Benefits of wilfing

As I predicted Wilfing has become a global meme – with picking up on the term.  But no mention of  the original source of the public relations activity behind “wilfing” (forgetting what you are searching for online).

This example reinforces the importance of owning a message rather than just putting it out there.  You have to connect to the momentum and ensure your name is linked to the remarkable meme.

The story broke in the UK on 10 April, and continues to be covered in blogs – which shows how a story gets life beyond the initial target of UK press coverage.

It has morphed with advice for businesses on how to benefit from employees spending time searching online.  offers a search engine on a corporate site with 50% of the revenue subsequently generated going to the company.  It can also bring in RSS feeds and be tailored to the relevant industry.  So clickworkplace has connected to “wilfing” quite effectively. 

Being creative in PR is not enough, you need to ensure that there is a stickiness between your idea and your company to benefit fully from word of mouth.  We can all think of great adverts where we can’t recall the brand involved – this is exactly the same when starting a conversation – how are people going to remember your involvement and not pass on the content without acknowledging the source?

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Heather Yaxley PhD

Dr. Heather Yaxley is passionate about sustainable careers, reflective practice and professional development. I am a rhizomatic educator, practitioner, consultant, academic and scholar. As a qualified academic, I teach the CIPR professional qualifications with PR Academy and have experience teaching at various Universities. I run the Motor Industry Public Affairs Association (MIPAA) and my own strategic consultancy. I was awarded by PhD researching Career Strategies in Public Relations by Bournemouth University in 2017. I'm a published author, with books, chapters and academic papers to my name.

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