NU research center launches with Spiegel backing

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Think a negative post on social media hurts a brand’s sales?

Maybe not. And what’s more, a diss could even be a boost for the company.

That’s one of the findings at the new Medill IMC Spiegel Digital & Database Research Center, which officially launches Wednesday at Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism.

The research center, Medill’s first, is backed by the estate of the late Ted Spiegel, an associate professor and 20-plus-year faculty member who established Medill’s graduate direct-marketing program. The university declined to disclose the amount of the endowment.

Spiegel, a grandson of the Spiegel catalog founder, died May 11.

The Spiegel Center is also funded by corporate sponsors including Peapod, Coca-Cola, Loyalty One, Con-Agra Foods, Colony Brands and Reckitt Benckiser.

The center will work with sponsoring companies to analyze their immense troves of data to improve the way they engage with their customers on the Web and media, says Tom Collinger, the center’s executive director.

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