Traditional PR

August 16, 2017

Public Relations Media Monitoring V2: The ‘How’

If you were around here last week, you would have caught my post explaining the ever-important topic of MEDIA MONITORING and why it’s important (even if you aren’t in PR.) This week? I’m breaking down the how.

How can you effectively monitor the giant vast ocean that is the Internet?

For companies who don’t have a budget for a media monitoring software (hi) or don’t want to take the time to teach the intern how to use that media monitoring software on her first day in case she flakes and never shows up for work again (true story, has happened)….Enter, GOOGLE.

How does Google help with media monitoring? Well. Every single PR person runs Google searches with her company’s keywords every single day to see which articles have gone live mentioning either her brand or the products that she’s representing.

Sometimes you have a heads up from a magazine editor letting you know to expect something but more often than not….it’s a surprise and delight moment. A gift from the heavens, if you will. Maybe that’s a little dramatic, but talk to me after you’ve been pitching the same god-damn product 5 different ways for the past year and you finally find a piece by the New York Post mentioning it after Googling at god-damn o’ clock in the morning.

Googling is the old fashioned way, but it works decently well if you have someone dedicated who can do it every single day and copy the links that are live into an Excel sheet to reference at the end of the month when you have to report on why your salary is worth paying. That would be the intern.


Google also has a slightly archaic but still helpful tool called “Google Alerts” that you can set up, see above. That’s just an example that’s relevant to my life now given where I work (duh) but you can use any combo of boolean search terms.

Enter the keywords you want Google to comb the Internet for and how frequently you want Google to email you a digest of all the hits it finds. It misses some stuff for SURE, but is helpful if you don’t have an intern around.

If you DO have a budget to spend on media monitoring…there are a bunch of platforms out there that you can contract with on an annual basis that’ll comb the Internet for you to a varying degree.

I’ve used:

  • BurrellesLuce: The oldest game in town and also the least reliable. They haven’t updated their software since literally 1894 so I’d recommend passing on them
  • Cisionpoint: Industry leader for measurement metrics on how many Unique Visitors Monthly a website gets, but their monitoring tools are still pretty new and aren’t that good
  • Meltwater: The best of the bunch, but also the most glitchy when it comes to the nuts-and-bolts of the interface

Bottom line:

I have yet to find a platform that works 100% well but can confirm that a shitty platform is better than no platform at all.

If you have the money, invest in some automated help…but on the topic of money, the help won’t be cheap. Cision can run you around 4-5K annually but you might be able to negotiate a better deal. Meltwater can run as expensive as 12-15K and they’re terrible at giving discounts even though their platform has many flaws. I’m not sure what Burrelles runs, but do know that they’re open to working on a month-to-month basis which might help ease the pain of the investment.

Final thought to leave you with. While media monitoring at the scale in which you need automatic help is usually reserved for PR people working and repping brands…if you’re a young entrepreneur just starting out, you are MISSING AN OPPORTUNITY if you don’t at least set up Google Alerts.

Even if you aren’t an entrepreneur, set them up for your own NAME. Seriously, that way you’ll know if anyone decides to start a smear campaign on you because you recently auditioned for the latest hot reality TV show and your interview tape leaked and went viral.

Just an example, don’t say I”m not lookin’ out for ya 🙂 Lemme know if you want me to go more in-depth about the kind of stuff a platform can do, because that’s DEF a post in and of itself.

In the meantime, keep an eye out for part 2 of this post…

explaining why tf you should media monitor at all.

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