By Todd Murphy | January 26th, 2011
I am guilty. I too have asked our sales people to structure our news monitoring prices into “bundles” so that we can offer discounted rates. In our case, we do this in order to entice clients to use Universal Information Services. In the news monitoring industry there are now two types of companies. Some companies are able to discount one or more of their higher margin services, when taken in a package of services (aka “bundle”). I believe this is a good practice for the vendor as well as the client receiving the discount. Some competitors to these benevolent bundles sometimes bristle at this approach and lament to their prospect, as they slip away, that “you are paying for that discount somewhere”. Well that’s not always the case. In our case, and that of other quality services, we want to earn clients by providing great value for all their needs.
I know that Cision, Burrelle’s/Luce, VMS, and even Vocus can offer some cost efficiencies when a client takes multiples services in a discounted bundle. Vocus is a bit different in that they are only an aggregator of others news tracking tools, and those tracking results are then paired with their very nice media contacts database and distribution system. So when speaking of the true news monitoring services, I’m speaking of Cision, VMS, and of course my own company (insert questions of bias here), Universal Information Services. For the aforementioned companies it is true that you can save money when bundling services from them. No bait and switch here.
In recent years, several services have cropped up that only monitor news they can find online, but also offer bundled services where you can choose your services. The difference between these companies and those mentioned above is that they are web content only. If you consider one of these self proclaimed news monitoring services, be sure you ask the following questions as you entertain their news monitoring and media analysis.
1. When you track the printed media, are you actually searching published newspapers and magazines, or are you only finding the lesss than 40% of published content by searching the web?
2. When you monitor broadcast news, are you really monitoring what has aired, news that has been broadcast, or are you only searching TV and radio sites that have a presence on the web?
3. When you track websites for me, can you customize your data set so I can have you add online sources that may be small but are important to me?
If your prospective vendor can’t answer these questions in an “honest and direct” manner, keep looking. If they attempt to blur the line with an answer like, “All of that content is available on the web, and we get it all”, keep moving. Most print and broadcast content is NOT available on the web, or is not completely accessible, and therefore requires a truly complete news monitoring service.
I probably could have titled this post, “If it is too good to be true, it probably is”. Yes, #samerules regardless of the #newtools. We do have more statistics and details on finding a news monitoring and analysis service that best fits your needs. Give us a call or contact us directly. Your comments are always welcome. Part two of this topic next week.