Choosing a Media Monitoring Service
All organizations have a story to tell and a brand to manage. An important tool for the communications professional is access to a reliable media monitoring service. Today there are more media outlets than ever before. With the expansion of media outlets, there has also been an increase in the media monitoring options available to brand managers. Outlined below are nine guideline questions that can help ensure you select a media monitoring service that is the best match for your needs.
1. Is it comprehensive?
When you are trying to locate the best media monitoring service, your research will likely lead you to companies that monitor a single source of media coverage such as online news or social media. In order to get the complete view of your media coverage, it is important to choose a media monitoring service that monitors all media sources. Be sure to utilize a service that includes monitoring of local and national TV news programs, radio news programming, social media conversations, online news sources, and print publications.
Another important thing to review is the depth of the broadcast news monitoring that is provided. Does the service just monitor the local news from the major stations or do they also include monitoring of public access, Spanish language programming, radio programs, and secondary TV news channels at the local level? Ideally you want to be able to rely on a single service rather than multiple media monitoring vendors to get the job done.
2. Do they outsource monitoring to third party vendors?
Many media monitoring services outsource some or all of their monitoring functions to third party vendors. For example, they may monitor online sources in-house and then outsource the broadcast monitoring function to a third party. This outsourcing of core news monitoring functions often creates client service problems when multiple vendors are involved in the back end operations.
3. Is it a self-service or client focused platform?
Most media monitoring services provide software as a service products. These services rely on the self-service of the end user to manage their account. Be sure to ask if your service includes access to a dedicated team of people to help monitor your coverage or will you be responsible for figuring out how to get the most value out of the service on your own?
4. Is it accurate?
The best way to be ensure that you have a media monitoring service that meets your needs is to try the service out and compare it to your current solutions for monitoring the media. Be sure to ask for a complimentary trial. You want to be sure you are receiving relevant mentions of your media coverage with a minimal amount of noise or false hits showing up in your media monitoring reports?
5. Do you get to keep all of your data and news clips or do they expire?
Access to your historical media coverage is important. Archived coverage allows you build custom reports and compare trends over time. You will want your media coverage reports to be accessible via a permanent online archive. You will also want to be sure your media monitoring service provides permanent access to the TV and radio news clips that feature your search terms. Many TV news clipping services remove access to their video clips after 30 or 60 days to make room for the latest news. Ideally, you want a service that provides you with tools that permanently archive your news clips to the cloud. The service should also provide you the ability to view, share, and download your news clips anytime on any device.
6. Do they require a contract?
Before you commit to a contract with a media monitoring service, be sure to check the fine print. Many services lock users into long-term contracts that auto-renew unless significant advance notice is provided . Metro Monitor is a service that does not require contracts from our users. Our approach is that we are here to serve you, not the other way around. All of our services are provided on an “as needed” basis. We want you to use are service for as long as you find value in the media monitoring services we provide.
7. How do I get help?
Some media monitoring services are hard to reach after you have signed up for their service. If you have questions or need assistance with locating hard to find media coverage, you want to utilize a service that is always available via phone and email.
8. What is the video quality?
Most media monitoring services that include TV news monitoring in their service provide the video in a highly compressed low quality video stream. You want to be sure that you can obtain your TV news clips in a true high definition format instead of a compressed video stream. When sharing your media coverage, it is important to have the highest video quality available. Video quality is especially important when the video is incorporated into presentations that will be displayed on large screens.
9. How do you make my job easier?
This is the most important question to answer. When choosing a media monitoring service, it is important to engage a company that is willing to take the time to discuss your needs and existing work flows. A great media monitoring service will also be able to demonstrate the ways their services can make your job easier, make you more efficient, and ensure that you never miss the media coverage that helps you get your job done. You should always know what the media is saying about your brand and the best media monitoring services can help you achieve that goal.