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The Grail of DIY PR for $99 Bucks a Month?

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BUzZGain, the all-in-one web service designed to help small and midsize companies “listen, learn and engage” with a variety of influencers is now in public Beta.

Finding the correct word there is difficult–”influencers,” “stakeholders,” “audiences,” and the more textbook “publics” all sort of fit. The point being, it’s vast, amorphous, and intermingled: “150 Million reporters, bloggers, analysts, micro-bloggers, podcasters & video bloggers” can be identified and tracked.

Co-founders Mukund Mohan and Brian Solis, CEO of FutureWorks PR created what a number of firms have either bought on a bigger scale, or are trying to develop internally: a dashboard for understanding what’s going on with brands online, glean intelligence, and find ways to jump in the pool and mix it up.

MS&L has their proprietary Multiloguer tool for example, and last Fall Edelman chose dna13, which uses “listen, think, engage” as their three areas of reputation management. Both are big undertakings. Edelman’s goal was to have all 3,200 staffers across 26 countries use the product.

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BUzZGain is $99 a month for companies with less than $100 million in revenues–which includes all of the non-conglomerate PR firms tracked by O’Dwyers except Edelman and Waggener Edstrom (#1 and 2 respectively)

TechCrunch makes the point that these tasks can be accomplished with combination of other tools, which is what firms have been doing for years in an ad-hoc way. We’ve all been there, and its a hour-sucking beast.

BUzZGain and the other low cost solutions likely to emerge will be attractive to entrepreneurs, and to smaller agencies looking to stay out of the weeds of monitoring and reporting, while drawing scrutiny to what’s in those big retainers, especially in a downturn.

What do these tools really mean for the industry and how do you feel about them? Email us here.

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