Viral Hall of Fame 2006 Return to Viral Hall of Fame 2006 Home Page

#3. New Rules of PR (PDF)

New Rules of PR (PDF) MarketingSherpa Summary:
Business-to-business marketers who are dreaming that someday their white paper will go viral should check out this campaign. Per our Viral Marketing in 2006 Special Report, newer seeding tactics such as blogging and press releases optimized for search engines can give a campaign that extra viral boost within a niche market (especially when you don't have sex, celebrity or gaming to drive traffic.)

Agency: in-house
Client/company: David Meerman Scott
Brand campaign was conducted for: David Meerman Scott
Launch date of campaign: January 16, 2006
Target audience/demographic: Business executives seeking an Internet marketing consultant; related event organizers seeking speakers

Campaign Goal:
To introduce people to me and my thinking with the goal of securing clients and speaking engagements.

In mid-January, I published a new complimentary e-book The new rules of PR: How to create a press release strategy for reaching buyers directly. Since then, I have been happily watching the wave of interest from this little effort and I am amazed at the metrics. If the results that I've achieved are any indication, Web content, particularly in the form of e-books are one of the best viral marketing initiatives that exist.

Seed Strategy:
In mid-January, I quietly released my new e-book via a post on my blog and by emailing a link to the e-book to select friends and colleagues.

Buzz Generated:
Within hours, hundreds of people had downloaded the e-book. And in the next several days, several alert bloggers including picked up on the availability of the e-book and posted links. Over the next three days, the e-book generated just over 1,000 downloads per day. I was thrilled at the response. The power of a half-dozen bloggers telling the same story is tremendous. And how cool is it that on the Web you can measure the results?

But that was just the beginning. Several days later, two heavy-hitters jumped in. Seth Godin wrote about the e-book in a post called 'What would David Do' Then Steve Rubell wrote on his blog Micro Persuasion a deliciously controversial post 'Direct-to-Consumer Press Releases Suck?' There's nothing like a negative viewpoint to drive viral marketing!

In just the next three days, 15,000 people downloaded the e-book. And with the wide reach of Godin and Rubell now adding to the momentum, several dozen other bloggers posted their thoughts on The New Rules of PR and since then more bloggers have picked up the thread.

The CEO of PRWeb (who I did not know) read the e-book and asked me to comment in a press release about trackbacks in press releases.

Here are some links and following trackbacks will lead to others.

Specific (Goal-Related) Campaign Results:
As I write this, it is just two months since the release of my e-book. When I first put it out, there was precisely one hit on Google for the phrase 'new rules of pr'. Two months of viral effects later there are well over 1000 hits on Google all pointing to my e-book. Amazing. Over 60,000 people (and counting) have downloaded the e-book. Not bad for a little e-book that cost virtually no money to write, produce and promote.

I've gotten a half dozen invitations to speak at conferences as a result - see here for examples I have already signed two new clients as a direct result and am in discussions with others.

Biggest Learning:
I learned that viral interest is fleeting. When I felt that things were waning, I added to my own momentum by issuing a press release announcing that the e-book had reached the 50,000 milestone -- this effort yielded even more results.

Back to MarketingSherpa