Products and Tools this week

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

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

This Week

NEW YORK: David Breitling has been named SVP of global strategy and business development for PRNewswire.

NEW YORK: Business Wire and custom publisher SmartBrief have partnered allowing press releases produced by Business Wire clients to be distributing using SmartBrief newsletters.

LANHAM, MD: Virginia's Community Colleges (VCCS) has selected Vocus PR software to manage PR activity among the network of 23 schools statewide.

Check out more products and tools news at In Brief

The End User

Andrew Foote, Account Supervisor, Manager of PepperDigital, Peppercom

What helpful product or tool have you discovered?

Managing and organizing your online world can be a daunting task – especially if you’re in the business of tracking news. Toggling between sites, databases, IM, and email is enough to distract even the savviest web worker.

At Peppercom, staff members use a free service called Netvibes, which is a personalized start page that aggregates content into a single hub. Similar services include iGoogle, Pageflakes, and MyYahoo. Essentially, personalized start pages allow you to keep tabs on important content without having to visit multiple sites.

Each employee builds a custom page using a mix of news feeds and third-party widgets. Basic widgets include things like Google News feeds, NYTimes.com feeds, and Weather.com updates.

Utilizing Netvibes has streamlined how Peppercom employees use the Web. In addition to improving news monitoring and blog tracking, it’s also raised the staff’s experience and comfort level with RSS and widgets.

Expert Q&A

Robin Seidner, Collective Intellect, Director of Marketing

Collective Intellect provides real-time data on social media. What’s the importance of this service in today's media environment?

RS: Consumers today not only consume media, increasingly they create and share it. 25% of all Internet users publish content online (Forrester); 40% read blogs regularly (PEW); 120,000 blogs are created daily in the US (CI). Getting access to all the conversations that apply to your company, in real time, as they happen, allows you to respond effectively as the story unfolds, instead of waiting until the next day or the next week when the story creeps into a traditional publication. Customers also use our real-time ability to benchmark activity before they begin a campaign, so they can track changes in activity and sentiment.

Why are message boards still relevant?

RS: In many industries, there is more discussion happening on message boards than on blogs or other social media. For some companies, it exceeds 50% of new media discussion. Message boards will continue to be a place people go to leave anonymous comments and critiques. Companies that choose to ignore these posts are ignoring a great portion of media discussion about their companies, their products, their brands, and their campaigns.

What are some of your tips for PR monitoring, measurement, and analysis?

RS: First, pay attention to the most influential bloggers that discuss your industry. Remember, these may not necessarily be the bloggers with the largest audiences, many bloggers are influential in small, niche areas, and are going to provide you the greatest amount of influence in that conversation stream.

Second, benchmark activity before you begin a new campaign so that your reporting is based on real changes in activity, not estimates.

Finally, measure not just volume of activity, but also how the conversation is changing. Is the tone changing from bad to good?

Media Watch

Alberto Gonzales Resigns from Attorney General Position

On Monday, August 27, 2007, Alberto Gonzales resigned his post as attorney general amid speculation he was bringing controversy to the Department of Justice. Democrats clearly support the move, and even many Republicans had begun to question Gonzales’ ability and truthfulness. President Bush remained the embattled attorney general’s strongest supporter through the end. With Solicitor General Paul Clement appointed as the acting attorney general, speculation about the official replacement began immediately.

Most frequent messages

Gonzales had been under continuous pressure from both Democrats and Republicans.

Replacement speculation begins in the aftermath of Gonzales’ resignation.

President Bush compliments Gonzales as man of integrity and principle.

Policies under Gonzales viewed as supporting the president’s agenda.

Unclear whether Gonzales resigned willingly or was pushed out.

Based on 2,216 print and online media articles from August 27-28, 2007.

Evaluation and analysis by Biz360.

White Paper

Twelve essential tips for success in social media

From BuzzLogic: "Whether you call it Social Media or Consumer Generated Content, there's no debate over the accelerating popularity of Internet sites and forums where consumers share opinions and experiences about every product and service imaginable."

Click here for full text.

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