How to Monitor Your PR Results


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No matter how hard you scrutinize publications, you are bound to miss articles mentioning your company and its products.

One option to help ensure you track your publicity is to hire a “clipping service” to clip articles for you. Clipping bureaus read and clip articles from all the important business, trade, consumer magazines and the top daily newspapers. They also monitor television, radio, and international publications. The three largest clipping services are Bacon’s, Burrelle’s and Luce. They charge roughly the same fees and provide about the same quality of service.

The clipping services generally send articles to you once a week. Each article is cut from the magazine and identified with a note sized piece of paper listing the magazine, publication date and circulation. You will pay a reading charge each month and nominal fee for each article they clip. The cost of the service is offset by the cost of the magazines you would have to purchase, as well as staff time to find, read and clip each article.

Even clipping services can’t guarantee 100% service. They can – and even claim to – miss as much as 20% of the articles. In most cases they can provide a level of service better than you can provide for yourself (and probably for a lot less overall expense than it would take to put an employee on the task, considering not only the actual time required, but also time / manpower lost from other necessary activities).

Several electronic services can help you monitor results, as well as monitor (find clips and information on) your competitors. For example, the Ziff-Davis Computer Library lists full text articles from 130 high tech magazines. You can find information by typing in the name of the company, product or magazine. Other services that search general interest newspapers and magazines include Nexis, Dialog (800/334-2564), and NewsNet.