Offshoring PR

The face-to-face relationships between PR counselors and clients means these jobs will probably stay in place. But lower-end public relations jobs—like the employees who perform media monitoring and evaluation tasks—could be shifted to places like India where the work can be done equally well at significantly reduced costs.

According to Anne Gregory, president of the Institute of Public Relations, “I think some of the elements of practical PR are becoming commoditised and therefore price sensitive. I could certainly see online research going out to India. Press releases could be written there if they were the sort that just required… Read More »

Fresh patent applications delivered by RSS

Want to know about the latest applications for patents dealing with online navigation? How about fuel cells, optical systems or shoes? Head on over to, where new patents applications are listed by category. And you don’t have to check the site regularly, since each subcategory includes a link to the RSS feed. The Invent Blog notes that access to such knowledge carries a commensurate risk: “If your company regularly uses a service like this (or does regular patent searches for what your competitors are patenting) it is pretty hard to argue that you didn’t have notice that your competitor had a patent.”… Read More »

Answering machine messages as brands

If you don’t think music and sound influence perceptions of a brand, just think America Online and that voice informing you “You’ve got mail.” Or how about General Electric and its ditty, “We bring good things to life”? Now think about what you hear when you call a company and hear the voice recording. How much does that recording reflect or support the brand? Most just feature an inoffensive voice reading a script.

If you’d like to hear how voice greetings are treated by some of the top brands, the Top 100 Voice Brands is a site that has collected a bunch of them. The site defines a voice brand as “the unique combination of voice… Read More »

Blogs influence book publishing industry

It has been a truism in the book publishing industry for, well, forever that a lot of books get published but only a fraction of them are reviewed in the New York Times Book Review or other mainstream review vehicles. More and more, though, readers are paying attention to what bloggers say about books that don’t get mainstream attention. NPR’s Karen Grigsby Bates reports on the impact of blogs on publishing in an audio report.

Bates notes that the New York Times Book Review’s editor reads literary blogs himself, and has even posted a comment to an open letter written by a blogger to him.

Investors sink money into companies building blog tools

According to a Business Week article, investors are looking for ways to make some money from the blogging phenomenon. So far, the best bet seems to be software tools that let big businesses build and manage blogs.

Software that trolls blogs looking for useful information also is getting attention. Cymfony, a startup in Newton, Mass., sells software that big companies are using to scan blogs for relevant information. A pharmaceutical company, for example, may want to look through blogs written by doctors, nurses, and patients about a new drug. Customers are paying anywhere from $30,000 to $100,000 for Cymfony’s product.

I have a bridge to sell you

The issue of employee policies for blogging has been making the rounds of the PR-oriented blogs for a couple months now. I’ve reported on the issue, as has Neville Hobson, Steve Rubel and a host of others. From these reports, it would take about 10 minutes to cobble together a sound policy and another hour to turn it into a document or presentation to take to the employee population.

Or, you could spend better than 1,000 euros (at least, I assume they’re euros) for a site license or more than 3,000 thousand for an enterprise license to buy a presentation ready-made from an Irish company called Research and Markets.  I’m not willing to… Read More »

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