By Todd Murphy | November 2nd, 2010
If you watch Twitter or follow public relations groups on LinkedIn, you’ve seen a common question about the #newtools for monitoring news or social media. Over the past week I counted no less than 200 sources people had offered up as their favorite new tool for tracking media. Some are free, some are paid, but what all of these services have in common is they are trying to help users and organizations cut through the deafening media noise. People want solutions, the answers, an educated interpretation of what their media exposure means in terms of values that are important to them. 99% of the services out there are missing the mark.
The subtitle of this post is “The Art of Noise“, not as a reference to the avant-garde alternative band of the 1980’s, but as a reference to the growing volume of news and information available to everyone. What PR professionals, corporate communicators, and anyone tasked with tracking media need is simply an answer to the question of, “What stories should I be focusing on? Show me what is truly important and why.”
Here are a few of the services I believe have sound methodologies for generating meaningful earned media placements: Cision, Nielsen Buzzmetrics, BlueVision, and Carma. Yes, these are competitors: Universal Information Services offers many of the same services, but these companies have also demonstrated a high rate of reliability and are worthy of mention.
In contrast, the shortcoming in almost every online news monitoring solution available is that it is a software-as-a-service (SaaS). Invariably this means you, the customer, must know exactly what you want to track, what metrics you want to see, and then you have to do the work of correctly entering that information into an online tool. All of this effort on your part must occur before you can see any analysis or report outlining your results.
For accurate media monitoring and pr measurement, and to cut through the noise to just the news you need, human reasoning is ultimately required. Computers can only decide a yes or no proposition (1 or 0). Yes, the human is still critical for accurate news monitoring and media measurement. So, in the end your use of SaaS solutions, or a system that includes customized human interaction, may be the difference between receiving an overwhelming amount of media noise and getting truly valuable information. How loud must it be before you can no longer do your job well? We look at the #newtools with the #samerules in mind…then do what is best for our clients. What do you do?