The 6 key factors which influence your word of mouth

Different factors influence the potential word of mouth (w-o-m) capability of a situation.

These six factors will shape your w-o-m will spread more significantly and extensively if there is a:

  1. Crisis – where your own individual well-being could be perceived to be at risk.
  2. Mission– the need for concerted effort to accomplish a major goal
  3. Problem – rapid involvement of many people desirable to solve the challenge.
  4. Danger – knowing about potential dangers where spreading the message can significantly increase the safety of each person. This operates as a result of reciprocal altruism.
  5. The emotional involvement with a product is a good predictor of how many people will subsequently be told about experience. Cars form have a high emotional interest and create more of an emotional bond with their users; most people can remember every car they have had, many can talk about the subject for hours, and lots of people use what car you have as a sign of your material success and lifestyle statement.
  6. The privacy factor will also affect potential w-o-m. Fewer people will talk and tell about their own personal financial position and specific use of services. Healthcare is another potential area where a discretion to keep one’s personal life private can hinder the w-o-m dynamic


By recognising these factors, and using them where appropriate, public relations and marketing communicators can boost the potential word of mouth of their situation.

These tips are just a few of the 101 different tips an ideas being offered to public relations and marketing professionals in the first ‘Word of Mouth and Viral Marketing course being run by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations.

The half day training course takes place in Londonon the afternoon of Friday November 11th. Places are limited, to book your place visit or ring 0207 631 6900.

The course has been devised and will be delivered by Andy GreenFCIPR. His book ‘Effective Personal Communication Sills for PR’, part of the Institute’s PR in Practice series, was one of the first PR texts to cover word of mouth and memes.

Sharing examples from the work of Edward Bernays to the latest cutting edge campaigns, you will go away telling your friends how you can manage your word-of-mouth, how to create positive messages about you, what you do and what you stand for.


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