Friday, January 20, 2006

The Hobson Holtz interview with Pete Blackshaw after the acquisition of Intelliseek by Buzzmetrics has a lot to do with PR evaluation. It is also important in what was said about future technologies and some of them are very important for the Relationship Management Model of PR.

It offers a view of technology that is available and will soon be.

We need these technologies because, if you can't monitor it, it will bite you in the butt and if you can't measure it, you can't manage it.

For a PR practitioner these days this is not easy.

There are so many channels to watch. In the UK this requires monitoring 700 Newspapers and 8000 magazines, 600 radio stations, 700 television channels. 7000 on-line web based news channels (and five times that for world coverage). For a medium sized company there may also be as many as 500 relevant financial, trade, technical and government web sites, 60,000 Usenet newsgroups, millions of blogs, a few dozen discussion lists, a range of wikis, podcasts and video casts and vlogs and corporately there may be Instant Messenger monitors and email management.

Its a daunting task.

For a Public Relations department where the attitudes of a myriad of stakeholders with interests in the competitive environment, legislation and the cultures in which the organisation has to thrive – this is a much bigger problem and a more serious responsibility.

We need and have to adopt intelligent evaluation to get any sense of what and where commentary is coming from.

Text mining to gain insights using context analysis, to track content as it emerges and morphs to identify issues is but one application that can be applies across a range of communications channels.

There are a number of applications from news monitoring to identification of concepts that give us a clue as to the tokens and values that are present among the many cultures that are relevant to organisations. This sort of intelligence allows organisations to have more relevant conversations with its constituents and to engage both commercially and culturally.

This seems strange evaluation. It's intelligence and computing that will grow the PR market; heavyweight technology giving practitioners serious management tools at the top table.

The PR industry has to understand enough to be able to take such technology to its heart and that was no more evident than in what Pete Blackshaw was telling us. Our whole industry has to adopt the technologies that will help us grow and protect the organisations that made $170 trillion on-line last year.


Picture: Stephen G. Eick (eick@acm.org) and colleagues at Bell Laboratories into the visualization and analysis of Internet traffic flows. Their 1996 research paper "3D Geographic Network Display" provides further details.