Sad story touches readers worldwide in example of viral sharing
On the last day of the year in 2015, The Oklahoman ran what became the most read and most viral story on Oklahoman.com’s history.
It was correspondent Sheila Stogsdill’s tragic story of the 2-year-old girl from Jay who died within days of ingesting a silver button battery.
It ran on the front page of the newspaper and was distributed on all The Oklahoman’s digital channels for subscribers.
Sheila’s lead takes your breath away:
The day after Christmas, 2-year-old Brianna Florer was laughing and jumping around with her older brother and two sisters opening presents at her grandparents' home.
The next day the precocious blond-haired toddler was dead.
It was a heart-breaking story, one that resonated with millions of people across the world. That story alone was read by more than 3 million unique people on Oklahoman.com. That’s our premium website that only subscribers have access to browse and dig into.
The story ran in the Dec. 31, 2015 newspaper, but didn’t begin to go viral until Jan. 2, 2016.
It appears as though as a customer found the story from our daily email to subscribers and shared it on Facebook, where it then went viral.
The same article about Brianna appeared on NewsOK.com, as well. That’s our high-volume website with content that’s open to all users without restriction. That story on our high-traffic website went viral, as well. It reached another 330,000 users, mostly on Dec. 31.
That’s an unfortunate way to illustrate the power of the news media and the power of the Internet.
Sheila told little Brianna’s story, helping Brianna’s family get the word out about the potential dangers of button batteries.
And almost 3.5 million people learned something as a result.