Make them talk. The power of Word of Mouth.

What I find so exciting about PR is its diversity. To work as a PR professional it’s not enough to be a talented master of communications. Good writing skills, the ability to listen, knowledge from the various fields like sociology, law and media marketing, and high emotional intelligence are even more important than an outgoing personality. What can also be very useful is familiarity with psychology and consumer behaviours, especially when we realize how relevant to PR is the phenomenon of Word of Mouth [WoM].

WOMMA (Word of Mouth Marketing Association) landmark study resulted in some surprising findings about the word of mouth impact which shouldn’t be neglected by PRs. According to the research, “most of the impact of word of mouth works independently of advertising, whether stimulated by product or customer service experiences, public relations, owned and earned digital content, referral marketing, and so on.” What is more, face-to-face recommendations work better than online WoM, with “offline accounting for two-thirds of sales and online accounting for one-third.” Overall, WoM drives 13% of consumer sales which is something to fight for.

Click on the picture to see more.  Source: womma.org

Click on the picture to see more.
Source: womma.org

Not every brand or product is innovative or cool enough for people to gladly share positive opinions about it. Sometimes PR has to play its role and encourage consumers to spread the word. To make it happen it’s necessary to understand why people like and share things. In the Consumer PR class, I got to know 6 key factors which drive all of us to share the brands’ content or talk about it in the real life.

  • Social currency refers to the human desire to be unique, look good and feel like an insider.
  • Triggers work on the basis of remarkable associations.  
  • Emotions affect our emotional response what drives us to share.
  • Public is the synonymous with the brand’s success so it’s good to show the audience how other people talk about it and interact with the brand.
  • Practical Value of the useful content is easily shareable.
  • Stories always make people (and media) more interested and more willingly to talk about them.

Making things go viral is the art of the 21st century. Everyone who knows how to engage and make people share things is in the winning position to become a PR guru.

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