Recently I saw a post in www.ragan.com about media monitoring, what was the best way to go about monitoring the media for PR Professionals. Here was my reply to it.
The environment of Newspaper clipping services or print monitoring is this. National coverage there are two large companies Cision (formerly Bacon's) and BurellesLuce. They cover most of the daily papers across the country, and some of the weekly papers. If you are looking for a general national search one is just as good as the other. However, if you need the grassroots coverage from all of the local papers in a particular area, then you should look for a regional service, like Magnolia Clipping Service in Mississippi and Alabama. Regional services cover EVERYTHING in that regional Daily, Weekly B-Weekly, Monthly, Bi-Monthly, Semi-Annual, and most magazine published in their coverage area. All of the traditional clipping services in North America belong to an organization called the North American Conference of Press Clipping Services NACPCS. Some Press Associations have their own clipping services, but they only track the newspaper that belong to their association.
Television and Radio
Again Cision and VMS are the kings of the hill in the area, but their are others such as Critical Mention, TVeyes, MediaVision, that provide an online version only. Similar to the print monitoring, these monitors, they claim to have all of the 210 DMA's, but depend on the independent monitors to provide text reports and video. Then you have the independent monitors. These Independent monitors have formed a cooperative called News Data Services. This co-op truly covers all 210 DMA's. For instance Magnolia Clipping Service covers every television broadcast in Mississippi, and can provide reports, video, and portal access with analysis nationally. Often the independent monitors can through their network applications can provide as good or better service as the larger companies, at a much more affordable price, better customer service, cheap prices, higher quality video, more informative text reports, and just as much Portal functionality as any other company in the industry. The rest of the companies I have seen mentioned here get thier information from the other companies and resell it. Biz360, ENR, and Vocus resell other clipping services clips and NDS's news monitoring reports.
Meltwater, CustomScoop, and Cyberalert are online only. This may be adequit for some applications, but be aware that everything is not online. Only 40% of newspapers in the country have websites, and only 40% of the content in the newspapers makes it online. By far the audiences for Newspaper, Radio, and Television far outweighs the number of people who read papers online. This number is growing. Companies like Universal Information (universal-info.com) and Magnolia Clipping Service(magnoliaclips.com), and Louisiana TV News Clips/ Metro Clipping Service provide for the regional campaign everything that you need, a one stop shop for print, tv, radio, internet, and analysisTo get a complete picture of
This is a brand new product, and only a few companies have made a go of it. Radian6, Umbria, and Cyberalert all have products that can report bloggin activity to you, and somehow measure it, but more and more blogs are popping up everyday, as are blog monitoring services. All in all the large guys are expensive, and have the big picture covered, with the fancy tools, and the smaller guys are cheaper and more inclusive, with just as many analytical tools.