Santa Cruz Tech Beat


How PR pros monitor press for free with Google

By Jim Brock
Founder and Leader, Market.Space

March 25, 2016 — Santa Cruz, CA

In building MarketSpace, we’ve met with a lot of PR professionals and agencies. For all of them, a core discipline is tracking media mentions of their clients and products.

It’s striking how many agencies rely on a combination of free services (mostly from Google) for this task. It’s a clever approach, and it looks like this:

  1. Set up Google Alerts for brands, products and people, to watch for new mentions in the Google News dataset (more tips on that).
  2. Set up a feed reader and subscribe to any publications that often mention those brands.
  3. Create a Google Sheet for each client, with a row for each article and columns like source, title, date and so forth.
  4. Task a team member to check Google Alerts and the RSS feeder often during each day, weed out false positives, grab the results and paste them into the Google Sheet, cell by cell.
  5. Perform general Google searches, too, at least once a day with the same queries.
  6. Share the results within the team via the sheet. Maybe to the client, too.
  7. Use the charting features in Google Sheets to make exportable visuals for coverage books.

This approach has many virtues: Google Sheets is easy to master, and works well for sharing within your agency or department. Tapping into Google’s news dataset also helps ensure that you see what your client is seeing, since you can bet they’ve set up a few of their own Google Alerts.

As useful as this may be, agencies we’re working with acknowledge that it’s far from a perfect solution:

  • It’s incredibly manual, and even if you’re billing that cost through, that’s not a recipe for long-term client happiness or team fulfillment. Delay in the results comes along with the manual process.
  • It’s incomplete, since Google imposes their own relevance screens on what gets through, so everyone’s results are a little different. It also doesn’t cover developments like trending social posts, videos or app updates.
  • There’s no organization or grouping of articles in the same news cycle, unless done by hand.
  • It’s hard to monitor your client’s competitors, since that just multiplies an already laborious process.

Because our goal at MarketSpace is to help you succeed with your clients, we came up with a way to integrate with this process to vastly improve it.

Continue reading article here:



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