NEW YORK¡XCooperKatz & Company, one of the pioneers of public relations using blogs and other emerging online channels, has launched a new service to help corporations monitor, analyze, plan for and respond to issues originating from alternative Internet media.
The service is the first in a series of planned introductions under a new agency practice called Micro Persuasion that will be led by Steve Rubel, vice president of client services at the firm and one of the first PR practitioners to launch his own blog. Micro Persuasion capabilities will help companies address corporate issues and concerns and also capitalize on the opportunities that blogs and other new channels afford to engage key audiences in a transparent dialogue.
Micro Persuasion counsel will be infused into the agency¡¦s existing PR services, but can also be purchased as a stand-alone service.
¡§Thanks to weblogs and other inexpensive online publishing tools, individual voices are more influential than ever in the marketplace,¡¨ says Andy Cooper, an agency principal. ¡§Corporations need to pay attention to this online commentary as well as engage in a one-to-one dialogue with its ¡¥authors¡¦. We see an opportunity to create a new kind of service that helps companies listen, prepare and manage issues¡Xas well as their overall reputation¡Xin this emerging era of citizen¡¦s media.
¡§When you couple our experience with online privacy, product recalls, litigation, strikes, mergers and acquisitions and controversial marketing categories with our knowledge of blogs and consumer-generated media, we feel we have a unique expertise that will be quite compelling.¡¨
Specific services offered by the new practice include:
„X Issue Identification: Conducting an audit of the marketplace issues and corporate vulnerabilities faced by an organization.
„X Planning: Developing a preparedness plan to address serious incidents. Elements include the creation of special blogs, wikis or other tools as well as nurturing a network of blogging allies.
„X Monitoring: Setting up alerts and keeping watch of weblogs and consumer-generated channels such as photo-sharing and link-sharing sites for mentions of issues, companies, brands and even competitors.
„X Analyzing: Identifying potential issues that need to be addressed and strategizing ways to handle them, for example by openly engaging online audiences in a dialogue about their concerns.
„X Rapid Response: Establishing ¡§chains of command¡¨ and rapidly routing and addressing critical issues or concerns in an appropriate tone and voice.