Choosing media monitoring software is important; it can simplify your life by tracking coverage of your organization, your competitors, and trending topics across your industry.
It’s a good thing to get. It’s also a good thing to make sure you get the one that’s right for you.
Here are 6 questions you need to ask when choosing media monitoring software:
- First off – do you have the budget? Or think you can get one with a great business case?
- Free or automated tools are great, but they require a lot more work to sort through results, eliminate duplicate mentions, and compile the data into a useful, readable summary. So…do you have the interns or junior people who can do that dirty work for you? If not, be aware that the data clean-up will take you away from more pressing tasks.
- What types of content do you NEED to monitor now? Online only? Print? Broadcast? Social media? What would you LIKE to monitor in the future? Can the vendor track them all?
- If you’re keen on an automated solution:
a. How easy is the solution to set up and use? Is there training available?
b. How many users can you have?
c. Can you customize email briefs?
d. Do they have reporting capabilities to show you trends like share of voice or coverage over time?
- If a monitoring service is more your style:
a. Do you have a single point of contact that will be attentive to your qualms and queries?
b. How do they determine the sentiment of articles?
c. Can they customize and deliver categorized, sorted, and relevant executive-ready briefs according to your daily/weekly/monthly needs?
d. Are they available to do round-the-clock updates during a crisis?
- What’s their support and customer service like? You’ll want to know whether you’ll be on your own once you sign the contract or if they’ll be there to help you navigate the platform when you get stuck.
When you’re choosing media monitoring software, go beyond the company web site – look at software review sites like G2 Crowd or poke around in PR groups on LinkedIn to find out what other PR professionals are using and what they love/hate about their vendors.
And one more tip before you go! The auto-renew clause is one of the most contentious pieces of the media monitoring contract puzzle. Make sure you look at the fine print; knowing when the auto-renew kicks in, and how you can get out of it if you don’t like the service, could save you a major headache.