NEW YORK—Hill & Knowlton is launching a new client service called communications mapping. The service will use powerful software to identify and visualize the influencers and commentators who drive coverage and generate traction with media. The new unit will be headed by a new hire, Jim Beakey, and will report to chairman and CEO, Paul Taaffe.
The communications mapping service will be available from early 2007 and will offer an exclusive range of tools developed by H&K spin-off company ComMetric group. These include the firm’s influencer network analysis methodology that interprets the relationships, momentum, influence and “pass-through” of ideas in mainstream and social media to identify key influencers.
“The insights generated by INA and other communications mapping tools help uncover opportunities and relationships that can be leveraged to create programs that deliver a better ROI for clients,” says Taaffe. “These tools are unique in the PR industry and exclusive to Hill & Knowlton.”
Beakey joins H&K with nearly 20 years of leading media and communications analysis practices with companies such as Factiva, Delahaye and Applied Communication. At Factiva, he was responsible for developing the firm’s insight media measurement and analytic product line, from technological product planning to sales processes and fulfillment. Prior to that, he joined benchmarking and analysis company 2B, then an H&K partly-owned partner company. 2B was acquired by Factiva in 2005.
Says Beakey, “Influencer mapping provides richer information than traditional media analysis. INA uses unique, powerful technology to discover the real gatekeepers of influence and the complex relationships that drive media discussion—connections we’ve not been able to see with traditional media analysis.
“This is not about theory but improving day–to-day PR practice and return on communications investment. The findings are inherently actionable, both short and long-term.”