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FROM POLITICS TO MARKETING;QRS NEWMEDIA OFFERS EXPERTISE IN SECURING LOCAL TV EXPOSURE

By Published on .

QRS NewMedia was a division of the Clinton/Gore '96 campaign just two weeks ago, using polling information and a detailed media database combined with satellite technology to make the campaign's surrogates available to local TV and radio stations.

Now the principals are trying to take that system to marketers.

"There are a lot of people in the marketing communications world that spend a lot of time trying to get on TV," said Mark Steitz, a QRS partner and co-owner. "Up until now, they have focused on getting on national TV. [But] local TV is exploding. We have an opportunity to help them get on that better."

TECH WIZARD ABOARD

Mr. Steitz, former communications director of the Democratic National Committee, and fellow QRS partner and co-owner Steve Rabinowitz, the team's technical wizard, also worked together on the Clinton campaign of four years ago.

They were joined at QRS this year by Catherine Balsam Schwaber, managing director.

QRS uses a computer program to combine polling and census data with information from a media database about program-production times, ratings and producers' issue interests. That allowed the company to search out the best spots for a Cabinet officer with an hour to spare and a specific issue to discuss by satellite or phone.

While readily admitting they will be on somewhat different ground in private industry, the three executives still believe there's a place for their service.

"We are trying to go to the next generation . . . to the local media where the fragmented media market is exploding," Mr. Rabinowitz said. "We want to be able to help people who are already doing it at the national level do it better on the local level."

QRS hopes to pitch ad agencies but the principals say they will target marketers directly and also public relations agencies.

QRS said it is still in talks with marketers, but believes that because there is so much competition for national media attention, marketers will be interested in looking past the national shows.

The company's executives say doing a media tour electronically through multiple interviews also saves time and money.

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