was created. Sites dedicated to urging users to stop playing the game and face the truth popped up. But in the business of disseminating information and creating hype and a buzz worthy event, there is no such thing as bad publicity.

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Propaganda Defensive

With a communication outlet that has no rules, no boundaries, no standards of quality, or risks of security the Internet provides space for different online publications aimed at reporting truer information. These sites are dedicated to providing the masses with "unfiltered" information on a variety of subjects. For example, the site spiked, www.spiked-online.com, is a an online publication that is prides itself on being unbiased and truth seeking, as well as believing in " liberty, enlightenment, experimentation and excellence."

Based in London, yet providing world-wide information on a subjects from politics, science, liberties, risk, health, life and culture. While researching for different this particular topic of different public affairs and public relations campaigns on the internet, this site came up multiple times. The most recent event Spiked promised truthful and enlightened information about was the "real" reason for the Iraqi war and also disputed different rumors that had been circulating on the Web, and critiqued different news stories that were featured in newspapers.

Spiked is a good example of online utilization and viral campaigns because it is easily searchable online, and relies heavily on consumer to consumer contact. It is also a solely Internet based publication, and through contributions and pop-up advertisements produces revenue.

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Product Launch Campaign

During the first week in March 2004, Stolichnaya, a Russian vodka manufacturer launched their first ever online viral campaign. The campaign was conceived by Revolver Communications and produced by Skive Creative. Revolver wanted to create the brand identity of Stoli as the brand "made by Russians in Russia for Russians, and as the best selling vodka world wide.

The campaign centered around the spoof of "Stoli Brides" where you could fill out a few favorite characteristics and determine your "perfect match." FOR RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY (and curiosity) I followed along with the prompts, and filled out my favorite attributes and hobbies, and was presented with my ideal match. She was a homely looking grandmother with a red and green bonnet. The last screen prompts users to send the joke on to friends.

Now you may question why anyone would send a site such as this onto friends, (aside from boredom and humor) or where Stoli makes any money, Stoli promises the chance to win a free case of the "only authentic vodka, made by Russians, in Russia, for Russians" when the participant forwards the site onto a friend. Here in lies the joke and premise of the campaign, thus providing an avenue for the viral campaign to spread. The campaign will run for two months, and then objectives and results will be evaluated. But if this campaign follows in the footsteps of other online viral campaigns, it should prove to have positive outcomes for Stoli, Revolver Communications, and Stive Creative across the board.


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Email me with comments, questions or suggestions.
snf11682@ufl.edu
None of these examples were chosen based on any preference undue influence. I merely chose examples based my research as well as sites I just happened to stumble upon.

Created by Sarah Fields 2004