Nov. 1 Meeting: Learn from Gainsville PD’s Viral Superstar

Ben Tobias, a senior consultant with Allstate’s national media team and former Gainesville Police public information officer, will share the secrets of his success with viral social media posts, at the next meeting of the Volusia/Flagler Chapter of FPRA on Thursday, Nov. 1. Please RSVP by Tuesday, Oct. 30, to secure a spot for this lively presenation. 

Tobias’s presentation is titled, “Social Media VIRAL: Behind the Scenes – Understanding the How and the Why,” and will be held at LPGA International, 1000 Champions Drive, Daytona Beach.

Tobias_Ben
Ben Tobias

In October, Tobias closed a 14-year chapter in law enforcement and began a new job with Allstate as senior consultant for external communications. In his new role he is responsible for finding positive stories from within the company and telling those stories to a national audience – using both traditional and social media.

Tobias will build on the success he had at the Gainesville Police Department. There he managed the well-known Gainesville PD Facebook and Twitter channels. Those channels became internationally known after Tobias stumbled into magic with multiple viral posts. From a tweet war with the home city of Ole Miss Football, to a dashcam video that started the Basketball Cop Foundation, to tweeting at the president and landing on CNN, and lately with the #HotCop phenomenon during Hurricane Irma, Tobias found the right content.

Tobias has studied the variables surrounding each of those posts to analyze how and why content goes viral. He will share lessons learned along the way and will impart some of the secrets he has discovered after being behind viral content.

Tobias joined the Gainesville Police Department in 2005 and served as PIO for six years. He also served in Patrol and spent three years riding horses with the Mounted Patrol Unit. About a month after becoming PIO, he handled all media functions for a UF murder case that garnered international attention. Since that time he has managed multiple incidents that have drawn international media attention, including celebrity and athlete arrests. He also was one of the backup Tactical Flight Officers for the Gainesville Police/Alachua Sheriff’s Joint Aviation Unit.

FPRA Volusia/Flagler’s luncheon meeting is open to public relations professionals, business people and the public. Check-in and networking begin at 11:30 a.m., and the program starts at noon.

Please RSVP by Oct. 30. The cost, which includes lunch, is $20 for FPRA members, $25 for non-members and $18 for college students. Payment should be made online in advance; the cost is $5 more if you pay at the door.


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