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About Vickie Sullivan

Vickie Sullivan is internationally recognized as the top market strategist for thought leaders, professional speakers and B2B professional service firms. Specializing in brand and message strategies in crowded markets, she has helped thousands of talented people outsmart their competition since 1987.

Written by: Vickie Sullivan  |  June 14, 2016

Two Ways to Make Your Manifesto Go Viral

2 ways to make your manifesto go viral

If you follow me on Facebook, this month you’ve seen me on the warpath about the Stanford rape trial and sentencing. I won’t go into my views here. Instead, let’s look at this tragic situation as a learning tool of a different kind.

Have you noticed how the victim’s letter got 4 million views in four days? That’s not an accident. This great article from Adweek gives us the backstory. Yes, the letter was beyond compelling—that drove the momentum even higher. (And I’ll write about that in my next post.) If we want our manifesto to go viral, let’s take two pages out of this playbook:

• Find your influencer. The victim didn’t launch this letter onto the Internet. Stanford law professor and advocate Michele Landis Dauber introduced the victim to Amy Ziering, producer of the documentary The Hunting Ground. These two women had the access to launch this gripping story. So, instead of trying to build viral all by yourself, first ask: whom can I give my story to?


Related: What Gets Shared


• Find your best media outlet. Notice that Ziering didn’t go to the Washington Post or the New York Times with the victim’s story. Yes, those news outlets have a great platform. But Buzzfeed was considered a better fit due to its demographics. Good move. This audience spread the word like wildfire. The lesson here: outlets with strategic fit are better than general, established routes. Yes, you want platforms that have high numbers, but the audience is just as important. My take: If they went with the more established sources, I doubt it would have spread as fast.

This is a great example of powerful content getting the attention it deserves. Strategy played a key role here. Look at your network and ask: who can help me get the message out? Where are the most engaged folks on this topic? You’ll be surprised by what happens next.


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About Vickie Sullivan

Vickie Sullivan is internationally recognized as the top market strategist for thought leaders, professional speakers and B2B professional service firms. Specializing in brand and message strategies in crowded markets, she has helped thousands of talented people outsmart their competition since 1987.