It’s important to know when the media mentions you and what they say. Old school PR folks used clipping services, called that because companies used to literally clip mentions from the newspaper and mail it to you. Now it’s called media monitoring.
Cision, Coverage Book and Meltwater are great services for media monitoring. They’re also not free. Fear not, there are free ways to monitor media coverage. They’re not as robust as the aforementioned services, but they’ll get the basic job done.
Put in the search terms you want to follow and get emails with your coverage. Boom. Of course you should put in your company name, but consider other terms to make sure you catch every mention. Here are some ideas:
- Names of top executives or spokespersons
- Popular product or service names
- Stock symbol if your company is publicly traded (but if you’re publicly traded, just pony up for a paid service)
Once you decide on your terms, you can decide how often you get alerts, what country, language and type of source they come from.
Set up a few columns with similar search terms as mentioned above and review it as frequently as you need to. Media and reporters usually tweet what they cover, but don’t always tag your brand, so this helps get anything that falls through the crack in your mentions. You can also set up a list or column with the media that regularly covers your company to see everything they write or talk about. This also captures any social mentions (on one channel) of your brand.
You want to find a home for all the data coming in so you don’t lose track of it and can more easily put it in a report for your bosses or client. Excel or Google Sheets are perfect for this. Determine what you want to track and make those your header columns. Here are a few ideas – date, outlet, reporter, tone (good/bad/neutral), link, location, type (online, newspaper, radio, etc.).
You can also use any of these services for counter-intelligence. Change your company’s name for your competitors and your execs’ names for their counterparts at rival organizations.