Written by • Published 25th November 2013

We all know how powerful word of mouth can be…personally speaking, the number of times that I have watched a particular film, bought myself something, or visited a destination on the recommendation from a friend, family member, or colleague is too many to count! The opinions and recommendations of those you trust are often invaluable and it is people sharing their suggestions which can often contribute to the success or failure of an idea or concept – this something which is never truer than in the food and restaurant industry where competition is fierce and you’re only ever as good as your last review.

Image Courtesy of Kake, flickr. com

Image Courtesy of Kake, flickr. com

The Good Earth boutique chain of high-end Chinese restaurants is one example of where word of mouth has played a considerable part in the success of the business. A family-owned business which has strived to set the standard for Chinese food in London over the last thirty years, the company is going from strength to strength, with a new restaurant just opened in Wandsworth Common (conveniently around the corner from me!). I had the pleasure of meeting the owner recently who told me that the popularity of the business largely grew from word of mouth alone and it is testament to the exceptionally tasty, authentic Chinese food and the relaxing and traditionally oriental setting of the restaurants, that customers keep coming back with such frequency.

What do businesses do however when current customers have run out of family and friends to recommend them to? PR has a huge part to play in generating word of mouth and this is something which we see on a daily basis through working with a variety of the food and drink clients who we look after at The PHA Group. Having your product, service or establishment featured in the ‘Hot List’, ‘Editor’s Picks’ or ‘Where to Go This Week’ sections of a target title is word of mouth on a huge scale, reaching many thousands of people with one turn of the page, or click of the link. It is a component which shouldn’t be underestimated when looking to drive word of mouth on a large scale and we have worked and continue to work with clients where the PR campaigns which we have implemented have contributed to wider opportunities, such as book deals, a retail listing and unprecedented increases on social media engagement.

So, who has got a good recommendation for the best place for brunch this weekend?