"Viral Publicity" and "Viral Marketing" are really just new buzz words for oldest form of publicity in world...
"Referral" or "Word of Mouth."
The Internet takes this ancient form of "buzz" and promotion and amplifies it with a global network of people connected digitally. "Word of mouth" now has an Internet version called "word of mouse" (word of computer mouse). With greatly increased speeds, people refer things to their friends and families spreading word through Internet and to far-reaching corners of world.
Many smart marketers and publicity people have learned to harness power of viral publicity with Internet "Refer-A-Friend" promotional techniques and tools.
Examples of Viral "Refer-A-Friend" Promotions:
Viral "Refer-A-Friend" techniques can be used to promote just about anything under sun.
For example, Audri Lanford conducted a giveaway contest at her new www.wz.com website where she gave away 4 Sony PS2's before Christmas as a website promotion. According to Audri, she gave people who had entered Giveaway opportunity to get additional entries and additional chances to win by telling a few of their friends on Thank You page...
WZ.com Giveaway Promotion Thank You Page http://wz.com/ps2/indexw.html
On Thank You page, every giveaway entrant received following message: "Tell your friends about WZ.com, and get an additional entry for each friend you email." They are then given opportunity to tell their friends about giveaway at "Tell-A-Friend" page...
WZ.com "Refer-A-Friend" Page http://wz.com ellafriend/index.html
In return for favor, they receive an additional chance to win for every friend they refer. This simple addition increased Tell-a-Friend results by 96 times (9600%)!, said Audri.
This is an amazing (and inexpensive) way to increase traffic and sales!
Another example of "Refer-A-Friend" technique at work can be seen at Internet marketing guru Seth Godin's new IdeaVirus.com website.
"Unleashing The Ideavirus" by Seth Godin http://www.ideavirus.com/
"Unleashing The Ideavirus" is Seth Godin's excellent new book about viral marketing. Seth is promoting his hard copy book by offering book in its entirety - FOR FREE! You can download "eBook" version at his www.ideavirus.com website.
Why would Seth give it away for free?
Because offering something of high perceived value for free is an excellent way to promote something on Internet. People are excited that they can get complete book for free, so they naturally tell their friends. In fact, Seth Godin uses a viral "Refer-A-Friend" tool on this website as well...
IdeaVirus Send It http://www.ideavirus.com/sendit.html
To see real-time data on how people are spreading word with this viral "Refer-A-Friend' system, you can watch it spread at Seth's "Watch It Spread" page: http://ideavirus.gazooba.com/servlets/IVStatusReport2