Michael Duffy Sea Lion story….the rest of the story

Here is the story about a Sea Lion who jumped on a boat and stayed a while at the San Diego Yacht Club, who has been named “Gilligan.”
My friend and colleague, Michael Duffy, created a short video that went viral, and has a story to tell about Social Media, and has an example to share about this sea lion he named Gilligan, who slept with him on his sailboat.

Michael Duffy also wrote Award Winning San Diego Humane Society television campaigns.
Did you see this video?

He can tell stories about animals.
He wants to create genuine stories that he cares about, that are interesting, and then connect to what he does for a living.

Michael Duffy

The social media virality of the video was strong. Since May 10, 2015, the video has received more than 200,000 YouTube hits. If you want to check, you can click here.

We don’t have complete control over our Social Media channels anymore, but we do have more control than before.

The following is the Rest of the Interview with Michael Duffy, as he writes on May 26, 2015.

Editor: Tell me in your own words about your experience with social media and why you want to learn more.

Michael: I love to discover stories and tell them, both personally and professionally. I was fortunate enough to film a video that went viral, and I would love to have leveraged it more to increase the number of views and my business exposure.

Editor: Describe what you did when you saw the sea lion in your sailboat at the Yacht Club.

Michael: My first “impression” of the sea lion was waking up at 2:30 in the morning and hearing snoring and sneezing. I didn’t see any thing (or body) so I went back to bed. I was re-awoken at 6 in the morning to the same sounds, and in the daylight, saw the baby sea lion curled up on one of the bunks in my 41-foot sailboat “Elixir.” He very much startled and surprised me, but I felt relieved to connect the sound of the early morning with something. Although he was quite small, I maintained my distance, because sea lions can be dangerous. I grabbed my phone camera and started filming, and by that point, he had jumped from the bunk to the deck and was just staring at me, as if he didn’t want to leave. I noticed that it had an orange tag, which I assumed came from SeaWorld, which might have explained that the little pup was quite comfortable around me – it had been handled before. I softly and quietly coaxed him out of my boat, stopping and encouraging him with my voice every time he would stop and look back at me.

Editor: What happened when you posted the video?

Michael: I actually sent the video to a friend of mine who works for the San Diego Union-Tribune, Roger Showley. He interviewed me over the phone, wrote a story and posted it on YouTube. Within hours, I received requests for interviews from every local San Diego TV Station. I gave interviews throughout the day (it was Mother’s Day) and until 11:30 that night. Over the next few days, I received requests from the national affiliates of the news stations for permission to run my video, and gave several more phone interviews. Within 3 days, there were 50K hits on YouTube. There are now 170K. I also received offers of representation from several companies offering to monetize the video. Since I didn’t know much about this, I didn’t respond to them.

Editor: Was it something you would do again and if so, how would you do it differently?

Michael: It was a lot of fun, primarily for the experience itself, to have that type of rare interaction, and for it to go well – neither I nor the Sea Lion got hurt. I would love to do something like this again, and have more control of the distribution and ownership of the content I created. I would have liked to post it to the various channels myself, although I’m sure my decision to feed it through a well followed news man with substantial press following probably garnered more views, attention and impression than if I had individually posted it through my networks. In the future, I’d like to prepare my social networks for “The Next Big Story” I come across, as well as self promotional and creative content.

Editor: What did you learn about social media that was unexpected?

Michael: That fun and cute sells/travels. That it works to use Influencers to get the best possibility of spreading the story.

Michael’s Quotes…

“I woke up to the sounds of snoring and sneezing on my boat. I looked around, thinking it was a friend, but didn’t see anyone, so went back to bed.”
“You gotta go, you gotta go, buddy.”
“It’s amazing how many people who have seen/heard the story.”

Editor: What metrics did you get?

170K hits on YouTube. I haven’t specifically researched any others.

Editor: What else did you learn?

That you need to have the networks in place at all time.

Comments that were especially interesting..

-Newscasters asked me if I was waiting for the sea lion to return.
-Being in a social situation and having people ask me if, since I’m a sailor, I had heard of the story. And then their reaction when I tell them it was me.
-The compliments of the calm and respectful way I handled the situation.

Want to reach out to Michael directly? Here’s how:
Michael Duffy Creative
Branding/Copywriting
michaeldsandiego@gmail.com
www.mduffycreative.com
619.261.4246