What does it mean to “go viral?” Simply put, it’s when content spreads rapidly because a lot of people share it, resulting in outsized awareness of the content. Hunter Public Relations was able to achieve that kind of sharing, leading to a first-place win in the “Viral and Trending Content Marketing” category of PR Daily’s 2017 Content Marketing Awards.
Through its monitoring, Hunter found that celebrity Chrissy Teigen took to Twitter to ask her 5 million-plus followers how to make an Outback Steakhouse Bloomin’ Onion at home. Outback was Hunter PR’s client; its work was aimed at earning national media coverage for the 29-year-old restaurant chain.
Within 20 minutes, Hunter PR (with Outback’s support) had tweeted back, offering to teach Teigen Outback’s “special Bloomin’ Onion tricks.” Teigen replied, asking Outback to send a chef to her home.
Among those who were interested in the exchange was People.com, which wanted to include Bloomin’ Onion prep tips in an article that went live the day after the chef provided Teigen with her lesson (also attended by Teigen’s husband, singer John Legend, and a few of the couple’s closest friends).
Teigen, Legend and their guests shared the experience on multiple social networks, adding momentum to the People.com story. While this sounds like a setup, Hunter insists Teigen was never contracted as a paid spokesperson and that it confines its activities to responding to inquiries, not proactively pitching stories.
The experience resulted in 71 placements across online, social, print and broadcast media channels for more than 340 million branded impressions. Among the press covering the story were US Weekly, InStyle, Entertainment Tonight, Reinfery29, Teen Vogue and more. Social media posts produced a 76 percent brand mention pull-through.
Kudos to Hunter PR’s Mike Surabian, Alexandra Capotorto, Maya Cass and Megan Rhein for producing a viral sensation.