Clipping services track newspapers, magazines, Web sites and wire services, as well as many network television and radio news and talk shows. You specify a list of key words-companies, people, industries and the like-and the service sends you copies of articles or segments that mention those key words.
"Most business owners couldn't possibly track the number of media vehicles the average clipping service covers," says Gregg Weber, owner of Garden State Press Clipping Bureau and former president of the North American Conference of Press Clipping Services. His Red Bank, New Jersey-based business monitors approximately 500 publications in New Jersey, eastern Pennsylvania and southern New York.
Most clipping services charge a monthly fee of $60 to $300, depending on the area monitored and a per-clip fee of 60 cents to a few dollars. Broadcast tapes can range from $40 to $100.
Not sure what you'd do with the service? Check out Weber's suggestions:
- Measure your media profile. Know what's being said, and correct misinformation if it appears.
- Keep up with your competition. A clipping service can be your own private detective, reporting back any information that your competition has revealed to the media.
- Track industry trends. It can send you news items that directly impact your industry.
- Prospect for leads. Your clipping service can monitor personnel or other announcements in your key media and send you updates on who's who. These services are becoming increasingly involved in monitoring the Internet. As parody sites, e-mail rumors and misinformation become more rampant online, what's being said about you can reach thousands of prospects quickly. A Web-savvy clipping service can help you put out such fires before you get too burned.
Gwen Moran is president of Moran Marketing Associates, a public relations and marketing communications agency in Ocean, New Jersey. She is currently completing a marketing workbook titled Promote Your Business. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Garden State Press Clipping Bureau, 258 Broad St., Red Bank, NJ 07701, (732) 842-1616