don’t make it viral, make it good

You probably know all about the assignment I gave my PR writing students where I asked them to make a video that has the potential to go viral. Cool assignment. They are knee deep in shooting & production now. Soon YouTube will be full of student-produced videos all about how great UGA is (Admissions is our client).

This is probably the first assignment in the history of teaching that I can’t wait to grade.

But before you go thinking I sent these digital natives off into the wild world of YouTube uninformed, I want you to know we stole about 15 minutes of time from Converseon‘s Paull Young recently as he Skype’d into my class as a guest lecturer to talk about viral video.

First thing out of his mouth is that “viral makes my skin crawl!” Then he told us you shouldn’t set out to make a viral video; just set out to make a good video. He walked us through considerations and best practices. I’d call this “Viral 101” if I had written it on the syllabus. Very informative, even for the people who think they know it all about consumer-produced media.

Then he dove into two really great case studies about Graco Baby and Second Chance Trees. Solid examples of when video really becomes the best way to communicate.

My students were so impressed with Paull (though it could have just been his accent) & I know I certainly appreciated him taking the time to talk us at University of Georgia.

And just checking here … anyone else amused that I turned his lecture – delivered via Web video from his NYC office to my UGA classroom – about viral video into a video that has the potential to go viral? Oh. Just me? Okay, then. Whatever.

4 Responses so far.

  1. Well, I just tweeted the link to this post, which Ivy Le retweeted. So there you go.

  2. Katherine says:

    No it wasn’t the accent…it was AWESOME that a teacher had such a hands-on knowledgeable individual skype with her class. I know it left me with plenty to think about.

  3. kaye says:

    Karen: Leave it to you, the social media PR queen, to help me go viral. Have you seen this mashup of it? ha ha!

    Katherine: so glad you enjoyed that experience. I plan to have MORE MORE MORE folks just as awesome as Paull drop through our classroom throughout the semester – both in person & via Skype or iChat.

  4. […] Paull Young, social media strategist at Converseon, talks to Dr. Kaye Sweetser’s class about v…. […]

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