You Went Viral! Now… What Do You Do?

Meeting Location: The Florida Sheriffs Association Headquarters

In January 2016, Ben finally achieved every social media manager’s dream…the viral video.  A street basketball game between Gainesville Police Officer Bobby White and neighborhood kids has been viewed more than 17.5 million times and created international media attention.  Officer White used this momentum to create the Basketball Cop Foundation, which allows police departments around the country to use basketball as a community relations tool.  Ben will detail the successes and lessons learned during the whirlwind days after the video went viral, including the experience of a surprise visit from NBA superstar Shaquille O’Neal.

Officer Benjamin Tobias, PIO for the Gainesville Police Department

Officer Benjamin Tobias, PIO for the Gainesville Police Department


Key program takeaways:

  • What to expect as a communications manager following the success of your viral content
  • How to manage the potential increase in traditional media exposure
  • Best practices on social media during and after your content going viral
  • The dos and don’ts of managing communication channels once you strike social media viral gold

About Officer Ben

Officer Ben Tobias joined the Gainesville Police Department in 2005.  During his career he has served in Patrol and also spent three years riding horses with the Mounted Patrol Unit.  Ben was approached and asked to be the Public Information Officer for GPD in the spring of 2012 which he accepted.  About a month after starting his new position, he handled all media functions for the murder case of UF Student Christian Aguilar, a case that garnered international attention.  Approximately 6 weeks after becoming a PIO, Ben gave a press conference that aired live nationwide.  Since that time he has managed multiple incidents that have drawn international media attention, including celebrity and athlete arrests.  When he’s not wearing his PIO hat, he’s wearing a helicopter flight helmet as one of the backup Tactical Flight Officers for the Gainesville Police / Alachua Sheriff’s Joint Aviation Unit.  Ben is also working towards his commercial helicopter pilot’s license.

Networking and lunch begin at 11:30 AM

Program starts at Noon

Please note the location of the October 20 meeting:

The Florida Sheriffs Association Headquarters
2617 Mahan Drive
Tallahassee, FL 32308

Phone number: (850) 877-2165

Google Map of the location

Credit or Debit Card: $22.50 for members/$32.50 non-members/$20.50 students

Cash: $21 for members/$31 non-members/$19 students

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