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Communication Professor’s Letter to Peyton Manning Goes Viral – How She Did It

Posted on 11 February 2014 | 9:13 am
  1. Write well
  2. Write something that resonates with people
  3. Have great timing
  4. A lot of luck

Those are College of Charleston Communication Professor Laurie Lattimore-Volkmann’s tips for turning a blog post into an Internet sensation.

Courtesy: ABC News 4

Courtesy: ABC News 4

The die-hard Denver Broncos fan was tired of hearing sports commentators talking about Quarterback Peyton Manning’s tarnished legacy after losing Super Bowl XLVIII, so she took to her blog to vent, writing only the second post ever on her personal blog.

[Related: View the blog post.]

It got shared on Facebook, and shared, and shared, and shared. The post itself had 25,000 views within four days. A friend urged her to submit it to The Denver Post, which she did. It is one of the most viewed items EVER on denverpost.com with 758,374 views and counting. That is more views than the entire opinion section gets in a month. It was printed in The Post on Saturday, Feb. 8.

[Related: Media outlets from South Carolina to Colorado picked up Volkmann’s story.]

“Looking back, I kind of wish I had spent more time editing it!” Volkmann says.

Volkmann teaches two upper-level communication courses – Analysis in Communication and Message, Design and Influence. Ironically, on her syllabus this week is social media and blogging.

“We’ve got a real example to use,” Volkmann jokes.

In seriousness, she says, “You can talk about the textbook ways to make something viral, but it is really a magic formula that no one knows for sure.

“You do have to write well – no matter what, good writing gets attention. In my case, I was also soothing the souls of Broncos fans and my timing was right. But, there was still a lot of luck that made the post viral.”

And no, she says Peyton hasn’t contacted her yet. But, she’ll let us know if he does.

Laurie Lattimore-Volkmann has been an adjunct professor at the College of Charleston since 2011. Prior to that, she taught at Mercer University, Georgia State University and Dominican University of California. She was also a magazine reporter in Alabama and Missouri.

Volkmann can be reached at lattimorevolkmannla@cofc.edu.

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