Former Blair adviser brings NewsFirst service to US

NEW YORK: A communications adviser to former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair turned founder of London-based media monitoring service NewsFirst opened a US office this week.

NEW YORK: A communications adviser to former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair turned founder of London-based media monitoring service NewsFirst opened a US office this week.

Chris McShane, who advised Blair from 2000 to 2007, opened a New York office to service his American-based clients more effectively and offer a customized media monitoring service he says is missing from the crowded US market.

“Many of our UK clients have a lot of crossover into the States,” McShane said. “Media monitoring in the US is very local, state-based or industry-based.”

McShane said many businesses are looking for a broader and more analytical view of how they are being covered in the media, not just the number of times the company is mentioned or the amount of coverage it receives.

“The news we find is hand-picked. It's a much more intelligent way to do it,” he said. “More and more companies want to know where the news is going and how they fit into it.”

This helps organizations get ahead of the message and position themselves rather than just reacting to it, McShane said. To keep it simple, he sends the final product to a client's smartphone.

McShane launched NewsFirst in 2008 - clients include Barclays, McDonald's and PepsiCo.

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