Plan, shoot, edit and create a short video with the potential to “go viral” about the topic of public relations. The client for this project is your Comm Dept (unless otherwise cleared with me), and the video will serve as a recruitment tool for the client. Students will work in self-selected teams of two to four each. Each member in the team receives the same grade earned for the video.

Students choosing not to do a “Viral” Video have the option of writing a traditional paper on some aspect of social media including, but not limited to, viral videos.

Technical Notes

  • Use a Flip video camera or something similar. (You *may* be able to use the video from your digital camera or phone. Send me a sample if you question whether the quality is high enough.)
  • Length must be between 1-4 minutes (no more, no less)
  • Obscene material prohibited – push the envelope but keep in mind the public relations purpose of video
  • Prominently mention/show the client so viewers know what the video is about if unfamiliar with the client
  • Credits somewhere in the video (preferably at the end) must list all the names of the team members
  • Any music or material used must be done so legally (permission from artist) – provide credit for work used
    o Review Creative Commons licenses on images on Flickr or other image sites
    o Find music at http://is.gd/fqaohttp://www.jamendo.com/en/ and http://www.podsafeaudio.com/
  • Write a short description and provide key words to accompany video when it goes on YouTube


  • Understand the audience – inside jokes are good, but not so much if it leaves majority out
  • Be informational while entertaining, consider a humorous or musical approach
  • Use other videos as inspiration, but do not completely copy content or concept
  • Save and back-up all project files often

Sample Viral Videos

There is no “right way” to do this project. Be creative. Do it well.

Popular viral videos can inspire (not copy):

Bonus Opportunity
Each video will be posted on a YouTube channel.  There will also a class competition, with the winners determined on the last day of class. The video that receives the most views on YouTube by the last day of class will get +2 points of adjustment to the viral video project grade. The video in second place with the second most number of views will get a +1 point adjustment to the viral video project grade.

NOTE: Many, many thanks to Kaye Sweetser at University of Georgia, who gave me permission to use her assignment for my class. I have made only minor tweaks to her original assignment (which appears at her So This is Mass Communication? blog.)

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10 Responses to “Viral” Video Assignment :: COMM 4633 and SPC 4350

  1. […] those students in Social Media for PR who choose not to complete a “Viral” Video as part of a team, there is another option. You can write a short paper on an aspect of social […]

  2. […] my Social Media for PR class this semester, students were tasked with creating a video that had the potential to “go viral.” Here are their videos (in the order they turned them in), and with the titles they used when they […]

  3. […] “Viral” Video you created for this class (if you chose to do one), or another video you have […]

  4. Maranda Butler says:

    I was not sure where we had to submit our group name and topics. I will send you an e-mai also. Jayme Stroud and I are doing Comm Arts.

  5. […] those students in Social Media for PR who choose not to complete a “Viral” Video as part of a team, there is another option. You can write a short paper on an aspect of social […]

  6. Lauren Parr says:

    Professor Nixon,

    I have not seen anywhere who the client is for this project. Also, when is the storyboard and general outline due? Can we create the video on our computer? My computer has an excellent video camera and I am comfortable using it. Thanks

  7. Can’t wait to hear how your students do & what went well — keep us posted!

  8. Kicker says:

    Everything dynamic and very positively! 🙂
    Have a nice day

  9. […] 2010-01-19T05:53:30  Public Relations Matters » Blog Archive » “Viral” Video Assignment …: Due: April 14 by 11:59pm. Worth: 150 point… [link to post] […]

  10. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Barbara B. Nixon, Barbara B. Nixon. Barbara B. Nixon said: [Blog]: “Viral” Video Assignment :: PRCA 3030 http://bit.ly/90c9IT […]