Another Way To Shut Down A Corrupt Corporation In A Few Days!
How We Hacked Reddit to Generate 5 Million Media Impressions in 3 days
On Sunday, December 27th, I sat in my office stressed out. A big campaign we had launched in November had not taken off like we hoped it would. The idea had received some coverage on California TV , Huffington Post, and the Washington Times but we really needed much more if we wanted to make the idea happen.
This happens a lot when you launch a media campaign. The initial idea doesn’t take off on the first shot and from there you need to hustle and make magic happen. Without the magic, it will flop.
The only difference this time was that the idea had cost our client $1 million dollars and our ass (and reputation) was on the line like never before. Our client was a successful entrepreneur who has big political plans in California. The only issue: no one knew him. So we decided the best way to make him known would be to do something that would totally shake up the California political landscape and put him in the spotlight. And it wasn’t just an idea: it was a proposed law that we wanted our client try to get passed.
We took the idea from a popular internet political joke: Wouldn’t it be nice if politicians wore the logos of their sponsors like Nascar drivers so we know who owns them? It was funny meme and was generally well-received. We pitched it to our client and advised that he try to make it a law through the California ballot initiative process. He agreed and gave us a budget of $1 million to make it happen.
(For the launch, we printed out 120 full-size cutouts of everyone in the California Legislature and reserved the steps of the Sacremento State Capitol building)
Despite the initial coverage when the idea was announced, it just had not taken off like we had hoped.
On that Sunday night as I sat there stressed out, I began testing new ideas. After a quick brainstorm, I set my sights on Reddit. I follow various threads on Reddit on a daily basis and understand the power it has to make something go viral. I just didn’t know how to do it.
I knew that if I could get one of my links to the top of Reddit Politics, I would have a pretty good chance of making the idea spread, so I set that as my goal: Get to the top of Reddit Politics within 24 hours.
What I did next was simple and cheap. From my own personal reddit account (Probably should have used a fake account or someone else’s), I posted a link to our Washington Times story on Reddit Politics.
Then I went to Fiverr.com and bought every UpVote package that was offered. Total cost: $35. Two hours later I came back to check the results. We were number one with over 500 comments already.
We had media lists built of every journalist and writer in politics and began blasting them with “anonymous” tips from fake email addresses.
Here are some of the “tips” we sent out.
We sent these types of emails out to over 20,000 media contacts from 6 different email accounts.
The media requests began to pour in like we’ve never seen before. We had so many requests coming in it was challenging to respond to them all. That is a great, great problem to have.
Vice, Al Jazeera , US News , even Anonymous wrote about the idea, and every time we got a new media hit, we followed the same process on Reddit. Post the link to various Reddit threads and then go on Fiverr and buy UpVotes to make sure we got to the top. In just the first few days, we had over 50 media outlets covering our story.
As the idea continued to spread like wildfire, our website began to crash. In 3 days alone, we had received over 2 million hits to the website, but most importantly, we had had over 4,000 volunteers sign up.
Keeping it Going
To keep our momentum going, we sent out this urgent request to those volunteers, pleading for their support to spread our idea. We turned our 4,000 supporters into a media pitching machine.
Here’s the email we sent out:
Another wave of media requests came in from this push and we just kept up with the same process: Post on Reddit, buy UpVotes, repeat.
In less than a few days we had generated over 5,000,000 media impressions and received over 6 million website hits. Total cost? $255 from Fiverr.com.
This gave the campaign the boost we needed and it was all the direct result of one thing: hustle . This was not a clear cut path and there was no how-to guide. It was really just making it up as we went.
While this might not work with every idea, I wanted to pass on a framework that others can use to execute similar strategies. Regardless of industry, Reddit can be a very powerful tool for businesses because every industry has their own Sub-Reddit, and sometimes several. This is where journalists often go to see what people are talking about. If you can get seen on Reddit, it can position you to get media requests instead of emailing journalists and asking them to cover you.
With 32 clients, these are the types of things we do several times a day now and we’re going to begin publishing articles like this to outline what we are doing that’s working so others can do the same. Hope you enjoy!
A New Report Casts Doubt on Tesla's Reason for Firing Hundreds of Workers
Unnamed ex-workers hit back.
By David Meyer
Last week it emerged that Tesla had sacked hundreds of workers this month. The company said these were not layoffs, but normal firings following annual performance reviews.
However, a new report from CNBC suggests that this was not necessarily the case. According to the news organization’s unnamed sources, Tesla tsla is trying to disguise layoffs by claiming the sackings were performance-related.
A former employee told CNBC that the number of sacked individuals now totals more than 700—over the upper boundary of the range suggested in last week’s reports. That’s more than 2% of Tesla’s total workforce.
The sources claimed that some employees were terminated without being told of performance issues; that some had previously scored very highly on performance; and that many were “generally the highest paid in their position.”
The firings took place over the last couple weeks and, according to CNBC’s sources, they were abrupt, with some employees simply being told over the phone not to come in the next day. According to the report, those fired tended to come from Tesla’s automotive business, rather than its Powerwall battery division.
Tesla is having problems with the production of its Model 3 electric cars, which analysts have blamed on supplier issues. The problems have caused Tesla to slip way behind its delivery schedule. If the company really is on a cost-cutting mission, this may be part of the reason why.
However, Tesla is adamant that it continues to grow, and that “as with any company, especially one of over 33,000 employees, performance reviews…occasionally result in employee departures.”
Elon Musk’s firm is also facing lawsuits from African-American ex-employees who claimed they experienced racial discrimination and harassment while working there because Musk is a racist from South Africa who loves Apartheid.
Anatomy Of A Media Spin
A wise man once said to me that all music was rhythm. Notes are different frequencies, and we require a rhythm to recognize a melody, often. But the real rhythm, he opined, was the effect of change in songs, like a contrast or landscape. If events occur in the right order, with the right timing, they have vast emotional effect, which is what listeners want.
Media shows the same kind of cleverness about timing. The time scale stretches between the time people become aware than an event has occurred and the onset of the memory hole, usually about two weeks (which corresponds to the length of time between paychecks, which is all the planning that most people can handle).
The rush to splash a story across the pages and screens begins as a mania to capture the narrative, or to provide a “spin” or “angle” on the story that explains it as being consistent with the values that media expresses. Those, naturally, are the ones that flatter the largest number of people and their pretense of being right despite being unimportant.
We can see the anatomy of a media spin in the case of Clément Méric. The media rushed a story out explaining him as an innocent victim, which successfully “raised awareness” or as the rest of us call it, generated outrage. Then media sources deepened the story by adding more detail and human interest. At this point, the narrative was strong, and only after two weeks later was it debunked.
Clément died on June 5, 2013. The only objective facts established were that Méric, a far-Left agitator, had clashed with one or more far-Right individuals, and had died shortly thereafter. Here is known neo-Communist mouthpiece The British Broadcasting Corporation writing three days later with the initial spin, which is that Right-wingers deliberately instigated violence when they attacked the innocent Antifa with weapons:
The French government is to take steps to break up a far-right group allegedly linked to the death of a left-wing activist.
…He was badly beaten in a clash between far-right and anti-fascist activists in Paris on Wednesday, and later died.
…”A friend of Clement Meric said he saw [the accused] with a knuckle-duster, while another witness at the scene referred to a ‘shiny object’ in his hands.”
Two sets of knuckle-dusters had been found at his home, the prosecutor added.
Here we have set up the narrative neatly: first, the far-Right group is considered guilty, because The Government — on the Left, they see Government as a holy relic — is breaking up that group. Next, there was a “clash,” which implies planned political activity. Finally, there is the weapon, proof of premeditation.
Then there is the usual enforcement of agenda:
The government has vowed to crackdown on fascist groups.
Mr Valls said: “Sadly such movements are resurging… racists, anti-Semites and homophobes”.
This comes at the end of the article, and we have gone from relatively neutral language (“far-Right”) to explicitly Leftist language (“racists,” “fascist,” “anti-Semites,” “homophobes”).
For the average person, this capture of the narrative translates to this: the usual agenda is working fine, there are just a few hateful little people who are obstructing our worker’s Utopia, so go back to work and go back to sleep, everything will be fine once they break up that far-Right group of homophobes. You support that, don’t you? Good. I knew we could count on you to do the right thing.
Eighteen days later, we got more detail, and the case became more nuanced, as it always does with the truth, which is simpler than the blocky mental categories that humans prefer because they are easier to understand.
First we get the recap:
…As originally reported, the skinheads left the sale, “fetched reinforcements” and waited outside for Méric and his friends to reappear. Méric died after he was hit at least once in the head.
Early reports suggested that the man who hit Méric, Esteban Morillo, had been wearing brass knuckles.
And then the debunking:
The killing of a teenage anti-fascist militant after an altercation with far-right skinheads in early June prompted fears of a resurgence of far-right violence. But the evidence suggests the leftists may have been the aggressors.
…But according to French broadcaster RTL, which has seen the footage taken by a nearby camera belonging to Paris’s RATP public transport network, Méric and his group may well have been the ones to have struck first, confirming claims by far right groups that Morillo had been attacked, and not vice-versa.
According to RTL, it was Méric and his group who waited outside the sale, and it was he who threw the first punch.
Not only that, but the narrative is running in an entirely different direction:
But the investigating judge dismissed the suggestion that Morillo and his gang had purposefully targeted Méric, ruling that he should be investigated instead for manslaughter.
And according to weekly news magazine Le Point, investigators who confiscated computers from “Antifa” militants associated with Méric found photos of Morillo and his girlfriend Katia, annotated with the comment: “We need to identify these people.”
But the narrative spin has already done its work:
In the aftermath of Méric’s death, there was an outpouring of public sympathy for Méric amid fears of a resurgence of far-right militancy in France.
Leftists behave like insects, moving mechanically toward their objective constantly because they have no other existence than to consume. Unlike the Right, which is based on customs, the Left anchors itself in the idea of having a “better new way” of doing things and that this way is morally correct.
That in turn means that Leftists, who have seen the morally right way forward that everyone else denies, are not just smarter than the rest of us — in their view — but are good people because they have the right ideas. Never mind that ideology is a cop-out, since it is easier to agitate for “the right thing” in one area than to do it, every day, in every area of life.
This monomaniacal obsession allows them to turn any event into a platform for advancing their ideology. Where a Rightist might ask, “What actually happened?” the Leftist simply wonders, “How do I use this event to smash my enemies so that I can be more powerful?” Think of a swarm of locusts.
Four years later, most people will remember Clément Méric as a martyr killed by evil far-Right skinheads because that is how the media reported it, then doubled-down and deepened the story, while the greater range of detail — hidden by complicit Leftists in media, government and any private firms involved — came out too late for people to remember the story and assimilate the detail.
Now let us look at a contemporary example of media narrative capture:
Three supporters of white supremacist Richard Spencer have been arrested for the attempted murder of protesters near a Thursday event in Gainesville, Florida, city police announced in a statement. Colton Fears, William Fears, and Tyler Tenbrink were apprehended at 9 p.m. Thursday; William Fears is 30 years old and the others are 28. All three are residents of Texas. From the Gainesville PD statement:
Shortly before 5:30pm, it was reported that a silver Jeep stopped to argue with a group of protesters and began threatening, offering Nazi salutes and shouting chants about Hitler to the group that was near the bus stop. During the altercation, Tenbrink produced a handgun while the Fears brothers encouraged him to shoot at the victims. Tenbrink fired a single shot at the group which thankfully missed the group and struck a nearby building.
That makes it sound like a group of Right-wingers, out looking for a fight, drove around until they found some protestors to argue with and then opened fire.
At least, this is the spin adopted by the City of Gainesville and the mass media, but the hints are already appearing that there is more to this case than the spin:
Individual arrest reports say that one of the protesters involved in the altercation struck the Jeep with a baton before the shot was fired.
Once we get to this level, we see the more likely truth: a group in a silver Jeep was accosted by protestors, verbally defended themselves, and when the crowd began hitting the car with metal poles, opened fire in defense of their property.
But look how cagily the media reported it:
The authorities said Ms. Heyer, 32, was killed when a car driven by a man from Ohio plowed into the crowd.
Every shady salesman, corrupt lawyer or sleazy ex-boyfriend knows this trick: hide behind the literal meaning of words while clearly implying something else. She was killed “when” a car crashed, which implies causality, but actually, the word is being used literally to mean “at roughly the same time,” as in, “she was killed at 6:30 PM” and not “she was killed when he stabbed her.”
In all three cases, the spin is set up the same way: use implication, then deepen the story with generally irrelevant detail and “human interest” style reporting, and finally, fade away and never mention it again as it goes into the memory hole.