Monitoring and evaluating media coverage is an important part of my job as a PR account manager. Understandably my clients want to know where, when and how much coverage our PR campaigns have generated. But, what used to be a simple admin task has become an admin nightmare since Google Alerts stopped working sometime earlier this year.
Google Alerts had built a reputation for being a simple, user-friendly email alert service for news stories and general web mentions. Like millions of other marketing professionals worldwide, I setup Google Alerts for all my clients, competitors and keywords relevant to their business, and each day I’d arrive at the office to an inbox full of email alerts, listing where my clients had been mentioned online.
That was until Google Alerts stopped working, about six months ago, when my email alerts appeared to become far fewer and less relevant, and some dropped off completely. This led me to do some digging to find out what’s going on.
Chatting to our SEO specialist, he soon pointed me to a number of articles explaining why Google Alerts had taken a turn for the worse.It’s mostly down to the loss of Google Reader – a valuable RSS tool which Google decided to do away with – which caused the demise of its news alert system.
Thankfully, our SEO specialist didn’t leave me high and dry but suggested a couple of alternatives to try out instead. Over the last few months I’ve been testing them out, so I thought I’d share my new found knowledge withmy fellowmarketing professionals.
This media monitoring application allows you to create alerts on your company name, brand, industry and competitors – just like Google Alerts – and be informed about any mention on the web and social networks.
It’s free to use, but only for two alerts and up to 250 mentions per month. Mention offers various paid-for plans, the one I’m currently considering is Pro Plan, which costs $19.99 per month and gives you 20 alerts and up to 100,000 mentions per month.
Although Mention appears to be great at picking up social mentions, unlike Google Alerts, it’s not so thorough with identifying news alerts, which I’m finding is its downfall.
Talkwalker is solely a social media monitoring tool and since few of my clients are currently engaging in social media I don’t receive frequent Talkwalker alerts. However, reading up on what others in the industry have said about Talkwalker, the common consensus is that its speed of delivery for alerts is good, but alerts tend to lack quality in depth.
Media monitoring advice
Sadly, I’m yet to find a media monitoring tool that is as thorough as Google Alerts used to be, so I’m going to keep searching. In the meantime, if anyone has any recommendations on media monitoring online, or email alerts that have worked for them, I’d welcome your comments.