Analyzing This...

Public Relations Industry Analysis – Q2 & Q3 2015

In General Analysis on September 24, 2015 at 6:00 am

In the analysis of the first quarter of 2015 of the Public Relations Industry we saw:

  • Cision acquiring Viral Heat
  • Twitter and IBM announcing cloud data services surfacing Twitter insights
  • New vendors entering the US Market – Talkwalker and MediaMiser
  • A hot new vendor in the UK – PRgloo


What’s News in Q2 & Q3?

The landscape has changed with major consolidation and is going to continue to change. There is an expectation now that the PR & Marketing disciplines will continue to merge and morph on the software side as companies seek market share and differentiation.

ChurnZero – You Mon and Mark Heys both former Vocus and subsequently OutMarket veterans started ChurnZero. According to You Mon “…tools to help understand customers and their usage of our product were few and immature. So, with brute force, we pooled data and a few projects together to attack customer success.” ChurnZero is not specifically a PR tool, but these guys are focused on the health of the customer – happy customer = less PR/Marketing work to maintain brand health.

iContact PRO Select – It is a mouthful but branding is everything. Cision has chosen to strengthen the iConact brand and not back the short-lived OutMarket. Back in September 2014 GTCR had Vocus, Cision and a brand identity problem to address. Ultimately Cision won the branding and Vocus won the technology. Vocus’ Marketing Suite was re-branded to OutMarket. Now OutMarket has been folded into iContact (part of Cision through the Vocus acquisition) and re-launched in April 2015 as iContact PRO Select.

On the Move

Pearson Plc sold one of Britain’s most respected institutions, the Financial Times, after nearly six decades to Nikkei Inc. for $1.3B. Announced in July, Pearson is looking to focus on its education unit. The purchase allows Nikkei Inc. to capture market share (and revenue) outside of Japan. As a daily reader and happy subscriber I haven’t seen any difference in the high quality I have come to expect. Congrats to Nikkei Inc.

Preferential Treatment

CrimsonHexagon has joined Adobe Social, Curalate, Spredfast Intelligence and Union Metrics as a preferred data partner with Tumblr. The industry advantage of this preferential partnership is real-time access to Tumblr’s data stream.

Going, going, gone

NASDAQ is slowly shuttering mymediainfo, the PR tool purchased from Thomson Reuters as part of a larger acquisition, ever so quietly. MyMediaInfo was started by RedEgg and positioned as an integrated Web-based PR solution designed to help PR professional efficiently identify, reach and engage traditional and social media contacts, and monitor coverage across all outlets. While inexpensive the product was not able to maintain a satisfactory renewal conversion rate.

Improving Fortunes

Only days ago (September 21st) iQ media secured $9M in Series B funding. Additionally the iQ media board has been beefed up to drive revenue growth and explore new markets – the board now includes Sandeep Swadia, COO, Magnetic; Rick Rudman, CEO of Tracx and former President & CEO of Vocus; Michael Holloway, President at GMH Ventures, iQ media investor since 2011; and, Michael Kopelman, General Partner at Edison Partners.

Who’s Shopping?

Reuters UK reports Cision is shopping for press release market share. UBM which owns PR Newswire has started the process for selling this high achieving business unit. Why? Because UBM wants to focus on the more lucrative and growing trade show business, which is has continued to invest in with the purchase last year of Advanstar Communication Inc., and PR Newswire doesn’t get the attention is needs in that ecosystem to grow and contribute to the bottom line.

Whoever picks up PR Newswire will instantly rocket to the top of press release market share –but for how long? Press releases are valuable in imparting information but they no longer hold the position of power and exclusivity they once had given the speed and accessibility of information in a digital media world.

Twitter Data – Cut out the Middleman & Maximize Profit

In General Analysis on April 13, 2015 at 6:00 am

TwitterHQA year after Twitter purchased GNIP the company announced on Friday April 10th that it will no longer sell it’s data to third party vendors. This is what I expected to happen when I evaluated the acquisition last year. Apparently I wasn’t wrong since it turns out vendors were made aware of this a year ago according to <re/code>.

Simply put: If you need Twitter data in the future it will need to be purchased directly from Twitter.

This is a shift that has been coming slowly but steadily in the big data space as partners become competitors.

Reseller Reaction

“Nick Halstead, chief executive of DataSift, said Twitter was making a mistake by forcing customers to directly license its data. DataSift preprocesses data from about 20 different social networks and makes it available to about 1,000 customers in a form that is easier and faster to use than direct licenses would entail.

Mr. Halstead said DataSift’s business would not take a big hit from Twitter’s move since it still has an arrangement with other social networks, including an exclusive deal to present aggregated Facebook data about the interests of that network’s 1.3 billion users. But, he continued, Twitter’s decision will hurt his customers, who are ultimately Twitter’s customers, too.”

DataSift customers will have access to Twitter data until mid-August.

How does this impact PR & Marketing?

As with other services in the past like print and broadcast end users in PR and Marketing will be required to purchase the data needed directly from Twitter.

The industry has of late made it easier to subscribe to a media monitoring service and have one point of contact – via that vendor- and have access to the data needed i.e. print clips, online/digital clips, TV, radio and various social channels including Twitter.

This move by Twitter goes against the grain of making it easier for the customer as Mr. Halstead noted and will require you to have a direct relationship with Twitter.  Now we know GNIP managed this with it’s customers in the past so the foundation is there.

What I expect we will see are various packages made available to include pre-processed, raw, specialized or some combination thereof being made available to suite various budgets. We might also see Twitter data sold to vendors for resale again, once the market has adjusted to the new reality of data availability, but that will not be a reality for some time if ever.

Big Data is the currency of the future. Data-driven communications is the game-changer.

Read More Here:

<re/code>    VentureBeat

New York Times     TechCrunch


Goel, V. (2015).Twitter’s Evolving Plans to Make Money from its Data Stream. Retrieved from

MediaMiser – An Introduction

In PR Vendors on April 6, 2015 at 7:00 am

3_days_with_MMMediaMiser is a media monitoring and intelligence tool that helps “Turning [News/Posts/Tweets/Blogs/TV Clips/Radio Clips] into Knowledge” for Public Relations professionals.

The infographic I’ve included here demonstrates their commitment to customer service (MediaMiser has a continuous relationship with their very first client!) where they outline the users first 3 days with the system. MediaMiser isn’t looking to simply sell you software, they are committed to building a long-term partnership by providing a highly customized solution. This is evidenced by their 97% retention rate in 2014.

This infographic along with one they created for “Weird Al” Yankovic’s Eight Days of Mandatory Fun got me interested to see what the platform had to offer.

Chris Morrison, President of MediaMiser took the time to review this Canadian based product that is well suited for the US market.

Established in 2003 the focus was squarely on media monitoring and analysis. This is a content neutral solution. They can pull in any content a client needs through their own custom APIs. This is discovered along side the client to ensure they have the content needed for their industry. However, there is no press release distribution in the offering and the media database is based on the Bulldog Reporter profiles and growing.

In July 2014 Innodata Inc. acquired the company and then quickly followed up with the acquisition of Bulldog Reporter. The acquisition allowed a once bootstrapped organization to expand outside of Canada into the US.

Analysis Services

MediaMiser creates an ‘agency-type feel’. Users can buy the software and manage it themselves or have MediaMiser do that on their behalf by choosing different services that are available.

By becoming a strategic extension of the Public Relations team MediaMiser is able to build a solid foundation with clients.

There are several examples on the website which demonstrate the type of reporting to which you can subscribe. What may not be clear is that MediaMiser will offer recommendations similar to what an agency will do. Note this is not overall communications planning advice but rather insights as they relate to the monitoring and analysis.

This is helpful because unlike an agency it isn’t their own performance that MediaMiser is evaluating.



Focused on SMEs with an Easy-to-Use interface – the idea is to set-it-and-forget-it.

Alerts are Google-like; user is walked through a 3 step wizard that verifies the created query isn’t going to pull high volumes of data. Additionally users can specify only Positive (Negative or Neutral) hits from a specific source (Twitter, Online News, Facebook, Blogs, YouTube, Reddit).  Helpful for crisis management!

Analysis indicates language, sentiment (positive, objective, mixed, negative), channel, followers. Charting of Volume, Sentiment, Author, Publication and Region present the information quickly and allow for a snapshot of what is going on.

Sharing allows users to create newsletter emails via standard templates to share news within the organization.

Social Sharing allows users to Tweet, Like and directly email individual content.


Focused on larger organizational needs, the configuration here is highly customizable i.e. setup allows down to the city-level if desired. The features included within this product offering take into account years of client requests. There are to many to name.

Contact Manager includes a media database which is being augmented with the Bulldog Reporter acquisition. Uniquely the system builds lists of authors who are writing/have written about you or topics/competitors you track.

Analysis provides all expected values but here where Media Miser has a unique feature: Quotes by person. Quote Hunter a patented feature pulls all the quotes by each identified individual and groups them for easy access and analysis. This makes it easy to see if you are on message, message penetration, who are the key persons quoted in a story and in analysis who are the most quoted individuals.

Archive allows users to search for content with multiple filters outside of the standard keyword to include Author, Country, Publication Type, Article Tone and much more. This is where you can setup a search and run a report against the results knowing it was already  properly filtered first by their technology and then by humans before your report is generated.

Reports work of any search results that have been generated. Using saved search profile there are several options regarding how the information is displayed i.e. General Information (Volumes), Prominence, Quotes (see Analysis section), Categories (which are user defined) and more.

Is MediaMiser a be-all end-all product for the entire Public Relations workflow? No and they don’t need to be. They focus on their strengths of monitoring and analysis.

MediaMiser can be found on the web along with their pricing for SNAP – Enterprise is configurable and price varies.


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