Driving WOM as a form of Earned Media

Auxipress / The cube

Last month I was invited to speak at The Cube’s conference “Earned media, the new currency?” about the importance of Word of Mouth as a major form of Earned Media and the approach to harness this powerful medium.

Other speakers like Hugues Rey (CEO Havas Media Belgium), Stephan Salberter (Head of Corporate Communication and Relations at ING Belgique) and Sophie Chevalier (Digital Social Manager at Mobistar) all stressed the growing importance of Earned Media for their respective companies and clients.

A few takeaways from my presentation as synthesised on The Cube’s blog:


Earned is crucial at each step of the consumer process

The event agenda also offered a presentation of the WOM (Word of Mouth) point of view, included in Earned Media. The Cube welcomed Pierre de Schaetzen from Superette who explained the word of mouth phenomenon. The difficulty of measuring it is self-evident. However an original approach to the issue consists in initiating word-of-mouth with an event or a story.

We need stories with high impact and reach

3 rules correctly applied allow us to reach and to measure WOM:

  • WOM is not about viral mechanisms or social contests: it’s about seeding compelling stories in the right communities
  • Stories told by brands are not credible anymore. Empower the people to become storytellers.
  • People love to talk about themselves. Craft stories in which they are the hero.

The example of Citroën presented by Pierre de Schaetzen clearly illustrates the relevancy of this form of Earned media.


I’d like to thank Thibaut De Norre – Director at The Cube, and Isabelle Grisse – Communication Manager at The Cube, for organising this event and inviting me to do a keynote lecture and Raf Weverbergh for hosting the panel discussion.

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