Six Media Monitoring Tools to Track Reputations and ROI

Has the daily job of sifting through Google alerts or the local media for company or product mentions turned into a time and resource drain? If you’ve been tasked with gathering media mentions and evaluating results from a variety of national and international sources, a paid media monitoring service is the best tool for the task.

Sifting through the options to find the right service can be intimidating at the onset. Several reputable companies offer media monitoring tools that can save time and effort and help deliver comprehensive reports to stakeholders and the executive team.  We’ve recently had the opportunity to evaluate several of the products on the market and will share our findings here.

Exploring each service and their variable components is a time-consuming but worthwhile venture.  Each of the services we mention offer free demonstrations via telephone/web meeting services. We strongly recommend taking the opportunity to explore each option thoroughly as most require that you sign a minimum one-year contract for services.  While we include the baseline package cost, options such as social media monitoring, analytics, and additional user seats may increase the fee. Option-loaded packages can further increase costs. Always request a detailed pricing estimate and be sure that you need all the options you are ordering. You can always add options later. Clients are not generally allowed to remove functions during the contract term.

Many of these options also offer media outlet and reporter/writer database research functions which will be discussed in a future CaliberPulse blog post.

BurrellesLuce has been monitoring the media since 1888 and has long been considered one of the best in the business for print coverage.  They now offer comprehensive packages including print, web, broadcast, and social media monitoring.  Pricing begins at $3600/year and will vary upon the functionality package and number of clippings. The basic package charges for the service with an additional per-clipping fee. The per-clipping fee makes it difficult to budget for the service.

Vocus has been in the monitoring business for just over 20 years and has always been an online service. It is used by many tourism bureaus and government agencies. The monitoring service is excellent but does not include print-only publications, which can be frustrating for some professionals.  Vocus recommends a partnership with BurrellesLuce for those wanting their service with the addition of print monitoring. Packages begin at $7000/year and include all clippings.

Cision was founded in 1930 as Bacon’s Clipping Bureau and has been a major player in providing tools to U.S. PR practitioners over the years.  It is a widely used tool that some users swear by, while others express frustration that coverage is not comprehensive. Cision covers print and online sources. A highlight of this service is that it offers high-resolution scanned images of print clippings. Packages begin at around $4000/year with an additional per-clipping fee for print clips.

MyMediaInfo is a five-year-old company that claims to have an assigned human “editor” on your account searching for and managing mentions. The services covers print and online sources, including social media; but will only offer text-only reports for print mentions (not a scan of the article). This product is unique in that you can enter a long-term agreement or hire their research service in four-hour increments. Contract packages begin at $6000/year and include all clippings.

Meltwater was founded in 2001 and is an online-only monitoring service. Their standout feature is the ability to monitor publications from over 190 countries and 100 languages using unlimited, user-adjustable keywords. Contract packages begin at $5000/year and include all clippings.

Custom Scoop was founded by a group of public affairs professionals in 2000 and is a comprehensive and inexpensive tool that monitors exclusively online coverage (including blogs). The less expensive packages limit the number of keywords by which the client can search. Custom Scoop offers good customer support and RSS aggregator capabilities. Packages begin at $3600/year.

Nobody said staying informed isn’t work! However, these tools can really reduce the time and effort it takes to monitor what audiences are saying about your company and its products, services and employees. Have additional questions about which tool will give you the greatest return on investment? Contact us at 520.795-4500.

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