PR Innovation of the Year 2010

Sponsored by HP. Open to agencies, service companies, corporate teams, nonprofits, and other organi-zations, this award recognizes the best technology-based solution or new service launched during the 12-month eligibility period that shows a lasting impact on the practice of PR

?WinnerWaggener Edstrom Worldwide: What's on Your Mind? Now Anyone Can Decipher Twitter Discussion with the Help of twendz!

With a limit of 140 characters, most crafted in some sort of shorthand, it's really difficult to comprehend what tweets mean. But with Twitter's ever-growing prevalence as a key communications forum, the need to understand the meaning behind tweets is vital. Enter twendz, an application developed by Waggener Edstrom.

Twendz is a Twitter-mining Web application that highlights conversation themes and the general emotion of tweets that discuss topics in which you're interested. Updating on a minute-by-minute basis and with the ability to eval- uate up to 70 tweets at a time, twendz extracts key terms, assigns tone rating to each, and then assembles them in a word cloud.

Anyone who uses Twitter, regardless of technical ability, can easily use twendz and get a stronger grasp on the emotional influence any topic, company, or product is having on the Twitter community. Also, by employing numerous in-house departments to do the proper research, WE ensured that it would develop a tool that delivered a high degree of accurate information every time.

"Innovation defined," said one judge. "It's ahead of its time."

The firm also had specific plans for how to gain both internal and external support. In-house, it built an employee base of twendz users. Among many benefits, this instilled a sense of pride and passion among the staff about WE's ever-growing social media capabilities. Externally, the agency shared the application solely via its social networks to underscore its savvy, passion, and inherent understanding of social media.

If WE's goal was to position itself as a social-media powerhouse, then mission accomplished. ZDNet and CNet immediately gave it front-page placement. Within 10 days of launch, WE received 90 placements. In all, the firm captured 1,400-plus twendz-related tweets totaling more than 75 pages of comments.

"This shows Waggener Edstrom to be a pioneer," said one judge. "It gives them a first-mover advantage in the Twitter debate."

Honorable Mention: Edelman and American Thoracic Society: The TB Advocacy Toolkit

In March 2008, the American Thoracic Society sought a way to better organize information about tuberculosis control and treatment. In March 2009, Edelman launched the TB Advocacy Toolkit, a Web-based, content-management system for searching, downloading, and customizing resources through an shopping cart and an iTunes format for self-selecting content. Users can browse by topic, use a "favorites" function to save content, and employ a Google-like search tool. Judges were impressed, as were those at the Stop TB Partners Forum, where the toolkit debuted. "I've seen tools try to do this," noted one attendee, "but never saw one so easy to understand and use."

Finalists 2010

  • Edelman and American Thoracic Society: The TB Advocacy Toolkit
  • eNR Services: MatchPoint for PR Innovation of the Year
  • Ketchum: The Ketchum Media Optimizer: Adding Discipline to the PR Discipline
  • Ketchum: Virtual Meeting Mashups - Reinventing Online Events
  • Waggener Edstrom Worldwide: What's on Your Mind? Now Anyone Can Decipher Twitter Discussion with the Help of twendz!

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