It used to be difficult to measure the effectiveness of PR tactics and strategies.
Even the most skilled PR professionals found it hard to track press clippings across multiple print and broadcast mediums.
But today, press clipping services make the task of media monitoring much easier. Instead of haphazardly collecting clippings from a handful of media sources, twenty-first century media monitoring involves a sophisticated information logistics process.
Some press clipping services monitor a broad range of media sources while others focus on a specific category, e.g. online media. When you're looking for a media monitoring service, make sure they are experienced in covering the types of media you need covered. Here are the other things you need to look for.
- Keyword fine tuning. A good press clipping service narrows search results down to specific sections and subsections of media. The more skilled the press clipping service is in fine tuning keywords, the more precise and more effective their reporting will be to your business.
- Restricted site access. Many online media outlets are password restricted or offer limited access to subscribers only. It's important to make sure your press clippings service delivers full text to PR coverage on restricted sites rather than simple references.
- Clip access. Quality press clipping services offer their clients convenient access to media clips via a web portal or other online mechanism. Again, you're looking for providers that provide access to full text and graphics. It's also nice to know that your provider can report clips in multiple formats (e.g. DVD, online, etc.).
- Comprehensive web monitoring. Online media is becoming an increasingly important PR resource. Your press clippings service has to be at the top of its game to keep up with the fast-paced world of online media. Look for providers that offer coverage of targeted message boards, user groups, and websites.
- Timeliness and constant updating. Accurate media monitoring requires a timely approach and near-constant updating of targeted media outlets. Confirm that you be receiving information about what is being said about your company and your products today – not what was said six months ago.