Building consumer-generated word-of-mouth is a great way for companies to enhance their overall PR efforts. We recently applauded Amazon for its smart PR move around its push for more crowdsourcing of user-generated product reviews. Amazon’s efforts paid off; the online retailer reported that the 2008 holiday season was its best ever. Nielsen Online reports more than 80% of online shoppers read consumer reviews, validating their use as an important research tool for online consumers. Whether researching online as a consumer or business user, positive customer testimonials will go a long way. Young tech startups that are looking to generate positive conversations around their own product or service need to bear in mind that it’s ultimately determined by the users’ experience. Get that right and meet the needs of your targeted audience and, then as Amazon is learning, leveraging consumer-generated reviews as part of your online marketing efforts could reap additional viral PR and growth for your product or service.