What's the difference between using a media monitoring service and using a free search engine like Google to find your news coverage?
"If you've ever done a free search on your company name, most likely you'll receive a long set of hits, many of which may or may not be relevant to your organization," says Jim Batz at Bacon's Information.
"For example, searching for our company, Bacon's, not only returns news about us," he reports, "but we receive mentions of Kevin Bacon, Sir Frances Bacon, and, of course, bacon and eggs."
A media monitoring service allows you to program complex search terms to receive accurate clips on a timely basis from print, broadcast, or the Internet, he adds.
"By taking this off your desk and using a media monitoring company," says Batz, "you can organize and incorporate your news coverage into reports for senior management and set up a measurement program to evaluate those results in terms of ROI."
Why should a PR agency embrace measurement?
A measurement program will define your agency as being strategic, not just tactical or reactive, says Eric Neal from Delahaye.
"More and more marketing decision-makers realize that a fully integrated program must include high-visibility PR strategies to maximize the impact of the marketing mix," he adds. "The agency that can prove value through measurement will gain recognition and ultimately influence PR investment."
The IR team at my company has asked me to offer input on our executive team's performance during conference calls with analysts. What tips can I offer?
The biggest problem with most conference calls is that they are scripted so people sound as if they are reading instead of conversing, says Jeff Braun of The Ammerman Experience.
"Take a look at scripts from past calls and see if wording can be modified to make it sound more conversational,"
he advises. "It is most critical to convince people to practice ahead of time. Usually, executives are under time pressure and just read over the script silently beforehand.
"Get them to read it out loud," adds Braun, who also suggests having an audience in the room to give them a visual cue to help speakers connect with those who may be listening. "Coach them to create a sense of flow and energy."
ANRs vs. RMTs
When should I use an audio news release or audio bite line and when should I use a radio media tour?
Audio news releases and audio bite lines are good to use when your story has one consistent, straightforward message, says Susan Matthews Apgood of News Generation. Also, when there is a breaking news situation, ANRs and audio bite lines are the appropriate tool, since they have such a quick turnaround time.
"If your issue is a little more complex - like a new medical treatment, a financial or tech story, or an issue discussed as the focus of a TV program - a radio media tour should be used," she says.
"A radio media tour should be used for any subject that needs a more detailed explanation or is too in-depth to be sufficiently captured in a single-page press release," adds Apgood.