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Which Media Monitoring Software Should You Use?

by Madeline Hughes

review technology

An essential part of measuring your PR campaign’s success is media monitoring. Media monitoring involves tracking your client’s coverage whether it be print, broadcast, online, or on social media. There are several platforms dedicated to helping you track your mentions and organize your client’s press hits, including Cision, Critical Mention, and more. Read on to discover which media monitoring software we find the most reliable at the BIGoffice.

Cision

Cision is a global media tracking software that helps PR professionals identify key media contacts, access in-depth information about thousands of outlets, and report on coverage metrics in real-time or over a period of time. 

Pros

Cision provides in-depth and interactive analytics such as impact scoring and a one-step integration. Both of these highlight your press hits’ prominence and store your results to cloud memory. The platform’s user-friendly format ensures that it’s simple to organize weekly, monthly, or even yearly recaps for your clients, with the ability to sort coverage by both sentiment and competitor news automatically. You can also manually add tags to separate your press hits into specific categories. Additionally, Cision provides highly accurate search results using the Boolean search method, complemented by extremely responsive and knowledgeable customer service representatives willing to help you narrow your search. 

Cons

Though Cision is organized and efficient, if more than one person is using the same log-in at the same time, sessions will be overridden. However, if you want more log-ins, you can pay an additional fee.

Meltwater

Meltwater is a global media intelligence company that was among the first to integrate social media monitoring into their services.

Pros

Meltwater displays press mentions that are both easy to track and compatible with office-friendly apps such as Google Sheets and Slack. Meltwater works with these apps to pull results directly from their database into an outside spreadsheet or messaging chain when you need to reference them. If you need help with anything on the platform, their customer support team is responsive through their live chat app.

Cons

Although the customer service team is responsive, oftentimes helpfulness is more valuable than a speedy response. Representatives often do not have a clear solution to problems being experienced. Despite its best intentions, Meltwater’s algorithm does not catch every press mention for your client. This means users consistently have to run a manual search for press hits. Additionally, their media database in terms of outlets and contacts is not as built out as Cision’s, which results in a frustrating user experience.

Critical Mention

Critical Mention is another service that measures your client’s earned media engagement. On their website, they claim that they had a role in “reinventing” the media monitoring industry for PR professionals. 

Pros

Critical Mention displays broadcast hits in a digestible, easy-to-view format, where you can then edit the clips by the second to share with your client. The in-app broadcast feature makes it simple to search, find and navigate through an entire segment to find the piece you are looking for. It also features customizable analytics, such as qualitative and quantitative measures, so you can spot themes in your client’s media coverage and illustrate where most of your coverage is originating from.

Additionally, when organizing clips, Critical Mention uses customizable headings that separate press hits into labeled sections. Critical Mention allows multiple people to be logged in to an account at once, boosting efficiency. 

Cons

Like Meltwater, Critical Mention does not pick up every press hit, resulting in frequent manual searches for client coverage, that the user then has to manually enter into the system. Critical Mention often produces duplicate press hits, causing double-counted hits and inaccurate reporting numbers. When compiling reports, the database often crashes when it reaches 1,000 hits and you will need to manually add press hits and reorganize your report. While Critical Mention claims to call out duplicates and address frequent crashes, we have not seen this work due to a number of “bugs” in the system that make it overall difficult to use. 

Conclusion

After testing out each media monitoring service, the BIGteam feels confident in their favorite service: Cision! After using it for a few months now, we all agree this is the best way to find press mentions and create accurate and interactive reports for our clients. As opposed to Critical Mention and Meltwater, Cision provides the easiest and most efficient way to build thorough press recaps. Using Critical Mention and Meltwater provided clients with unorganized reports that took hours to complete. Cision’s interactive analytics provide even more insight into press hits to show clients the value of press mentions. 

What media monitoring service do you find the most efficient? Let us know by commenting or tweeting us!

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BIGfish is an unconventional PR agency that helps its clients redefine their industries through thoughtful storytelling and strategic PR campaigns. By integrating traditional PR with social media and marketing support, BIGfish generates awareness and motivates consumer behavior.

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