Any practitioner’s dream is to have people advocate for their company and its products or services without prompting. This is the optimum view of “buzz” or word-of-mouth communication. In our wired world, traditional audience analysis that uncovers demographic, attitudinal and other dimensions is useful, but simply isn’t enough to measure buzz. Beyond traditional audience analysis methods is network analysis based on a relatively new field of network science.
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Peter M. Smudde, Ph.D., APR, associate professor/coordinator of public relations, Illinois State University
Smudde has 25 years of experience in planning, writing and editing a full range of public relations, marketing, executive and technical discourse for various companies in many industries. He also held an executive-level position in communications, and worked in corporate, agency and entrepreneurial enterprises, ranging from General Motors Corp. to family-owned businesses.