Media Clinic: Once a media release has been dispatched, how can I find out if it has been used?

THE other week, the allmediascotland Media Clinic posed a question for Scotland’s media community to help answer.

One question was posed and three answers were received.

The question was: Once a media release has been dispatched, how can I find out if it has been used?

The answers offered – for information purposes only and should not be regarded as binding or legal advice – are from (1) Joe Walton, a consultant at Real PR, (2) Neil McSeveny, senior digital account executive  at The BIG Partnership and (3) Jerry Ward, managing director at Edinburgh-based media intelligence company, Press Data.

(1) For projects or one-off items, I turn to Clipsearch, which covers most of the regional and national press and can be really useful for research. It is owned and managed by the Newspaper Licensing Agency. It is free to search but articles need to be purchased before they can be read fully. This can cost up to £2 per article, using pay-as-you-go. There is a three-day delay in Clipsearch archiving press articles so it isn’t useful when a quick response would be required. If you are subscriber to Press Display – which is well worth it – then you can search the many current editions immediately.

You can also use Social Mention to track how a story is performing on social network. This has the added bonus of pointing you to online uses of your story you might have missed.

If it is worth doing, it is worth measuring. Google Alerts is a wonderful service, and can do a lot, but a professional cutting agency is well worth the investment if you are dealing with a large amount of clippings or you need a thorough service that includes local Scottish titles.

Unfortunately, there are is no easy way to search them yourself, as far as I know.

(2) For those times when the PR’s traditional arsenal – such as scouring the Press and searching online, including with the help of Google Alerts – doesn’t dig deep enough, we also employ social media monitoring and listening tools like Radian 6, which not only track web coverage but also any associated social media activity, from tweets to forum and message board activity.

(3)  It very much depends upon the target audience. I think most people agree that there is no single solution that achieves all outcomes and there are different tools for different objectives. One advantage of using a media monitoring company is that we have access to an enormous range of media sources and search technology, some of which is only available on annual subscriptions and not viable for one-off projects.

In addition, the more research-focused part of the market will employ experienced researchers and analysts who will know where to dig deep for you.

However, it does come at a price, although that price can be a lot lower than the individual costs of subscriptions to other search facilities and the time spent trawling for your coverage.

Google Alerts are good, and they are free, but the news world scraped by Google is not the news universe in which your release could appear.

Our next question for the Media Clinic is: I am wanting to do podcasts for my website, comprising one-to-one interviews. What kit will get me the best audio quality results?

If you would like to suggest an answer – in the spirit of camaraderie – please do send it to us, here, for possible publication on November 21.