Online videos are developing reputations

Internet clips last forever, so effective monitoring is key for managing any company's image

More effective monitoring of broadcast and online video clips produces powerful material to better support reputation management.

When news breaks concerning McDonald's, Danya Proud, senior manager of US communications, needs to share those clips with internal corporate colleagues in 22 regions, 70-plus external PR and ad agencies, 2,500 franchisees representing 14,000 restaurants, and more.

Proud relies on a Web-based TV search/monitoring service from Critical Mention (CM) that enables her team to search, track, and view information from news broadcasts.

CM also built a McDonald's-branded video gallery that houses all of its video assets.

“[CM] gives us instant access to news clips across the [US] as soon as they run,” she says. “If a segment runs on Good Morning America, I can send one link to all these audiences, with appropriate messaging... You can imagine how much time we [save].”

Sean Morgan, CEO of CM, says he sees more clients setting search criteria to monitor the individual components that comprise a “reputation quotient,” which may include product, management, transparency, or CSR.

“There's a difference between anticipated news – good and bad – you can prepare for, and unexpected bad news that just sideswipes you,” he says. “Being able to log in and set up filters helps you track how the story develops and how it migrates from market to market.”

When Paul McMahon joined LoJack a decade ago, the vehicle theft recovery system vendor already appreciated the value in sharing video clips – albeit in VHS format.

“Every time we wanted to share clips, we had to actually make stacks of tapes and ship them to our sales force in the field, where they'd store them in desk drawers [or] the trunks of cars,” says McMahon, now senior director of corporate/marketing communications.

These days, LoJack leverages a software solution from Cision for TV, radio, and Internet monitoring. “Within 24 hours of a mention in the media, we can send an e-mail with that clip, relevant links, with some corporate messaging, to internal audiences,” he adds.

Through internal distribution, McMahon puts these clips in the hands of LoJack's best ambassadors – from its sales account managers to its installation professionals.

Cision's most popular reputation-management solution is its Digital Showroom
“Present” feature, says Steve Bainnson, VP of broadcast sales.

“This not only gives clients an online portal that provides them with an easy tool to retrieve, sort, and organize media content, but it also allows [them] to create online presentations,” he says. “Many of our clients use this feature as their daily clip-book distribution.”

Meanwhile, VMS provides news and ad monitoring across all media – broadcast, radio, print, Web, and outdoor. Because it offers a range of customizable solutions, CEO Peter Wengryn advises clients to set expectations.

“We have 5,000 monitoring clients, so we've heard it all and can provide plenty of examples to guide new clients,” he says. “However, you should still have an idea of what you want to spend and what problems you want to solve.”

For example, many clients simply want hit counts, delivered in real-time, based on closed captioning searches. (Wengryn estimates that nearly 90% of broadcast TV incorporates closed captioning.) For a Fortune 500 company, this could produce thousands of references, many not relevant.

Conversely, a company may opt for live monitoring, where a trained professional parses through all hits to find truly relevant ones. Then there is market and media-type segmentation, reporting, analysis, and many other features.

Lastly, many of these vendors partner with third parties like Nielsen to provide measurement data, including audience estimates, programming, and ad equivalencies.

Technique tips

  • Monitor the various business elements that comprise reputation
  • Create a video library to store all video assets
  • Leverage third-party data to accentuate monitoring reporting


  • Start browsing without a budget in mind
  • Ignore the value of internal audiences sharing clips externally
  • Buy more than you need or before talking with a reference

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