New comms tool maps web of main taste-makers

In a fast-paced world, it's often difficult to keep track of the key commentators and influencers of a particular issue. That's why Hill & Knowlton and ComMetric created their new tool called Influencer Network Analysis (INA).

In a fast-paced world, it's often difficult to keep track of the key commentators and influencers of a particular issue. That's why Hill & Knowlton and ComMetric created their new tool called Influencer Network Analysis (INA).

The INA uses software to identify the influencers, mapping their relationship to companies, brands, media, reporters, and publications, and creating a spider web of the entire network. It has the ability to handle large volumes of coverage - including articles, blogs, and documents - and then identify the driving entities.

Jim Beakey, director of communications mapping for H&K, calls it "an incredibly sophisticated tool for strategic and tactical planning."

One advantage of the product is its PR and communications value. "It allows professionals to very specifically target people, companies, or organizations for outreach to help meet their PR objectives," Beakey says.

Since January, H&K has been rolling INA out to its clients in the tech, consumer, and healthcare practices.

"If our pharmaceutical client can understand who the media are turning to when writing a story, either about them or an issue relative to them - be it a drug or whatever else, it provides a blueprint by which they should be communicating their message," says Daniel Montoya, H&K's SVP and director, US Health Policy.

"They would be best served by having their message spread out to all the people the reporters potentially talked with [about them], in order to positively impact the message they are trying to convey," he adds.

While INA is set up for media analysis, its visual mapping capability can be used to study an organization's internal capacity and communications.

"If you want to know if someone is a very trusted source that everybody goes to for information internally before they do anything, it would tell you that," Montoya says, "if that's how you set it up."

Key points:

Influencer Network Analysis (INA) allows you to keep track of key commentators in a market

PR people can use the tool to network with other influencers

An organization can use the INA for internal purposes

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