5 important questions to ask media intelligence vendors

Mimrah Mahmood

Jan 9, 2018

The number of media measurement tools available online has grown exponentially, affording the opportunity for PR professionals to learn more about their audiences and how they behave. While they are valuable – particularly since the advent of social media – the sheer volume has produced an oversaturated market where the amount of data available makes it difficult to outline what is and isn’t contributing to the success of a campaign.

To ensure a measurement software provider is right for you, we recommend you map out you or your client’s exact requirements before subscribing. Outline your PR objectives and ask some simple questions like how big their source database is, or if they have the knowledge and background to provide detailed information about a particular industry. Also, look at the breadth of their coverage and size of marginal errors – these important details will make a world of difference to your next campaign and will guarantee profitable and meaningful results.

Some questions to consider –

  1. How big is their source database? What types of outlets do they cover?

You want to ensure their source database includes all of the media you intend to engage with – including outlets from your first, second and third tiers. If you want a rounded summary of your PR efforts, you’ll need them to cover earned, owned and paid media.

2. How can they help you measure and identify the right metrics to quantify your PR efforts more accurately?

This is the nitty-gritty stuff. You want to look at the types of measurements they provide – do you want a simple media monitoring service or a service with multi-measurement frameworks that explain more about your audience? Consider their measurement accuracy and read reviews.

3. How fast can they update you?

Modern media is fast-moving so it pays to be updated in real-time – or as close to real-time as possible. Consider how and when they provide you with updates (weekly, daily, hourly) and look for services with automated email alerts.

4. Do they provide retrospective data?

Having access to old campaigns and historical data means you can mirror the elements of the campaigns that worked, and will ensure previous mistakes aren’t made twice. We recommend you have access to information from up to two years ago, benchmarking new campaigns against old ones along the way.

5. What does their support network look like?

If you’re a local agency or business, you’ll want a measurement service with local industry knowledge so you’re not wasting valuable time explaining things over the phone. If you’re a multi-national agency or business, you’ll want 24/7 support regardless of time zones and public holidays. Depending on your requirements, look for a software provider with local and/or international teams – either way, they should both be able to provide one-on-one support when and where you need it.

To learn how Meltwater can help you with your media intelligence, contact us.