A good media monitoring service scans coverage in a geographic area of any type of media outlet and customizes the type, quantity and frequency of its scanning. The best services also provide daily analysis of the coverage, often comparing media coverage of key competitors or customers. This analysis should also extend to trends over a period of weeks and months to track success on pitching stories to the media.

Cision, Bacon’s Directories Leader in Media Analysis

The best known media monitoring and analysis services is Cision, more commonly called Bacon’s. Watch for these features when choosing any monitoring service:

  • Determine where media monitoring is needed. If customers, government, funders, donors or other key audiences are located in a capital city, monitor all media coverage there.
  • Pinpoint the news organizations that require monitoring. Clipping services have media lists to chose from.
  • Watch for clipping services that provide alerts about developing media coverage. Many print publications publish content on a website long before the print version reaches newsstands.
  • Good media monitoring services gather news through online sources. TV news broadcasts are monitored through closed caption feeds and community newspapers and trade journals carry coverage online.
  • Find out if all mentions of an organization need monitoring or if keywords about certain issues should be tracked. Good media monitoring services use precise keyword monitoring to target coverage of a specific organization.
  • Determine if the media coverage can be emailed each morning, throughout the day or as a daily or weekly newsbrief for organizational leaders. Expect the coverage to be emailed with the headline, story lead and a link to the full story.
  • For worldwide media monitoring, make sure the clipping service searches keywords in a variety of languages, check the time of day when the coverage will be delivered and types of media outlets scanned.
  • Find out the fixed monthly fee, if extra fees are charged for additional clips, the cost of an annual contract and if a clipping storage website is available to access archived media coverage. Before signing an annual contract, agree to a 90-day trial run and check the references of a monitoring service. Get a written quote with the exact services listed.

Using Internal Press Service Often More Costly

Many public relations departments track news coverage without the use of a press service by designating a staff member to scan news websites each day, often using Google News or Yahoo News, to develop a synopsis. Calculate the cost of the staff member’s time to perform these scans and analyze the coverage to determine if hiring a media monitoring service saves money in the long run.

Using a media monitoring or clipping service is an easy way to keep track of news clips and gather effective news analysis about an organization. Finding the right service will make sure the costs for these services provides a good return on the investment.