Press Clipping Services Vs. Online News Monitoring

In fact, abstracts of all medical journals are also available online at PubMed, a free service of the National Library of Medicine. To store the clips, a staff person will have to cut and paste the clips into a database or spreadsheet – a tedious and time-consuming task – or print out each article, an expensive proposition (especially in color).

The traditional press clipping services such as Burrelle’sLuce or Cision also offer online news monitoring services.

In addition to monitoring and clipping most every print publication, online news monitoring services capture clips from thousands of online news sources that don’t exist in print. Online News Monitoring

To get all the international clips in Google News or to monitor more than 10 key words or phrases, you have to conduct multiple daily searches -’ a time-consuming and tedious process for staff. The truth of the matter is that, with rare exceptions, most every article that appears in newspapers, magazines and trade journals also appears in the publication’s online edition.

Paid Subscription Online News Monitoring Services

The customized news monitoring features can assure that you get exactly the news coverage you want with a minimum investment of staff time.

Nonetheless, for many small and mid-size organizations, news search engines such as Google News or Yahoo News provide sufficient coverage and features.

A free search engine may well meet your needs if you have just a few search terms, typically receive only a few clips each day, have no need for measurement data or tools, and are willing to invest the time to conduct multiple searches each day.

Google News also does not provide measurement/circulation data so measurement of PR success (except numbers of clips, the least important PR metric) is near impossible.

The Boolean search capabilities in Google News are not as advanced as most of the paid subscription services. Searching and managing those paper-based clips is more difficult and time-consuming than the digital clips subscription services store in a fully searchable online database. The leader is Google News. In addition, Internet news monitoring offers worldwide coverage in most every language.

“Print” News Monitoring vs. Google uses its algorithms to deliver only what it considers the most relevant or important articles (clips). Google News also limits searches to a maximum of 10 key words.

Do you have special delivery requirements such as clip delivery throughout the business day or XML format? Do you prefer RSS delivery? Do you want the clips delivered at a specific or unusual time each day? Do you want the clips delivered to multiple people? Do you want media clips filtered and sorted differently for different clients, brands, or groups of employees?

But there are drawbacks to free online news monitoring services that require users to invest substantial time in finding clips.

For most organizations, news monitoring and clipping is the core media monitoring service.

So you’ve decided your organization needs a media monitoring program.

How do you go about selecting from the different approaches to news monitoring and the many media monitoring subscription services?

Do you want clips only from a custom list of specific publications not all news sources? Do you want only “important” articles, not all mentions of your key search terms? Do you want only one copy of the same story a press release for instance?

Once you have decided what custom features you want ‘and have made a list of the commercial media monitoring services of interest to you – you can start contacting and vetting potential vendors.

Free Online News Monitoring Services

For online news monitoring, you have a wide choice of services.

With the effects of the Great recession still being felt, there may be a temptation to hone in on the media monitoring approach that appears least expensive. And if you enter multiple searches each day, you will undoubtedly get redundant clips in your search results. Using RSS feeds will help minimize staff time devoted to media monitoring.

Press clipping services typically charge a monthly “reading” fee and an additional fee for each clip delivered. On balance, then, you get far more coverage and clips by monitoring online sources than through traditional press clipping services.

Online news monitoring is also timelier than press clippings since many publications publish stories on the Website long before the print version reaches newsstands or post offices. In most every instance, then, online news monitoring services cost less and offer more value when compared to press clipping services.

First, there are free online news monitoring services – usually supported by advertising. As with many purchase decisions for business services, however, what appears inexpensive is often not of sufficient quality, is not the best value, and requires too much staff time to implement.

Most of the specialists in online news monitoring offer these customized services.

The online news monitoring software misses fewer clips than human readers or digital scanners of print publications, especially broadsheet newspapers. The Google News service will send you daily news alerts via e-mail with articles containing the keywords you specify.

With Google News, neither the e-mail alerts nor the organic searches deliver all the clips. Most every article in print editions of newspapers, magazines and trade journals also appears in that publication’s online edition. The result is that free news monitoring search engines often deliver irrelevant or extraneous articles, especially if you are searching for corporate or brand names that are the same as those in another type of business. Some small community newspapers (mostly weeklies) and some trade journals (mostly medical and academic) do not publish all their print content on the Internet but that’s rare. Ask the press clipping service to monitor only those publications in print that are not on the web or do not publish all their content on the web – and everything else online – in order to avoid duplicate clips and escalating variable costs.

The free search services, however, are not truly free. Widely-viewed online news portals include, among many others, MarketWatch and Yahoo! News and Yahoo! Finance, CNN and CNBC. (Check most any of the major daily newspapers in the afternoon and you’ll see many of the next day’s stories in the print edition.). In contrast, online media monitoring services usually charge only a predictable fixed monthly fee with no per clip fee. For public relations monitoring and measurement, it is seriously lacking.

Today, news in traditional media (newspapers, consumer magazines, trade journals, news syndication services) is best monitored on the Internet. For “market intelligence” purposes this may be sufficient. The per clip charges can mount up quickly. The monthly bills can cause billing hassles and budgeting issues because of widely varying monthly charges. In Google News and other free news monitoring services, there is no automated way to store the search results. Staff will have to filter out duplicate clips manually.

The subscription online news monitoring services including the leaders CyberAlert, CustomScoop, and Meltwater offer many features not offered by free services including: a) more comprehensive news coverage including virtually all the daily and weekly newspapers, consumer magazines, trade journals, news syndication services, news portals on the Web, websites of broadcast news organizations worldwide – all in multiple languages b) automated daily search queries in multiple languages for multiple countries with virtually unlimited search terms c) advanced Boolean logic to minimize extraneous or irrelevant clips d) online digital clip archive to store, search and manage clips e) instant software-based translation of foreign language clips f) PR measurement data attached to each news media clip g) dynamically created media measurement charts and graphs g) custom features to meet special needs.

Do you want the clips edited and packaged into a daily or weekly news briefing for executives? Do you prefer to have human readers edit clips before delivery?

But don’t let the press clipping services sell you both press clipping and online news monitoring. Since the free news monitoring services do not store your clips, as do most subscription media monitoring services, there is also the cost of transferring the clips from the search engine results to a database or spreadsheet and the cost of then printing out clips. It offers reasonably good coverage of news sources, but not as extensive as the paid subscription services. Usually, that is having staff do the monitoring using free online tools. They can be expensive in terms of the amount of time required to manually perform the key word searches each day

Leave a Reply