By Todd Murphy | April 20th, 2017
Has your media monitor let you down?
Media monitoring and measurement is what most would call a mature industry. Tracking the paid, earned, shared, or owned media (PESO) generated by public relations professionals and communicators isn’t as old as shoe cobbling, but it is not new.
Within any mature industry, you have a variety of providers delivering services that range from outstanding to poor, costing anywhere from a little to a lot, and sales promises falling somewhere between the honest truth and borderline deceptive.
As newer services enter the market, competition for clients can get fierce. Without a strong ethical compass, it’s not hard to find some media monitoring sales people stretching the truth in what they sell. Unfortunately, when a sales force scales up, this “stretching” effect also scales up, leading to more clients buying services that don’t meet their needs. Here in lies the seeds of Media Monitoring Myths.
Let’s melt media monitoring myths
The problem most commonly follows this thread. You’re promised a level of service that meets your needs, only to see those promises melt within the first few months of service. You attempt to get help from the vendor, only to find their lack of support leaves you cold. Eventually, you attempt to cancel or not renew, only to find you’re locked in or have auto-renewed for ANOTHER YEAR!
The most common media monitoring myths
Look below to see if you’ve been over-promised by a media monitoring or measurement service, or underwhelmed by the reality of the service they have provided. This post may help melt away many of the leading media monitoring myths propagated by some vendors as they try to claw for greater market share.
“As a sales rep, I won’t bother you too much.” -Then they call daily until you sign up, after which they pitch their other services until you grow frustrated.
“I’m sure I mentioned our 90 auto-renewal clause.” -They don’t draw attention to this clause so when you’ve served your time it’s harder to change vendors.
“Sure, we deliver real newspaper press clippings.” -No, they don’t. Lexis/Nexis text or web pages from a newspaper are not real press clippings.
“Of course, we have all the same TV and radio coverage as your current vendor.” -Again, sorry. Web pages from TV and radio stations don’t count as broadcasts either.
“Our automated sentiment analysis is accurate.” -Accurate only if you’re happy with the same reliability as flipping a coin. Automated tone analysis is poor, at best.
“You’ll only need five search agents.” -Maybe that is true. But what if you need six, or forbid seven search agents? That could cost you dearly.
“It’s better for our clients to have the online tools to do everything themselves.” -A pure SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) solution is great for the vendor because you do all the work. What do you do when you need help? What if you aren’t great with Bollean search strategy?
“Yes, yes, yes and yes. Whatever you need, we can do it.” -Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
“I can do everything your current service does, but for less money.” -Really? Make them prove it. Be sure they are providing the real print, TV, radio and social content you need.
If you find yourself in a relationship with a media monitoring or measurement service you don’t like, there are some great options for finding a new vendor. Link to our white paper to download How To Choose A Media Monitoring & Measurement Service. We give you three easy questions to ask, plus the most common red flags to look for when interviewing a new vendor.
Of course, if I can help answer any questions about our industry, please reach out. With over 25 years experience on a national level, I’m happy to share what I have learned. And let it be said here, our service isn’t perfect all the time. But when there is a problem, we make it right… even if that means releasing a client on friendly terms. I’d rather let an unhappy client go, than be remembered as an unreasonable person.
Please share your thoughts if you’d like to continue this conversation.
Todd Murphy, Vice President