Factiva Knows

    August 4, 2005

Time get out the tinfoil hat and pour yourself a cup of dandelion tea because Factiva knows everything else you’re doing online and they’re willing to sell that information. The newest tool in search for corporations could change a lot of things about the Internet.

Factiva, company created from Dow Jones and Reuters announced on Thursday the launch of their new “Factiva Insight: Reputation Intelligence. A tool they say will “empower executives to monitor known issues and discover emerging opportunities and threats from across the mainstream media, radio and television transcripts and consumer generated content, including blogs and message boards in one solution.” Wow! That’s a lot of ground to cover.

“There are millions of blogs and message boards worldwide and any one of them can affect your organization or brand. To fully manage corporate reputation, companies need to pay close attention to what is being said not only in the media but in blogs, message boards and online media too,” said Alan Scott, chief marketing officer, Factiva. “The sheer volume of information makes it impossible to read and analyze its impact on your business – until now. Factiva Insight: Reputation Intelligence provides the sophisticated tools to sift though millions of pages of information, and visualize potential threats as well as hard to spot opportunities. It all adds up to tremendous competitive advantage.”

So let’s put this in perspective. This tool provides some incredible marketing and public relations opportunities for companies. It allows companies to track all kinds of behaviors and vocalizations regarding the Internet. It can allow one more venue to find out what a company is doing right and doing wrong. It can give them another avenue into the world find out what works and what doesn’t, see what the buzz is about the particular business one is in. If you’re McDonalds and you want to find out about what people on the net are saying about your new Sextuple Mac, then you can get the low down from burger enthusiasts, the beef industry, health enthusiasts and even potentially employees who’ve notice special sauce consumption has increased dramatically.

The other side of this is something potentially dangerous and that’s the big brother possibility behind this. This will allow execs to keep close tabs on what all their employees are saying about them online and if an employee has a bad day and decides to slam their boss in the Live Journal, it may be all she wrote. Also, another thought is it could offer new ground in SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation) suits. This tool could certainly be abused.

The marketing and PR potential of this tool will be quite significant. Many people probably won’t realize though just how much information companies already have and how much more they will get from using this information. As I said, Factiva now knows

John Stith is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.