Products and Tools this week

The PRWeek Products & Tools newsletter provides news, features, and campaigns delivered direct to your inbox. Here are featured sections from the weekly newsletter.

The PRWeek Products & Tools newsletter provides news, features, and campaigns delivered direct to your inbox. Here are featured sections from the weekly newsletter.

This Week

BOSTON: Maconomy US has announced the general availability of Maconomy X+, the company's flagship enterprise resource planning software, for marketing communications firms.

CHICAGO: Cision has enhanced its media research services to include more editorial calendar opportunities for 2008.

PARIS: Publicis Groupe has acquired Wcube, a French Internet communications agency. Effective immediately, the company will be rebranded as Publicis Modem France and will become a part of the Publicis Worldwide global network.

The End User

Andy Maas, managing director, corporate communications, FD

What helpful product or tool have you discovered?

I have collected a series of online tools that I organize in a strip along the side of my Web browser screen. This helps me find highly specific information at a moment's notice. Some of my current favorites include:

-WorldTimeServer.com: This is the best site for telling time around the globe, and calculating time differences between locations. I use this tool every day.

-Babblefish.com: With some of my clients, English is not their native language. I use Babble Fish to translate what they are saying, and when I want to express myself to the client in their native tongue.

-Yellow.com: I frequently receive calls from unknown area codes, so I use the area code finder on this site to pinpoint exactly where a person is calling from. Then, I can figure out what time to call them back, so I am not contacting people at inconvenient hours.

Expert Q&A

Andy Church, VP, marketing and product management, dna13

Please give a brief description of dna13's work.

AC: We have been developing on-demand PR and stakeholder management software for global Fortune 100 companies, PR agencies, professional organizations and government environments for over seven years. Our product suite, consisting of dnaEnterprise, dnaProfessional and dnaMunicipal, is designed to help professionals manage, monitor and measure their outreach and the relationships that impact upon their brand and corporate reputation.

Media directories, email and phone call logs, editorial opportunities, journalist pitching tips, global media monitoring content and insider commentary all feed into the application and are presented alongside related information in a campaign-centric approach.

How does stakeholder relationship management (SRM) differ from customer relationship management (CRM)?

AC: CRM systems are focused on managing relationships with customers, especially when it comes to its technology for database management, tools for analysis of customer behavior and lead generation.

Stakeholder relationship management (SRM) is different in that it is focused on managing relationships with the key individuals (internal and external) that will likely impact a company's reputation and brand. It could be a senior executive or spokesperson that is often pulled into a crisis communication plan at the last minute. More often than not, they come to the table with little background knowledge on the emerging issue and thus consume valuable time to be briefed and brought up to date on the company’s position.

How has media monitoring changed over the past couple of years?

AC: The number of news outlets has significantly broadened to cover every aspect of our lives. In addition, the formats in which this content is delivered are expanding. Traditional media are the usual suspects when it comes to accessing news. With online social networks, new avenues have been created to provide people with on-demand information about anything that interests them.

Enterprises need the ability to capture media coverage as it is being disseminated to avoid a growing gap in information between what is happening online and what is discussed in departments, business groups, and the boardroom. Real-time electronic clips of broadcast TV, online, and print news all have the potential to affect a company’s stakeholders, reputation, and stock price. Stakeholder managers in media relations, investor relations, public affairs, and government affairs now all insist on having access to real-time updates on media and Internet mentions, as well as transparent access to calls and emails on a topic-by-topic basis across the organization.

What reputation management suggestions would you offer the PR community?

AC: Today, we are seeing all kinds of consumer advocacy happening on Youtube, Facebook and other such channels. People are figuring out how to tell a great (or bad!) story about your product quality, business practices, union negotiations or financial reporting irregularities.

Today's brand guardians need to push out internal monitoring mechanisms that get them earlier access to key issues and potential storytelling opportunities. The end result means an end to bad PR that gets popularized on Youtube and ultimately ends up in mainstream media.

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