By Todd Murphy | October 24th, 2019
You may not have heard of us, but your competition knows us well.
This idea is often the case when a new prospect comes to Universal Information Services for help. Most companies and organizations using a media monitoring or PR measurement service know of the SaaS platforms like Meltwater and Cision. Many firms and agencies even know the names of niche news monitors like TVEyes or Critical Mention. At the very least, almost everyone is aware of the Google News Alert tools. All of these services can be good for what they do. The difference between Universal Information Services and these other services really boils down to only two points: comprehensive media coverage and accuracy of analysis insights. And that’s a big deal.
Comprehensive Media Coverage is what allows an organization to see more of their media exposure.
The more comprehensive your monitoring service, the more certain you are that your important stories are being found, whether they run in print, broadcast, web or social media. In a recent comparison, we analyzed the news monitoring results Meltwater was providing to a nationwide insurance company relative to what Universal could find for this company. Ironically, the Meltwater salesperson provided the data we used for comparison by trying to show this client how little Universal would find compared to Meltwater. In generating those results, this Meltwater representative used their tool to show what we would get, but also what Meltwater would get. In other words, using only her Meltwater search she provided both a local and international “coverage over time” chart as comparison.
What we were able to show was that because the Meltwater representative was only able to search news sources that are online, Meltwater could only find about half the coverage that Universal could uncover. In all, Universal found 648 stories from the past 100 days compared to 332 stories found by Meltwater for the same time period (July 15-October 17, 2019). My instinctual reaction to this would be to say: “If you are comfortable missing 50% of your media exposure from TV, radio, web, print and social media, then a SaaS service like Meltwater is fine. But, if your organization needs to know more about the news impacting you or your competition, then you need Universal.” But media monitoring is no longer just about volume of news stories found. Insights, attribution and correlated outcomes are how public relations works today.
Accuracy of Analysis Insights
Public relations professionals and corporate communicators now rely on data insights that can show how organizational goals can be attributed to public relations effort. The question for any media monitoring service should be: “Can you show me how our media exposure correlates to the objectives we want to achieve?” This is where we arrive at the practicality of why a more comprehensive news monitoring service can yield better insights.
If you are missing half of your stories, how confident are you, or worse yet, how confident are your stakeholders, that the guidance derived from your media measurement is accurate? Accurate media measurement requires a quality data set. Although your objectives may target specific audiences or demographics, and that can necessitate focusing on different media for influence, the resulting information you have to measure must be of high quality or else your insights will be unreliable.
Universal Information Services is not the name everyone knows because, well, we are smaller than Meltwater and Cision. It might be helpful to understand what we are not, before we focus on what we are.
We are not:
- The cheapest media monitoring service in the United States
- We are not limited to monitoring only online media
- We are not interested in signing you up, then letting you serve yourself
- We are not a vendor that has more sales people than support staff
- We are not only a broadcast monitor
- We are not a high-priced PR measurement consultancy
- We are not the company spending money on the urinal cakes at #PRSAICON
Universal Information Services is the company you go to when you realize your current vendor is missing the stories you need. That feeling first starts as a suspicion that you didn’t get a story you believe ran. That sinking feeling grows as your co-workers and executives ask for media placements you can’t find within the results of your current vendor. Finally, your frustration breaks free when your current monitoring service can’t correct the problem and show you the stories you need. This is when you find Universal Information Services.
- Clear and honest discussions about how we can help you
- An on-boarding process that involves both survey information and an interview process, just to be absolutely sure we know what you need
- The professional creation of your search strategy, and strategy testing to demonstrate that we are finding what you expect to see
- Frequent contact from our support team to make sure we are meeting expectations
- Unlimited ability to modify search terms
- A media measurement methodology that starts with what your goals are, anticipated outcomes and then develops a customized insights report around what your organization specifically needs
- Adherence to the tenants and guidance from AMEC, so you can be sure your measurement is comprehensive, complete and consistent over time.
The above processes we have built allow us to bring our clients what they seek most: comprehensiveness and accuracy. Without either of these two qualities, it is nearly impossible to evaluate the effectiveness of your public relations effort. If you are using another service, and would like to talk with Universal Information Services about what we might be able to do for you, just email or call us at (402) 342-3178.
I’m pretty sure we will never spend the kind of money needed to market our name as widely as Cision or Meltwater, but I’m very confident that any client that comes to us will see an improvement in the comprehensiveness of what we find and better accuracy in the insights we deliver. That may be why your competition knows us so well.
CEO Todd Murphy, Universal Information Services