Continued from Part 1
I will assume that you went through the first part, if not you can go through it here, now getting right on to it :- The second method is Being the platform yourself.
Being the Platform
Stop thinking about your product or platform as the story. We’ll start this one with an example. TheChive is an internet sensation and a great site for “guy stuff”. This is of course a very crowded space, and fighting for traffic is extremely difficult. They can do all the PR they want, but no one is writing an article on mainstream media about how TheChive is the best site for guy stuff just because they were pitched a PR story about it.
But what if something extremely interesting happened on theChive?
October 2010, the brilliant guys at theChive post a story that had all the characteristics of an internet sensation. Some person sent them some pictures of a girl named “Jenny” who had grown tired of her boss’ harassment and decided to quit her job in a unique and entertaining way (Girl quits her job on dry erase board, emails entire office (33 Photos)).
The story had all the components needed to go viral.
1. Jenny has a vulnerable girl next door look and she was victimized by an asshole male. Win with both guys who fantasize about being a savior and women who hate womanizing men.
2. Jenny is quitting her job in a grand way. A way many of use can only dream of having the courage to do. She’s now a hero. Gotta tell the people who work with me when the boss isn’t listening!
3. Start a discussion. HOPA? What the hell is that? I’ve never heard the term but it sounds like everyone knows what it is. How can I not know what HOPA is? Better look it up and start using the term all the time so people know I’m meme savvy! Hot Piece of Ass? But isn’t that HPOA? Better go argue with people about it.
4. Mystery. Who is she? We know so much about her, someone must know who she really is? Let me Google/Bing it!
5. Ego. Hey Techcrunch – check out this story. This guy’s system backfired on him and it turns out he spends more time reading Techcrunch than actually doing his job! How flattering! (this was an intentional part of the ploy – they referenced Techcrunch specifically).
The whole store was a clever hoax created by theChive.
The post on theChive immediately prompted John Biggs to post an article titled “It’s official: the best bosses read techcrunch” (It’s Official: The Best Bosses Read TechCrunch! | TechCrunch), and who can blame him? I would do the exact same thing if I were in his position.
Notice he posted a story about the girl, not about theChive! Nevertheless, theChive is of course linked to in the articles and in the discussion of HPOA/HOPA.
Mainstream media were soon to follow.
Reports say theChive saw traffic jump dramatically as a result of the story, from 15,000 uniques an hour to 440,000 the next. Overall, its estimated that millions of unique visitors were exposed to theChive as a result of the story. theChive has since grown to be one of the biggest blogs in the space, if not the biggest.
Morale of the story 🙂
Notice one key aspect. theChive was never the story. At least not during the actual hoax. It just happened to be the platform on which the story took place. However, once the hoax was revealed, the creation of the hoax became the story and theChive got plenty of additional press and credibility.
2nd Part continued on Next Post….