Monday poll: Will press clippings services survive?

Press clippings services monitor the news for mentions of key words, normally a company name and perhaps its competitors. It’s largely a manual process whereby readers literally cut articles from print publications and then send them to their customers. These services, provided by companies such as BurrellesLuce in the US and Romeike in Europe, charge a monthly fee and used to be a staple of any PR campaign.

The advent of online publications, then blogs and Internet search technologies, are changing the game for press clippings services. Many start ups would rather save the $300+ per month, relying on cheaper online services from Google News Alerts to Magenta News. In response clip services, are moving more towards evaluation and analysis, while at the same time moving staff overseas to reduce costs.

Large organizations will probably always want, and be able to afford, a print clippings service. But for the majority of SMBs and emerging companies, will these services be seen as a luxury? Will PR firms insist on a clip service as they did a few years ago? Given the speed of online news, are these services still valuable when it comes to response? Then again, are the newer propositions as comprehensive? Is cutting the clip service really just forcing PR teams to take the process back in-house? So, will traditional press clippings services survive?

[For those reading this via a newsreader, there is an AJAX-based poll pasted below which may not appear in this post via RSS. Please vote on the site – thanks].

  • I haven’t used a clipping service in almost six years

  • Skills, Clips and Orlando

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  • Interestingly Ireland’s leading clipping service has incorporated an online service. I haven’t used it yet, but I couldn’t imagine life without my regular clipping service.

  • H. C.

    I think clipping services will survive since there are quite a few large organizations that wants to keep track of every mention/hit that ever took place.
    But with smaller companies/agencies, I don’t see much of a need for clipping services except on special circumstances, such as crisis management, since they will most likely know when a hit is coming (and it’s much cheaper to buy a off the rack or even order back copies.)

  • Magenta news rocks! Also, it is not just a “clipping service” try it out!

  • Sara

    I have had experiences with both tradition clipping services and the more modern internet based services. To this date, I would have to admit that the online services have been of much greater advantage for me. I fortunately have had a greater experience with Magenta News and it has been great!

  • If you want the news, the web is your fastest option. BUT if you want to know what your customers are reading, viewing and hearing use a monitoring service. A rapid knowledge of events is useful, but PR is a long term game and you need to understand how perceptions and opinions form around news stories. So keep checking the web and keep checking your clippings.

  • Sue

    I would caution anyone who thinks they can find their news solely by relying on “cheaper online services”. If the bottom line is that you want to see all of the news coverage you have worked so hard to generate, then you need a monitoring service that is comprehensive and accurate – that, in the long run, is what will justify the cost.
    Consider the following:
    · Most companies that monitor online media for pennies usually don’t have the resources to access content that requires a subscription. That means that if your article appears in this premium content, you’ll never see it. With other services, you may get a link to the article, but you will find that, without a subscription, you won’t be granted access.
    · If it’s just text you are after, than you won’t mind the fact that that is all you’ll get, but to many PR pros, the associated graphics and the placement on the page means a lot.
    · As precious as press coverage, is your time. While it is true that some less expensive services will find you mountains of stories that contain your search terms, will those stories really capture the essence of your search? Media monitoring companies typically pride themselves in their ability to set sophisticated search terms that include specific exclusions, confinements and other requirements, which ultimately yield the results a client is after – namely stories about the project at hand. Few media monitoring companies still employ human editors to review articles before sending them on to their clients, but the ones that do, save clients hours and hours of precious time.
    In fact, press clipping services that have kept up with today’s burgeoning technology, are a PR pro’s best bet if comprehensive capturing of relevant news coverage is the ultimate goal. Companies that have been in business since media monitoring first began know how to search the media. Those services that have invested in technology and incorporated technological advancements into their production processes as it became available are responsibly monitoring much more of the electronic press than any of the new kids on the block.