CooperKatz unveils MicroPersuasion service monitoring consumer media

NEW YORK: CooperKatz has launched a new service, MicroPersuasion, that helps corporations monitor and respond to blogs and online media channels. The service will be led by Steve Rubel, VP of client services, who has maintained a blog under the same name since May 2004.

NEW YORK: CooperKatz has launched a new service, MicroPersuasion, that helps corporations monitor and respond to blogs and online media channels. The service will be led by Steve Rubel, VP of client services, who has maintained a blog under the same name since May 2004.

The MicroPersuasion offering has been in the works since fall of last year, but the agency has been paying attention to the "social media" space of blogs and online communications since 2003, according to Rubel.

The agency's first foray into blogs came when it helped client WeatherBug launch one in February 2004. It has also won two clients through Rubel's blog, PubSub, a search engine that focuses on blogs; and Topix.net, a news aggregator.

"We decided not to launch a 'blog practice,' which [would be] like launching a press release service 50 years ago," Rubel said. Blogging, he adds, is just a tool.

The agency is instead focusing on offering clients the expertise of listening and monitoring the issues in the online community. Rubel said its initial offering is part of a continuous roll-out of services.

"There are four steps: Find who is out there, listen to them, engage with them, and empower them," Rubel said. The first offering is focused on listening to the blogs and beginning to engage them.

Some media monitoring companies have already rolled out a form of blog service, and MWW last month announced its own blog practice.

Rubel said that CooperKatz's value-add is the knowledge of the blog environment and the issues. He said that a lot of companies erroneously look to blogs as something they can control or something they should fear.

"It's demonstrative of the lack of awareness of how social media works," Rubel said.

"The tools are there, but clients don't have the in-house expertise or time to determine which posts, topics, and issues are things that must be paid attention to," Rubel said, offering as an example Kryptonite's slow response to growing noise last year that its locks could be picked with a pen. Media reports have estimated the fiasco will cost the company $10 million in new locks.

Rubel said the service will draw from the entire CooperKatz team, all of whom are knowledgeable in the environment.

"It's a discipline that has been infused into the bloodstream here," Rubel said.

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