We have been using the leading tools for more than 18 months, and have also weighed up many of their competitors. Over that period we have witnessed the evolution and segmentation of online monitoring services, into those which are effectively engagement monitoring tools, and those which gauge sentiment.
Interestingly this split has grown to mirror the longer-established distinction between traditional PR cuttings and evaluation services. It is true that online monitoring is an art, but in order to be more than adornment it must be carried out with a clear aim in mind.
The real value for clients lies in monitoring to engage with audiences, and measuring to inform strategy, applied in an integrated fashion. Reputation transcends boundaries between 'new' and 'old' media, and therefore so must monitoring and evaluation.
Alex Pearmain, consultant, Fishburn Hedges