God, I hope not!
In the PR Squared blog by Todd Defren done this past Friday, viral marketing was the topic of the day. This link will take you too the site, PR Squared-Viral Videos. As stated in the blog, this latest craze seems to be the way to go for movies and other new media. However, it leaves something to be desired as far as ethics goes.
The fact that he carried on a relationship for 3 months with this girl, built up this idea in her head and even went as far as meeting her parents and have her start hinting about marriage–is that really ok? I know this is not real, but I have seen other viral videos and people do whatever they can to get people to watch them and get hits. Sites like Youtube.com and Myspace.com have become hotbeds of activity for the latest great Internet video.
I know in class we are being exposed to the various new online media outlets, but if this is truly where PR is headed, then I am slightly nervous. I understand that this is satirical, but people already negatively connote our industry at times–labeling us as spin-doctors. I definitely do not think that using media in this way is going to positively affect our image. What is the point of hiring someone with a PR degree if anyone can just post videos and market and promote something? I guess people already can do this, but it is our degree and knowledge that gives us the edge? But if we start resorting to viral media, then what is the point? We have “stooped” to the level of the amateur, so to speak.