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This Weather Channel Twitter Campaign Really Blows
By: Shawn Paul Wood
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Just when you think every dopey idea to get people sheepishly doing the same thing has been extinguished comes one more harebrained idea that just could work...if only people were dumb enough to get interested. Who knew the cagey minds at The Weather Channel would the ones to crack the code of the Sphinx? They had an idea that no one has considered — Tornado Week

What is it? A novel idea that forces people to watch a train wreck and make popcorn simultaneously. It's a Twitter-enraged "tornado," which doubles as an intern torture device. It's genius. All people across the country have to do is tweet "#TornadoWeek" to get the fans to go incrementally faster every time that happens. Once the tweets reach a certain plateau, another fan goes on. The kicker is that if they reach 1 millions mentions, the pitiful interns will feel the force of an EF-5 tornado. Well, some such. It would winds equivalent to 200 MPH, which would surely cause for hijinks and jocularity, right? 

This idea is going viral and mainstream. Here's a news story from ABCNews.com:

Worried about the dangers involved in re-creating a 200 mph tornado in an office? Don’t be.

“Our legal team would certainly not allow us to create actual 200 mph winds within our offices. Instead we are trying to re-create the ‘feeling’ of these wind speeds by close proximity placement of the fans to the interns,” a Weather Channel spokesperson told ABC News.

Well, that feeling must be equaling ratings as well, not to mention owning Twitter. Why, even yours truly got into the act (note the picture and subsequent shout out by @TWCMarkElliot). It's contagious and, although your mind won't be "blown away," you will notice the wind in your sails while you are suddenly becoming even more unproductive at work staring at a YouTube screen — or preferably www.weather.com/internIf a station was trying to get fabulous PR while increasing its ratings, it succeeded. Just watch it trend daily. It's as if the country wants to see if the Wicked Witch of the West meets Dorothy right there in Studio A at TWC Central. As of now, the effective wind speed is 129 MPH and the #TornadoWeek tweets have exceeded 35,000! 

Only one large issue I don't believe the Weather Channel major domos considered: What is the station going to do to top itself? I hear Wildfire Week is coming up...just sayin'. 

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About the Author
Shawn Paul Wood is a hack-turned-flack with more than 20 years of collective journalism, copywriting and marketing communications experience. Shawn Paul is founder of Woodworks Communications in Dallas, Texas. If you need him, ping him here or follow him on Twitter @ShawnPaulWood
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