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Going viral

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Network theory and the new age of public relations

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Going viral

  1. 1. GOING #VIRALNETWORK THEORY AND THE NEW AGE OF PR
  2. 2. finn GOING #VIRAL WHY THIS TOPIC? • IT’S POORLY UNDERSTOOD • REVEALS A CENTRAL TRUTH OF HUMAN NETWORKS • EXPLAINS HOW INFORMATION SPREADS, BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY: ATTITUDES, BEHAVIOR, MONEY & POWER • OUTSIZED IMPACT ON MEDIA AND OUR DIGITAL INTERACTIONS IN THE LAST DECADE • COMMUNICATION & PR HAS NOT YET FULLY ADAPTED TO THESE CHANGES
  3. 3. MEET “THE DRESS” finn
  4. 4. finn GOING #VIRAL ON FEBRUARY 25TH, USER “SWIKED” POSTED THIS MESSAGE ON TUMBLR: “GUYS PLEASE HELP ME - IS THIS DRESS WHITE AND GOLD, OR BLUE AND BLACK? ME AND MY FRIENDS CAN’T AGREE AND WE ARE FREAKING THE FUCK OUT”
  5. 5. finn GOING #VIRAL
  6. 6. finn GOING #VIRAL NEXT, THIS HAPPENED:
  7. 7. finn GOING #VIRAL
  8. 8. finn GOING #VIRAL
  9. 9. finn GOING #VIRAL AS CLOSE AS IT GETS TO PURE VIRALITY. DOES THIS REMIND YOU OF SOMETHING? OF COURSE IT DOES:
  10. 10. finn GOING #VIRAL
  11. 11. finn GOING #VIRAL “BETWEEN JUNE 1 – SEPTEMBER 1, MORE THAN 17 MILLION VIDEOS RELATED TO THE ICE BUCKET CHALLENGE WERE SHARED TO FACEBOOK. THESE VIDEOS WERE VIEWED MORE THAN 10 BILLION TIMES BY MORE THAN 440 MILLION PEOPLE.”
  12. 12. finn GOING #VIRAL THE PHONE RINGS - A JOURNALIST WANTS ANSWERS ABOUT THE ICE BUCKET CHALLENGE:
  13. 13. WHERE DO THESE THINGS COME FROM? finn
  14. 14. finn GOING #VIRAL WELL, THE ICE BUCKET CHALLENGE CAME OUT OF BOSTON:
  15. 15. finn GOING #VIRAL
  16. 16. finn GOING #VIRAL SOURCE: FACEBOOK
  17. 17. finn GOING #VIRAL NOT REALLY INSIGHTFUL, IS IT?
  18. 18. “SO THIS IS AN INTERNET THING, RIGHT?” finn
  19. 19. finn GOING #VIRAL IN FACT, IT’S NOT:
  20. 20. finn GOING #VIRAL
  21. 21. finn GOING #VIRAL IN 1989 IN LEIPZIG (DDR) A SMALL GROUP OF PROTESTERS STARTED TO MARCH ON MONDAY NIGHTS
  22. 22. finn GOING #VIRAL IN 1989 IN LEIPZIG (DDR) 1200 PROTESTERS STARTED TO MARCH ON MONDAY NIGHTS 8 WEEKS LATER, THEY NUMBERED 500 000 SOURCE: WIKIPEDIA/HAMBURGER ABENDBLATT
  23. 23. finn GOING #VIRAL ON NOVEMBER 9, 1989 THE BERLIN WALL CAME DOWN.
  24. 24. “BUT WHAT IS IT THEN THAT MAKES IT SO VIRAL?” finn
  25. 25. finn GOING #VIRAL SOURCE: JEREMIAH OWYANG
  26. 26. finn GOING #VIRAL NOT
  27. 27. finn GOING #VIRAL IT DOES NOT EXPLAIN WHY THE DRESS AND THE ICE BUCKET CHALLENGE SUCCEEDED WHERE ALL THE OTHERS FAILED.
  28. 28. WHAT IF THE ANSWER IS NOT IN CREATIVITY, BUT IN MATHEMATICS? finn
  29. 29. finn GOING #VIRAL IN 2003, DUNCAN WATTS WROTE “SIX DEGREES. THE SCIENCE OF A CONNECTED AGE”, WHICH EXPLAINS VIRAL PHENOMENA THROUGH NETWORK THEORY OR “GRAPH” THEORY.
  30. 30. finn GOING #VIRAL YOU KNOW THAT MOMENT WHEN AN ENTIRE CONCERT HALL STARTS TO CLAP IN SYNCHRONICITY? THAT’S WHAT HAPPENS ONLINE. IT IS CALLED AN “INFORMATION CASCADE”.
  31. 31. finn GOING #VIRAL “DURING SUCH AN EVENT, INDIVIDUALS IN A POPULATION ESSENTIALLY STOP BEHAVING LIKE INDIVIDUALS AND START TO ACT MORE LIKE A COHERENT MASS.”
  32. 32. finn GOING #VIRAL “WHAT ALL INFORMATION CASCADES HAVE IN COMMON, HOWEVER, IS THAT ONCE ONE COMMENCES, IT BECOMES SELF- PERPETUATING; THAT IS, IT PICKS UP NEW ADHERENTS LARGELY ON THE STRENGTH OF HAVING ATTRACTED PREVIOUS ONES.”
  33. 33. SOUNDS INTERESTING, BUT HOW DO THESE CASCADES THEY ORIGINATE? finn
  34. 34. finn GOING #VIRAL BECAUSE “THE PEOPLE AROUND YOU CONTROL YOUR MIND”.
  35. 35. finn GOING #VIRAL SOURCE: WASHINGTON POST
  36. 36. finn GOING #VIRAL
  37. 37. finn GOING #VIRAL “THE PROBABILITY OF CHOOSING OUTCOME A INCREASES SLOWLY WITH THE FRACTION OF NEIGHBORS CHOOSING A, BEFORE JUMPING RAPIDLY ONCE A CRITICAL TRESHOLD HAS BEEN EXCEEDED”
  38. 38. finn GOING #VIRAL THE TRESHOLD DEPENDS ON: 1. THE “VIRALITY” OF THE MESSAGE OR BEHAVIOR 2. THE # OF NEIGHBORS “INFECTED”
  39. 39. BUT HOW DOES THAT EXPLAIN “THE DRESS”? finn
  40. 40. finn GOING #VIRAL WELL, IT EXPLAINS WHY THE DRESS IS BOTH POSSIBLE AND EXTREMELY RARE.
  41. 41. finn GOING #VIRAL THIS EXPLAINS WHY TRUE VIRALITY IS SO RARE: “(...) ONE OF THE MOST INTRIGUING FEATURES OF THE CASCADE PROBLEM WAS HOW MOST OF THE TIME THE SYSTEM IS COMPLETELY STABLE, EVEN IN THE FACE OF FREQUENT EXTERNAL SHOCKS.”
  42. 42. finn GOING #VIRAL
  43. 43. finn GOING #VIRAL
  44. 44. finn GOING #VIRAL PROBLEM 1: OUR CLUSTER IS NOT CONNECTED ENOUGH. THE SHOCK CAN’T PROPAGATE ANY FURTHER.
  45. 45. finn GOING #VIRAL
  46. 46. finn GOING #VIRAL
  47. 47. finn GOING #VIRAL PROBLEM 2: CLUSTER IS SO CONNECTED THAT NO INNOVATION OR NOVELTY CAN EXCEED THE TRESHOLD.
  48. 48. finn GOING #VIRAL BUT VERY RARELY, A MEME HITS A POCKET OF PEOPLE - A CLUSTER OF PEOPLE WHO ARE ABLE TO “SWITCH ON” OR “LIGHT UP” THE ENTIRE NETWORK.
  49. 49. finn GOING #VIRAL THIS CLUSTER HAS TO HAVE SPECIFIC, AND EVEN CONTRADICTORY CHARACTERISTICS. FOR ONE THING, IT HAS TO BE BOTH CONNECTED ENOUGH, BUT NOT TOO CONNECTED.
  50. 50. WHAT DOES THIS TELL US ABOUT THE ICE BUCKET CHALLENGE? finn
  51. 51. finn GOING #VIRAL
  52. 52. finn GOING #VIRAL “IT COULD JUST BE THAT SOME INNOVATIONS— HARRY POTTER, RAZOR SCOOTERS, BLAIR WITCH PROJECT—HIT JUST THE RIGHT VULNERABLE CLUSTER, WHILE MOST DO NOT. AND IN GENERAL NO ONE WILL KNOW WHICH ONE IS WHICH UNTIL ALL THE ACTION IS OVER.”
  53. 53. finn GOING #VIRAL WRITE THIS DOWN: “AND SO IT IS APPARENTLY WITH CULTURAL FADS, TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATIONS, POLITICAL REVOLUTIONS, CASCADING CRISES, STOCK MARKET CRASHES, AND OTHER MANNERS OF COLLECTIVE MADNESS, MANIA, AND MASS ACTION. THE TRICK IS TO FOCUS NOT ON THE STIMULUS ITSELF BUT ON THE STRUCTURE OF THE NETWORK THAT THE STIMULUS HITS.”
  54. 54. finn GOING #VIRAL BUT, WASN’T THE ICE BUCKET CHALLENGE SPECIAL? YES, TO SUCCEED IN BECOMING TRULY VIRAL, IT HAD TO BE QUITE GOOD AT WHAT IT DID. BUT IT WASN’T THAT SPECIAL. WHAT MADE IT DIFFERENT WAS THAT IT GOD LUCKY TOO. IT’S MURPHY’S LAW IN REVERSE.
  55. 55. WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR PR PROFESSIONALS? finn
  56. 56. finn GOING #VIRAL 1. MAP THE NETWORK
  57. 57. finn GOING #VIRAL ASK YOURSELF: WHO INFLUENCES MY INFLUENCERS. THE “DRESS” WAS GETTING SO MUCH ATTENTION BECAUSE JOURNALISTS SAW THEIR PERSONAL FACEBOOK PAGES AND TWITTER FEEDS FLOODED WITH “THE DRESS”. THIS LED THEM TO WRITE STORIES ABOUT IT, WHICH CAUSED MORE PEOPLE TO TAKE NOTE. AS WATTS SAYS: ONCE THE CASCADE GETS GOING, IT JUST KEEPS GOING, AND GOING AND GOING.
  58. 58. finn GOING #VIRAL 2. FLOOD THE NETWORK
  59. 59. finn GOING #VIRAL RELATED: TRY TO HIT A SPECIFIC CLUSTER HARD AND FAST. TRY TO “SWITCH ON” A CLEARLY DEFINED SEGMENT OF INFLUENCERS AND EARLY ADOPTERS ACROSS DIFFERENT PLATFORMS. (NOTE: THIS IS NOT THE SAME AS “SPRAYING AND PRAYING”.)
  60. 60. finn GOING #VIRAL 3. CREATE VELOCITY
  61. 61. finn GOING #VIRAL CREATE VELOCITY: MAKE SURE YOU TIME YOUR CAMPAIGN SO THAT YOU FLOOD THE NETWORK ALL AT ONCE. DON’T DRIP YOUR CONTENT INTO A NETWORK, BECAUSE IT WILL NOT HAVE IMPACT.
  62. 62. finn GOING #VIRAL IF YOU DO PLAY IT RIGHT, THE ALGORITHMS WILL TAKE OVER...
  63. 63. finn GOING #VIRAL
  64. 64. finn GOING #VIRAL
  65. 65. finn GOING #VIRAL AND THEN THE MEDIA WILL GET IN ON IT
  66. 66. finn GOING #VIRAL SOCIAL NETWORKS AND NEXT GENERATION NEWSROOMS LIKE MASHABLE, HUFFINGTON POST, BUZZFEED, ETC. WERE BUILT BY PEOPLE WHO READ DUNCAN WATTS’ BOOK “RELIGIOUSLY”
  67. 67. finn GOING #VIRAL
  68. 68. finn GOING #VIRAL THE APP IS CALLED VELOCITY.
  69. 69. finn GOING #VIRAL THIS IS THE IDEA BEHIND “THUNDERCLAP” - THE QUESTION IS: DOES THUNDERCLAP SUCCEED IN REACHING THOSE “INFLUENCERS OF THE INFLUENCERS” (NOT SURE).
  70. 70. finn GOING #VIRAL 4. VALUES: THINK ABOUT WHY THE CLUSTER MUST SHARE YOUR INFORMATION
  71. 71. finn GOING #VIRAL
  72. 72. finn GOING #VIRAL SEEDING: 35 INFLUENCERS > 1181 FB SHARES MAPPING TIMING VALUES
  73. 73. What PR looks from the outside ...
  74. 74. What PR actually is ... Audience Faces PR Agency Ambassadors Brand Journalists
  75. 75. What PR actually is ... Audience Faces PR Agency Ambassadors Brand Journalists
  76. 76. What PR actually is ... Audience Faces PR Agency Ambassadors Brand Journalists
  77. 77. What PR actually is ... Audience Faces PR Agency Ambassadors Brand Journalists
  78. 78. What PR actually is ... Audience Brand Faces PR Agency Ambassadors Journalists
  79. 79. What PR actually is ... Audience Brand Faces PR Agency Ambassadors Journalists
  80. 80. What PR actually is ... Audience Brand Faces PR Agency Ambassadors Journalists
  81. 81. finn GOING #VIRAL 5. DON’T HOPE FOR AN ICE BUCKET CHALLENGE
  82. 82. finn GOING #VIRAL “REMEMBER: I JUST GOT LUCKY.”
  83. 83. ABOUT US finn
  84. 84. finn GOING #VIRAL FINN IS... CORPORATE COMMUNICATION PUBLIC AFFAIRS BRAND PR CONTENT MARKETING CONVERSATION MANAGEMENT DIGITAL OH, AND ONE MORE THING.
  85. 85. IF YOU LIKED OUR PRESENTATION, SAY SOMETHING NICE ABOUT US TO SOMEONE :) IT’S GOOD KARMA finn

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