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

Heather Yaxley is passionate about PR - teaching the CIPR qualifications, lecturing part-time at Bournemouth University and running the Motor Industry Public Affairs Association (MIPAA). I'm undertaking a PhD looking at Career Strategies in PR. I love sharing ideas and knowledge - connecting news and views by blogging on public relations and educational developments, especially relating to accelerated and active learning. I'm also a published author, qualified trainer and experienced consultant.

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