Contagious: How Things Catch On

Hosted by the Association/Nonprofit Section.

This section webinar is not currently available. Email the Sections Department to inquire about future availability of this program.

Categories: Communication Strategy, Social Media, Techniques & Tactics

Why do some things catch on while others fail? What makes online content viral? And why do some products, ideas, and behaviors get more word of mouth than others? Professor and author Jonah Berger examines the behavioral science that underlies these questions. He examines how people make decisions, how ideas spread, and how social influence shapes behavior. He will then discuss how companies and organizations, large and small, can apply the answers to these questions to help their products, services, ideas, and behaviors become contagious.

By the end of this webinar participants will be able to:

  • Understand when and why word of mouth is more effective than advertising
  • Understand where the majority of word of mouth occurs
  • Explain the characteristics of products, ideas, behaviors, etc. that make them more likely to catch on
  • Show how to leverage these characteristics to craft messages, ads, and information people will share

Additional resources available at: 


Jonah Berger, Ph.D., James G. Campbell associate professor of marketing, The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania

Dr. Jonah Berger is a marketing professor at The Wharton School, and bestselling author of Contagious: Why Things Catch On and Invisible Influence: The Hidden Forces that Shape Behavior. He has spent over 15 years studying how social influence works and how it drives products and ideas to catch on. He has taught Wharton’s top ranked online course, and has been recognized with numerous awards for his teaching and scholarship. He has had dozens of articles published in top-tier academic journals, and accounts of his work frequently appear in popular outlets like the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, NPR, Harvard Business Review, The Atlantic, and The Economist. His research has also been featured in the New York Times Magazine’s “Year in Ideas.” He has also helped all sorts of companies and organizations – from Fortune 500 companies to small start-ups and nonprofits – get their stuff to catch on. Additional resources available at:



Participants with the APR credential earn 1.0 APR Maintenance Credit for a half-day course. Learn more about Accreditation maintenance.