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3 words to change the world


3 words to change the world


what3words is a global addressing system based on a grid of 57 trillion 3mx3m squares. Every square, no matter where in the world has been allocated a unique, memorable and fixed 3 word address.

With what3words everyone and everywhere now has a simple address. But as a small London start up what3words needed to punch above its weight to lend credibility to its ambition of becoming a global geographic standard.

what3words needed to be seen as more than just an innovative app – persuading future investors and commercial partners around the world of the transformative potential of the platform. But that couldn’t happen until people knew, and cared about the challenges of poor addressing.


75% of the world, and more than four billion people don’t have an address.

Not having an address means businesses can’t access finance, deliver products or serve communities, governments can’t serve their citizens and consumers can’t tap into online markets or access basic services. Even in places with a good addressing system, deliveries go missing, people get lost and the last mile of delivery costs almost a third of the entire process. Inaccurate addressing holds back growth, prevents investment and costs economies billions.

The humanitarian stories at the heart of poor addressing were the key.

By tapping into the human emotion behind a mission to address the world, Edelman helped what3words create a story that people cared about. From this foundation of empathy, what3words found a platform for its story of transformation and business efficiency.

Using this message, Edelman crafted key story lines to create a profiling and speaker platform for Chris Sheldrick (CEO of what3words) with international media and global influencers.


Through savvy media relations lead from the UK, Edelman helped what3words earn media attention in the right moments. This gathered global attention, influenced investors, tapped into the right audience and weighed in the balance when it came to funding. Through paid social campaigns what3words was able to re-target these stories, getting cut through to the decision makers that mattered most.

By switching on local market media relations in the right moments Edelman is helping what3words to capitalise on local stories and presence with a lean start up model.


Increase in website traffic

Sales leads generated

The what3words story appeared in top tier publications around the world, from Ghana to Romania, including two key hits in both The Guardian and The Financial Times. what3words instantly saw a localised surge in app downloads and installs following media coverage.
Following indepth pieces on the humanitarian story, what3words secured its ideal business story ahead of its funding round. ‘Three Little Words Could Transform E-Commerce’ appeared on Bloomberg, tapping into an international business audience. This story signaled a step change in how what3words was perceived, from champion of the unaddressed, to business transformer.
A key profile piece with The Daily Telegraph, coinciding with further investor meetings, resulted in a 450% increase in web traffic week-on-week to the what3words website. Those visitors resulted in over 5,000 app downloads across iOS and Android. The piece also resulted in global media attention, syndications and a 250% increase in SEO visibility score (searchmetrics).
Through targeted paid-promotion of strategic pieces of coverage on LinkedIn, what3words generated over 1,000 sales leads.
Alongside media profiling, what3words was a key speaker at Quartz’ seminal Next Billion event, a conference for influential business decision makers and thought leaders. Referred to as ‘the stand out speaker’ by the editor-in-chief, Chris was offered to become the publications first ever live Slack Q&A. The Live Chat boosted’s SEO visibility score by 480% (searchmetrics).
what3words used the credibility global media attention afforded it to close out a funding round and seal partnerships all over the world. A piece with The Financial Times was secured to coincide with the closure of its £3.5m funding round, and included the comment “it was one of the cleverest – and most easy to monetise – innovative technologies I have ever seen.”

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