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What you need to know about media-monitoring platforms

By Marjorie Comer

4 steps to help you choose the best media-monitoring platform

A good media monitoring platform can make all the difference.

Capturing media clips to share with clients is one way a public relations firm shows its success. What many PR firms struggle with is capturing all the media mentions for its clients. No media-monitoring service can capture every media clip or media mention. Some platforms can’t access certain sites, while Google Alerts may capture a clip before the provider. When choosing a media-monitoring platform, it’s important to use the provider that best fits your clients’ needs. Some popular platforms include Agility, Cision, BurrellesLuce, Meltwater and TrendKite.

Finding a media-monitoring platform isn’t easy as each platform offers something different. Here are four things you can do to ensure you choose the right platform for your company.

1. Determine what items are important to you and your clients.

Do you want to capture print coverage? Find TV clips? Are you focused on social listening? Perhaps it’s all of the above or a combination that fits your needs. Develop criteria to narrow down the platform options.

2. Participate in a demo of the platform.

Send a list of requirements and even some general search terms to the platform specialist. By utilizing your search terms, you can see how much media coverage the platform may pull based on your clients. During the demo, see if the platform allows you to take control of the search so you can familiarize yourself with it. Tell the specialist that you only want to see the capabilities that you’d receive based on the criteria you determined. Otherwise, you’ll get excited about something that doesn’t apply to your needs or budget.

3. Verify what the platform includes.

Does the platform offer an infinite number of search terms for your account? Can you lower the number of logins to create a single-user or two-user account? How many clips are you allowed to save each month or annually?

4. Learn the pricing, and negotiate.

Typically, for a smaller budget, you get the bare bones of a platform. Sometimes you can negotiate things such as number of logins. What did your team list in its criteria that were must-haves versus wants?

Some of these items may slip through the cracks when you’re looking for the platform that works best for your firm. While all the bells and whistles might be shiny and exciting, they don’t always fit your needs. And in my experience, a cookie-cutter platform isn’t going to cut it today. Clients like to see images that show the number of impressions an article gained for them as well as how many shares the article received or how many people are talking about the piece. Find out what’s important to your clients, and this will help you find the best platform.

Through Axia Public Relations’ research and demos, we found TrendKite seems to do well with its analytics, including the attribution between PR and sales, sentiment and even share of voice. Meltwater monitors broadcast, online and print – and it offers a limited-budget option. Cision recently updated its platform to make it more user-friendly. Agility is a newer option; its reports are eye-catching and include pictures. BurrellesLuce is popular for its print clips and prides itself on its measurement capabilities, which are often important to clients and to PR firms.

Sometimes a smaller platform fits your needs because its employees aren’t managing thousands of their own clients and can give you more focused attention. Before you sign on the dotted line, do your due diligence. One of the best things about hiring a PR firm like Axia is that we do the research to find the best PR software. Your company won’t be subject to all of the fees you would normally incur if you opted to do it internally. Visit our PR employee cost calculator to see how much monitoring your own coverage costs you.

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marjorie-comer-axia-pr.jpgClients love Marjorie’s work ethic, speed and diligence. She has worked with Axia Public Relations since October 2011. Marjorie graduated from Rockhurst University with a Bachelor of Arts in communication and loves to cheer for her hometown Kansas City Royals. Learn more about Marjorie.


Featured image credit: 123rf.com

Topics: public relations, media, earned media

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