It’s 11:30 pm on a weeknight. You’re finishing up a report on PR coverage that’s due in the morning and you suddenly realize that you forgot to pull coverage for a key product in South America. Uh oh! What should you do next, you ask? That’s easy…you should open a browser tab and re-read this very blog post (go ahead, Ctrl-D or Apple-D to bookmark it now)!

There may be times when your rep isn’t available immediately, you left the user guide on your work computer and you just need to get it done. The following how-to takes a step-by-step look at creating and editing a search agent in the Meltwater News platform. So take a deep breath, stretch out a bit, and let’s try to get you to bed before midnight 🙂


Creating or Editing a Search Agent

Before you can pull coverage or do any reporting on news results, you have to enter keywords to create a search agent. The Meltwater News platform supports basic keyword searching a well as advanced searching using Boolean operators. To create a new search agent, click on “new agent” in the top left of the Agents tab. To edit an existing search agent, click “Edit” just to the right of the agent’s name.



The edit agent page above gives you the flexibility to input or change all aspects of a search agent.  Below is an explanation of each option you can configure:


  • Agent Name – Select a name for your search agent that will help you not only identify, but also distinguish it from other agents in your account. In the example above, I included “South America” to avoid confusion with similar agents.


  • Copy from – This useful feature lets you copy the keywords from another search agent or statistic in your account. This is a great way to save time by tweaking a current agent instead of starting from scratch. After you select the agent you’d like to copy, click the “Import Agent” button. Note that this will copy the source selection along with all other settings and keywords.


  • Search type – Toggle between three different search types with this setting, depending on the needs of your agent. More in-depth directions on keyword entry will follow in the next section below.
    • Use at least one keyword – This option is similar to the Boolean operator “OR” and is a simple keyword search. The agent will return results that include one or more of the keywords entered.
    • Boolean – This option allows you to enter keywords using Boolean operators. Because of its precision, this is the preferred method of entering keywords. Visit my previous post on to learn how to use Boolean operators for media monitoring.
    • Use all keywords – This option is similar to the Boolean operator “AND” and is a simple keyword search. The agent will only return results that include all of the keywords entered.


  • Case Sensitive – This setting tells the search agent to consider the case of a letter when retrieving results
    • Only for my capital letters – This option will display results in which any capital letters case sensitive, but the lowercase letters are not (e.g. “Android” will pull “ANdroid” and “AndroID” but not “android”)
    • Yes – The case of all letters is considered
    • No – Case is not considered


  • Search for these keywords – Enter keywords into this textbox for all search types


  • Ignore hits which contain these keywords – This textbox is used in keyword-only searches and is not accessible when “Boolean” is selected under search type. It works similarly to the Boolean operator “NOT.” If any keywords entered here are present in an article, that article will not appear in your results.


Source Selection

The Meltwater News platform includes several source filters to ensure that your search is as accurate as possible. Limiting the publications that a search agent monitors is a quick and easy way to focus on a target market, on a specific industry or language, or to limit the volume of a search. You can even limit a search to a list of hand-picked publications.



To the right of the keyword boxes you’ll see options for source selection. Click on the drop-down menu to select one of the default selections. These defaults will change based on your location, but will always include the following:

  • Your country or region
  • Global sources excluding your country or region
  • Top tier sources from your region (that is the top 20% of sources by readership)
  • All global sources


To make a custom selection, click on “New source selection.” The following screen will load:



  • Name your selection – Make sure to be specific with how you name the source selection to avoid confusion later


  • Select “Browse” or “Search” – The browse feature allows you to create source selections using a combination of filters and geography. The search feature is used to hand pick publications (see more below).


Browse | Filter or Geographic Source Selection


  • Filter your selection – Filtering is an optional step before selecting a geographic area for your selection and will reduce the number of publications shown in each region below. When done filtering, click on “Apply filter.”
    • Source type – The Meltwater News source base covers several types of publications. Use this filter to select only those that fit the needs of your search agent.
    • Language – Select the preferred language or languages of the search results
    • Readership percentile – Meltwater receives readership data for the majority of sources in our source base on a monthly basis. The sources are then given a percentile ranking based on readership for that month. “91-100” represents the most highly trafficked publications for the month.


  • Select a geographic region – After applying the desired filters, select a geographic region to focus on. Click on the plus sign next to a region to go to the next smallest region. This selection will expand to the state level, showing all of the individual publications within the state. Select any combination of continent, country, state or publication by clicking the checkbox next to it.


  • Click “update selection” then “save” – Don’t forget this step! The “update selection” button will disappear after it’s been clicked.



Search | Hand-pick Publications

  • Search by keyword or URL – Type in the name or URL of the source you’d like to add to the source selection. Select the source by clicking the checkbox to the left of the source.


  • Click “update selection” then “save” – Don’t forget this step! The “update selection” button will disappear after it’s been clicked.


Tips & Best Practices



  • The case sensitivity settings are especially useful when searching for stock ticker symbols, acronyms and company or product names that are frequently used (e.g. UHS, IED, Apple). Select the “Only for my capital letters” option to ensure that the other keywords in the search aren’t made case sensitive as well.


  • Don’t forget that any saved source selection can be used throughout the entire account, so spending the time to get it right the first time will save time in the future.


  • If you’re making a hand-picked source selection, search for sources using the publication’s URL. Many sources have similar names – especially globally!


  • Don’t worry about making mistakes in a Boolean search! The system will identify any mistakes for you to fix and if all else fails, simplify your search or contact your account manager.


How’d we do? Is it midnight yet? As a PR professional deadlines are a reality, but you’re only human. Use this quick guide to help you hit those deadlines, show off the success of your PR campaigns…and get more sleep in the process!


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