WOM absorbed by other tools

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Many different kinds of companies are finding ways to either partner with experts or launch tools and services around word-of-mouth.

Pheedo, an RSS feed provider, said it is in the process of adding a "forward to a friend" function to its RSS feeds.

Experian's CheetahMail, an e-mail marketing company, announced last month it has partnered with Bazaarvoice, a word-of-mouth marketing company, to launch a Customer Ratings and Reviews program for its e-mail campaigns. The program gives marketers the means to incorporate customer ratings and product reviews into commercial e-mail messages.

Late last month, PR firm Shift Communications released a format for social media press releases that it is making available to the marketing and PR community at large. Todd Defren, principal at Shift Communications, said in his blog, PR Squared, that "the banal, unhelpful, cookie-cutter press releases of yore have outlived their pre-Internet usefulness." The new format calls for embedded hyperlinks throughout the release to things like podcasts, RSS feeds, videos and related news coverage.

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