Online news-clipping service could help your business
There's so much free news available on Web that it boggles the mind. Whether it's the Star-Bulletin, the New York Times or Cycle World, just about every periodical is online.
Given all the information residing in cyberspace, it's a sure bet that some of it could be valuable to your company. The issue is how to access it. That's where news-clipping services come in handy.
Essentially, a news-clipping service sifts through the Internet and delivers you specific content identified by keywords.
Let's say you want to be apprised of every newspaper or trade journal piece that mentions your company. This could also include Web sites or blogs that may not be part of a periodical but nonetheless could be extremely important.
For example, if you own a hotel, restaurant or nightclub, you'd surely want to know that TripAdvisor.com or Yelp.com (which reviews restaurants, spas and clubs) has commented on a rude cashier or wine glasses covered with greasy fingerprints. Clipping services also help you track what the media are saying about your competitors or allow you to follow a breaking news story such as the current political unrest in Tibet.
These kinds of services have been around forever in the old analog newspaper world. I 'm old enough to remember when we used to get hard copies of articles on our company sent to me via snail mail. However with evolution of the Internet, it's possible to get just about everything you want from your computer.
There are a variety of online news-clipping services ranging from free, such as Google alerts or Yahoo! News Alerts, to offerings from companies such as Meltwater News that costs thousands of dollars a year.
Naturally more comprehensive news clipping services will cost money. Some of the more affordable ones include:
» CyberAlert, which was one of the least expensive products I could find. Its regional clipping service (it tracks news in up to five states) starts at $165 a month.
» Custom Scoop, which searches thousands of online sources and can search for up to 15 keywords to deliver a custom news briefing every day. Price begins at $299 a month
» Lexus Nexus, which is often associated with the law profession. They have daily, weekly or monthly rates. They also have an "a la carte" offering, with charges ranging from $3 to $12 per document.
» BurrellesLuce, which surveys 50 million blogs and Internet forums, 26,912 Web news sources, 10,355 daily and non-daily newspapers, 7,893 magazines, trades and journals. Prices begin at $327 for national media monitoring and go up from there.
These services are invaluable if you're going to stay competitive. Many offer a free trial period so you can give it a whirl without losing money.
At the very least check out the free services and see what the media are saying about you!