We’ve all been there – trudging through pages of search results to find company-related news, often for multiple clients at once. While this method is useful and should not be abandoned, there are times when it becomes more of a hassle than a help to find the news you’re looking for.
Today’s digitally inclined professionals have a plethora of search tools at their fingertips. Tools such as social dashboards, databases and news readers that can help you find just about every piece of coverage on the web. Below, I’ve put together my Top Five list of the best tools to help PR professionals deliver timely and thorough coverage reports. While all of these tools are extremely useful in and of themselves, combining them with your favorite search engine can help create a powerful coverage-tracking command center.
One of my personal favorites, Hootsuite might be one of the best social dashboards around. Very user-friendly, HootSuite gives PR professionals the ability to customize search terms across multiple social channels.
It provides an easily navigable interface of tabs, streams and networks for monitoring social feeds, as well as other useful analytics tools to measure engagement, insights and more. You can designate tabs for each client or announcement and manage multiple social media accounts simultaneously. Not to mention, their Customer Support is around-the-clock, and I’ve always received aresponse. Here is a useful blog post for helping you get started.
Most commonly known in the communications industry as a useful directory tool for locating a journalist’s contact information, CisionPoint goes a step further. A unique feature of this web-based database is a search function that allows the user to search for news on any topic. You can easily set search parameters and save your searches for later.
To navigate to the search agent, select the ‘monitor’ button on the top of the page and click on ‘create search agent.’ The search box contains four tabs including: filters, search, saved filters and topics. After you search, you can use the filter tab to sift through the results by location, outlet, contact and more.
Setting up news alerts is a great way to stay on top of industry news, and Feedly can help you stay organized. This news reader doesn’t just track your alerts, it also allows you to build a database of publications and follow their RSS feeds using keywords and hashtags. This is great way to track competitive/industry coverage as well.
With the death of Google Reader, my colleague outlines a few other friendly alternatives to Feedly for you to explore. I find Feedly to have a seamless user-experience, and the format and layout are attractive. I urge you to try Feedly as it also provides a quick link to import you current Google Alerts and displays a simple, user-friendly interface for all of you coverage tracking needs.
Allowing you to pull coverage from subscription based publications, this tool helps eliminates the extra time it takes to subscribe to various newsletters and publications. Factiva is another search engine based interface that also gives you the ability to customize a home page and import RSS feeds.
For PR professionals in the technology world, this searchable database is easy to use and allows you to sort or search by journalist, publication, topic and more. You won’t have to jump between publication websites while using it. If that’s not enough, it also gives you the ability to export media lists based on your search results. Although it doesn’t search outside of the tech trades, IT Database might be the cleanest, easiest to use interface around.
While there are dozens of other tools that aid with coverage tracking, these are my top five. Try these out and let me know what you think? Do you have other tools you like to use?