Topaz Partners aligns web strategies under one discipline

MALDEN, MA: PR firm Topaz Partners has launched a new online service, called Buzz Marketing and Online Communications, to use Weblogs, wikis, RSS, online communities, social networking, and other communications platforms that allow direct contact with audiences.

MALDEN, MA: PR firm Topaz Partners has launched a new online service, called Buzz Marketing and Online Communications, to use Weblogs, wikis, RSS, online communities, social networking, and other communications platforms that allow direct contact with audiences.

The service will be folded into the agency, according to principal partner Tony Sapienza.

"It's something we've been doing since the day we started the agency," Sapienza said, adding that the reason for the new service was to offer more integration to the client base.

The goal is to provide a mix of traditional PR strategies and online communications to raise visibility among key influencers. It has started an industry blog, topazpartners.blogspot.com, that addresses and provides commentary for subjects in the PR industry. It is authored by partner Todd Van Hoosear, who called the blog "inclusive."

"We spent a lot of time on what the personality of the blog would be to try to get something that has a core readership," Van Hoosear said. "We wanted it to be a little edgy."

The agency said the new offering stems from client need.

"We had one client that said they want to de-emphasize traditional PR and focus on online buzz marketing," Sapienza said.

"Different clients were using some aspects [of our online services] and didn't know about the others," said Hoosear. "By packaging, we could kill two birds with one stone."

Clients of the service so far include LED video screen company Lighthouse, middle market insurance solutions provider Capstone Insurance, and digital image processing company Connex Technology.

Topaz feels that highlighting its services help differentiate the firm.

"I think there's still that mentality where some PR people are too grounded in traditional PR," Sapienza said. "There's only a small group of agencies and professionals that stay ahead of the curve and I haven't seen a rush to the door."

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