Keeping Track of Your Client in the Media and Doing Internal PR at the Same Time
By Andrew Blum*
Next to getting media hits, perhaps the next most important task for PR executives is tracking them and getting them in front of the client.
Even with today’s advanced media clipping products, there is still no one system to fully track and show 100% of your placements and mentions.
I have used a combination of print/online clipping services, google news alerts, electronic databases and for TV, services like Critical Mention. Additionally, PR agencies I have managed and worked for have each provided their own clips. Every once in a while, I even ask reporters or editors for copies of clips.
Even with all of these, there are always the paywalls or subscriptions that can block you from sharing the full clip. So, you provide the most complete reporting that you can.
Many of the clipping vendors now have systems that allow you to compile reports on their platform and then share with clients. Where something isn’t in there, you can come up with a separate PDF or link and add it in to your report. As needed, you can work with a webmaster or graphic designer to make the reports uniformly look like they should in 2014.
Since we now live in a Twitter age, your clipping reports need to be done as they happen sometimes, as well as daily, but also on a weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual basis.
I recommend all hits be covered here – not just the good news. After all, a client or your company needs to be aware of the negative coverage as well. Remember that you are also doing internal PR here for your team – reminding the client or management what PR provides.
Once in a while, you may also need a clip book about an obscure far away issue that threatens to upend your client’s brand and image. Think outside the box and keep researching: sometimes the usual suspects in the media clipping universe won’t have what you need.
Lastly, when you and your PR team are handing a crisis, set up a separate clip book for that issue and work with your vendor on the best ways to gather and compile those clips for internal distribution.
In PR, you are often only as good as your last clip.
*Andrew Blum is a PR consultant and media trainer and principal of AJB Communications. He has directed PR for professional services and financial services firms, NGOs, agencies and other clients. As a PR executive, and formerly as a journalist, he has been involved on both sides of the media aisle in some of the most media intensive crises of the past 25 years. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter: @ajbcomms