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Why Should PR Pros Use Media Monitoring?

When a Fortune 500 company, government agency, startup, nonprofit, or public relations pro wants to know what’s being said about them in the news, they turn to a media monitoring service. Media monitoring services track information on television, radio, in print, and on the ‘net so that enterprises keep on top of publicity, trends and the success of media campaigns. Want to know if your satellite media tour aired in all the broadcast markets you booked? Check with your media monitoring service. Do you want to know if your new product is being talked about on the morning show in Kansas City, MO? Ask your media monitoring service.

Media monitoring services are essential in this day and age of information overload. And if you are a PR pro, they can be your best friend. Not only can a media monitoring service send you a full report of every media mention of your company, product, or brand, it can help you analyze and dissect that coverage. For a PR pro who is doing a good job and getting the word out, the media monitoring report is proof that she’s delivering for her boss or her client. For the PR pro who isn’t doing so hot getting her client or product in the spotlight, the media monitoring report is cold hard proof that something has gone wrong with the campaign.

But what else do media monitoring services do aside from provide a list of media mentions? First off, they can provide the mentions themselves. If you do find that your product was mentioned on the morning show in Kansas City, your media monitoring service can obtain you an electronic or DVD clip of the anchor saying your company name and using your product.  Talk about a great way to show off your business. And you might never have known about the mention at all if you hadn’t used a media monitoring service.

Media monitoring services can also provide analysis of your media mentions. Were mentions positive or negative? It can be critical to have this information at your fingertips when your company is enduring a public relations setback. Do negative mentions of your company name or product crop up often in a certain market or on a certain program? If so, then you know to focus your PR crisis management efforts in that direction. Not to mention, media monitoring reports can provide the number of people that viewed a press mention and calculate how much that publicity was worth.

Keep in mind that there are several types of media monitoring services. A hundred years ago, all news media was written media, so media monitoring services were clipping services that physically cut information out of newspapers and magazine and then mailed them to their clients. These days, a media monitoring service may specialize in print media, broadcast, the internet, or all three. And specialized media monitoring services may focus on tracking product placement, commercial mentions, or even infomercials.

When PR pros need proof of media coverage, expert analysis, and metrics to calculate the success of their PR campaigns, they turn to media monitoring services.

This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. To subscribe to PR Fuel, visit: http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel/subscribe/.

3 Responses

  1. Glynn says:

    We deem this so important at work that we have an internal news research team (four people) that do both monitoring and analysis.

  2. How do you find out which are the best media monitoring services? Thanks.

  3. prfuel says:

    Patricia, I would recommend asking around. I have a roundup of clipping services here: http://www.ereleases.com/clipping_services.html eReleases offers the MediaClipping(TM) service, which specializes in online and social media monitoring.

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