The best tips and tools to track coverage
If well prepared PR can help you get your brand in the media. By sharing your story through a press release or through social media you can get noticed by a journalist or blogger and get some coverage.
Most of the time the journalist or blogger will let you know, however sometimes this won’t be the case. If you don’t want to miss out on finding coverage that you could use to promote your brand, you need to have a strategy to track them. Tools do exist to track your coverage.
Here are a few examples.
Google Alerts: Free and accessible coverage tracker
Google Alerts come as our best recommended tool to track coverage as it is very easy to use and completely free.
Google Alerts works with keywords. If you go on the platform, you will be first asked to enter a keyword or key phrase. You will then be provided with different options. You can decide how often you want to receive the alerts, the sources, the region, the language, etc.
The tool will then monitor the web and send you the results of its search directly to your Google inbox. (You need to have a google email address to use it). You can create as many alerts as you want!
To monitor if your business has received coverage, create an alert for your brand name, one for a quote you included in your press release or even one for the name of your product(s).
Of course, Google Alerts has multiples uses. You can also use it to monitor your competitors or to keep up-to-date with the news in your industry.
To track your coverage in more depth you can also opt for a paid-for tracking service, such as Mention.
They also work with a keyword system. The main difference from Google Alerts is that the tool tracks any mention of your keywords online, including on social media. So you can actually see if someone is talking about you, even if it’s not in an article. It enables you to react quickly on what has been said. It is also more accurate, and offers more options than Google Alerts.
PR online tools
If you use a PR tool to send your press releases out, you should be able to get an idea of your hit(s).
For instance, JournoLink provides statistics for each press release sent out, including the number of journalists and bloggers reached, as well as the number of people who have read it. Our PR platform also shows the second part of the email address of those Journalists, as they contain the name of the publication they work for. As a result, you can monitor the publication's website manually to see if your business name appears.
Tracking coverage offline
Tracking coverage in traditional print newspapers is a bit more complicated for obvious reasons. However, you have options.
One of them is to monitor the newspapers yourself. Create a list of the publications you have sent your press releases to. Then, just keep an eye on them. As some of them should be related to your industry, you could benefit from subscribing to them anyway, in order to keep up-to-date with the news in your sector.
Another option is to pay for a press clipping service, which is basically a media monitoring service. They track your brand everywhere, so you can be sure not to miss anything. The only inconvenience is that this type of service can be very expensive. Small businesses can’t always afford it. A few online platforms offering offline tracking exist though, and they are more affordable.
A last option is to try to contact the journalists you have sent your releases to, and ask them directly. In many cases, journalists will let you know.
Tracking coverage is essential if you want to make the most of your PR strategy. What is the point of getting coverage if you are not aware of it?
Hopefully, the tools above should assist in keeping track of your brand. Don’t hesitate to read our tips on how to showcase a piece of coverage you’ve got. This is the next crucial step.
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Written by: Julie Cocquerelle, Marketing Executive
Julie has a degree in Marketing and PR, and has worked in marketing for a number of startup businesses, both in France and the UK. She now runs JournoLink’s marketing efforts, and works closely with our partners. When not in the office Julie enjoys travelling and soaking up European culture.