Critical Mention set to unveil broadcast service tailored to PR firms

NEW YORK: Critical Mention, a broadcast monitoring company, will begin beta testing a new version of its service, specifically tailored to PR firms, next month.

NEW YORK: Critical Mention, a broadcast monitoring company, will begin beta testing a new version of its service, specifically tailored to PR firms, next month.

The platform, CriticalPR, is a pay-as-you-go version of Critical Dashboard, which is an annual subscription-based application, designed for corporate communications teams. The service lets users view broadcast coverage 60 seconds after it airs, which they can be alerted to via e-mail if they choose.

The new offering allows users to enter the system, free of charge, and build filters tailored to their specific needs. For instance, an account executive who wants to be alerted when a client's name is mentioned can customize the system to do so.

The user begins to incur costs by opening searches ($15 per session), viewing video clips ($5 per clip), and e-mailing the items ($30 per e-mail).

Users can also post video clips to a "clipboard," which is a space hosted on Critical Mention's server where agency clients can go to view saved clips. Pricing for the clipboard is yet to be determined, but Sean Morgan, CEO of Critical Mention, said the cost is likely to range anywhere from $50 to $150 per posting, depending on the length of the clip.

In comparison, pricing for annual subscriptions to Critical Dashboard can range from $450 to $1,100 per month, per user.

Regarding the company's decision to develop the new version, Morgan said the business model on which Critical Dashboard was built "did not fit into the agencies'" cost structure. He explained, "Due to the PR firms' need to pass billing through on a client-by-client basis, a pay-as-you-go model made more sense."

Morgan said he expects participation from 75 individual users, from 20 firms, in the two-month testing. CriticalPR is scheduled for official release in April.

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