Less Strain, More Gain Out Of A Nexis Search

SUPPOSE YOU WANT TO FIND out everything an inquiring reporter has written about lately or track the moves of an environmental group. Even if you subscribed to Reed Elsevier PLC's Nexis service, a vast electronic library of clippings and business information, you'd still have to enlist help from a trained Nexis searcher. That or learn Nexis' complex and sometimes frustrating search procedures yourself. But no longer. Nexis is launching a series of Microsoft Windows-based software packages that simplify Nexis searching for public-relations professionals, lobbyists, journalists, and other groups by using their jargon and addressing specific interests.

Through the first such service, called ClientSmart, a PR person gets information by hitting one of five buttons. Choose ClientTrack to follow what's being written about a client in Nexis' 5,800 news sources, or IssuesTrack to keep up on a topic, such as how companies are telling workers of impending layoffs. The service costs $1,500 for three months' unlimited use.