Get a demo Do I subscribe? News sign-up

PR, WOM & earned media

Public Relations (PR) is a discipline related to marketing but often treated separately within organisations. Traditionally it was focused on managing a brand’s reputation, particularly via media coverage; increasingly it overlaps with marketing in terms of managing perceptions of a brand across multiple touchpoints. PR as a marketing discipline can promote positive word-of-mouth (WOM) and generate earned media through, for example, mass media news stories and working with ‘influencers’.

Key Reading

Important papers from across the Warc database

This paper makes it clear that earned media should not be considered as a lucky break for a brand, it can be strategically planned and optimised for reliable outcomes. One key element of this is that early momentum in a campaign leads to a greater result overall.
Why using PR in tandem with advertising can maximise value – as press coverage is linked to higher sales.
Best Practice paper arguing that PR should now be afforded a more important role by almost all companies.
Why the redundancy of PR in a cynical user-generated content world has become a favourite industry theme.
This article outlines practical guidance for brands to make their online videos 'go viral'.

Case Study

This case study shows how KAFA, an NGO, helped pass a law protecting Lebanese women from domestic violence by leveraging women's votes in favour of the bill.

Case Study

This case study shows how KAFA, an NGO dedicated to protecting victims of abuse and violence, raised awareness about the issue of child marriages in Lebanon through a social experiment.

Case Study

This case study explains how the UK's NHS Blood and Transplant service recruited 17-24 year olds during National Blood Week by working with partners in TV, radio, digital, print and online to create a sense of urgency.

Case Study

This case study shows how WildAid, a wildlife NGO, decisively changed the fate of the global ivory trade through a large-scale social media campaign.

Case Study

This case study explores how 'Mein Kampf - Against Racism', a book recreated to change the message of Hitler's book 'Mein Kampf', launched a national campaign in Germany.

Case Study

This case study explains how infant formula brand Nestlé NAN OPTIPRO Kid 4 used word-of-mouth and the power of Christmas carols to relaunch its repackaged product during the Christmas period.
View all case studies on this topic


This article provides marketers with information and guidance about how reach and frequency help brands identify the optimal advertising mix.


This paper explores the current reading on the topic of marketing on Facebook - the best used social network in the world, reaching two billion users every month.

Research Paper

Filmmakers increasingly depend on trailers as advertising and to generate word of mouth (WOM). This study investigates the extent to which trailers influence WOM in the prerelease context by testing a conceptual model separately on the three most popular movie genres.

Research Paper

To encourage viral spread, companies attempt to create captivating and compelling online games. The current research examines the effects of requiring players to use skills when playing games versus rewarding players who recommend games to others.


This article provides an overview of how influencer opinion and recommendations can deliver marketing messages to consumers through social networks and word of mouth.
View all articles on this topic
  1. Article

    This article, taken from the Warc Toolkit 2017 report, explores how the proliferation of video is transforming social media marketing by turning social platforms into broadcast media.

  2. Article

    This exclusive report analyses the most effective social media campaigns, including an in-depth review of how social strategy drives effectiveness and practical suggestions for other brands to follow.

  3. Article

    This article offers best practice advice on engaging influencers - defined as consumers who are much more likely than the average to seek out and share information - for campaigns based around word-of-mouth strategies.

  4. Article

    From January to October 2015, U.S. brands published 35 million posts across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, sparking 65 billion actions with social audiences (i.e., comments, shares, re-Tweets, etc.).
  5. Article

    This Warc Trends Report analyses case studies that represent the best in social media strategy and draws lessons from them for other brands to follow.

  6. Article

    This article discusses various approaches used by marketers to understand what consumers want.

View everything on this topic

Want to find out more? Contact us