Jonah Peretti encourages the Mormon Strategy for Viral Media

This is cool.

Mormonism got a social media shout out last Friday from Jonah Peretti, cofounder of the Huffington Post and founder of BuzzFeed.

He was speaking at the inaugural “Viral Media Meetup”, covering his history of viral success, and key strategies for viral marketers.

He began by explaining the differences in the old media model (below), where the media giants determined what we consumed.

He then explained the new media model (below), where what we consume is instead determined by our peers.
This proliferation is exacerbated by what he calls the BWN, or the “Bored at Work Network”.
He goes on to describe key strategies in creating viral media, including
  1. Viral Media Strategy
  2. The Mullet Strategy
  3. Big Seed Marketing Strategy
  4. The Maniac Strategy
  5. The Mormon Strategy

For this last one, he throws up this slide:

Then points out that while Judaism seems far more well known (or more generally liked), Mormonism is crushing it, whereas Judaism is showing flat growth (his chart only shows up till 2007, which is too bad, ’cause we were just taking off).

That’s right, Jonah Peretti’s strategy #5 for viral growth… Learn from the Mormons

His recap:
I’m happy that we’re so widely well known for our missionary work.  Evangelism, sharing the gospel, and bringing others unto Christ are core elements of the Lords true church.
It’s kinda funny that here is this social media pundit, at the first ever viral media meetup event, talking about Mormonism as one of 5 key growth strategies.
Still, he missed one critical element.  His talk (and his strategies), were on how to get a message to go viral (get people to talk about it).  But the growth of the Mormon church (check this out), requires far more than people just perpetuating a message.  It requires real commitment.
You don’t get people to give up drinking and smoking, commit them to pay 10% of their gross income in tithing, commit people to living the law of chastity, etc. by just passing along a message.  That message has to be true, it has to ring home to their very spirits.  The growth of the church speaks more about the truth of the message, then the mechanism for sharing it.
Still, our missionary work is inspirational, even to industry pundits who specialize in spreading messages.
To me, that’s cool.