Word-of-mouth marketing has been generating lots of buzz
lately, making it like a new marketing phenomenon.
Underlying the fad, however, is a solid concept – public
The basic objective of a public relations campaign is to
spread the word about a company through legitimate third
party media coverage. Today’s media fragmentation simply
offers PR practitioners more channels over which to
spread that word.
First and foremost, there must be something to talk
about. Many marketing executives confuse sales messages
with newsworthiness. For example, a company’s
anniversary may mean something to a business, but
journalists may not find it terribly exciting – unless
the event is accompanied by substantial recent
accomplishments and going-forward news developments.
A secondary consideration is how the message is
promulgated. Stories written about an initiative and
carried through legitimate and credible channels – both
traditional and “new” media – have tremendous impact.
Additional pickup from such ancillary channels as blogs,
podcasts, and other online outlets has also become
So how does a “buzz marketing” initiative get started?
It goes back to PR 101. Develop true newsworthy angles,
use relationships with influential media members (both
traditional and new media) to light the fire, and then
fan the flames with additional exposure. If the message
is strong enough, the buzz will take over from there.