Things to consider when choosing a Media Monitoring Company

1. Make sure the service fits your needs. A free service like Google News can sometimes track what you need. However, you have no control over what publications they cover. It can sometimes be more than what you need and other times can miss what you are really looking for especially with television and radio. The paid services offer many good options but they all have their strengths and weaknesses. Get free trials from the well-established news monitors like NDS, Cision, Vocus, Lexus-Nexus, National Aircheck, CyberAlert, and Critical Mention .

2. Check Your Coverage. Almost all monitors vary on their coverage. Some may only do the top 50 or 100 markets. Some may not have a local office in the markets you are interested in which can be helpful. Some monitors may just do local and not national news. There are some that do just about everything. Radio coverage can greatly vary depending on the monitor. Some monitors will get their content form a newspaper’s website and some actually have the complete printed content. Some monitoring services offer a really nice user interface with very little substance. So it is important to take a test run before making a decision.

3. What do you want to get back? Many monitors offer useful information like Audience Numbers, PR Values, run times, tends, etc. This can be useful especially to justify the cost of a Public Relations Campaign. In some cases client may be interested in the video as well. Check with the monitor and make sure they can provide you the format you need. The clips can used in PowerPoint’s, DVD players and on websites. Make sure the monitor can provide the format(s) that work best for you. There are many options with varying quality and file size.

4. How fast do you need it? Many monitors now offer online access to coverage shortly after it runs. This can be a premium feature for someone who is constantly in the news and needs to be able to react fast to coverage. In some cases you may only need daily, weekly or monthly reports and don’t need the extra cost of the online dashboard. Some monitors can get you a clips within the hour and some may need till the next day.

5. How much? They all have varying price tags. Once you take your free trials, you will need to access what you really need in a monitoring service. The costs for subscriptions and clips greatly vary. Don’t be pressured into signing any contracts. A good monitor should give a good 2-4 week trial before you decide. It’s always best to do a side-by-side test using the same search terms for the same time period.

Griff Madigan

Ad space for equity

Air for shares
Could an unusual venture-capital model be taking off?
Apr 7th 2012 | BERLIN | The Economist
IN AMERICA, venture capital is plentiful. Not so elsewhere. In Europe, a handful of companies are helping struggling start-ups with an unusual model: investing advertising space in them instead of money.

Start-ups usually get their initial seed funding—a few tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars—from family or friends. A venture-capital firm won’t step in until the firm is ready to raise maybe ten times that amount. In America, intermediate sums tend to come from informal “angel investors”, typically entrepreneurs who have made a decent bit of money from their own start-ups and want to invest some in projects they like. But outside America’s technology hubs, such people are rare.

However, start-ups of that size are often making their first baby steps into the market and need publicity. Aggregate Media Funds, a Swedish firm started in 2002, pools excess advertising space provided by 15 Swedish media companies that are shareholders in the fund, and gives it to start-ups in return for an equity stake (it also plans their marketing for them). If the firms do well, they buy back the equity in cash, which goes to the shareholders, with a cut for the fund. Patrik Rosen, Aggregate’s boss, says it has made some 120 investments—in both start-ups and established firms that want to advertise a new product or a stock offering—and completed around 80 “exits”, though he won’t disclose how much money has been made.

Read entire story at The Economist