Free Tools to Enhance Your Press Release Reports

July 5, 2011

 

 

This year, we’ve worked hard here at Business Wire to enhance our release reporting capabilities, pushing out a significant upgrade this Spring with even more enhancements in the pipeline.  That said, there are always companies and their agencies interested in customizing their NewsTrak reports beyond what we offer in order to gather deeper insight or simply to impress the top brass.  In this post, I’m offer tips and tools you can use to enhance your reporting and earn that gold star on your next report card.

Google Alerts

Most people are familiar with Google Alerts, but if you’ve been working with it for a long time you may be guilty of the old “set it and forget it” with the default Alert settings from a year ago or more and are missing out.  Google Alerts now offers six different classes of results:

  • News (collected from Google News)
  •  Blogs (collected from the sometimes controversial Google Blog Search)
  • Realtime (collected from the new Realtime Search, which often shows mostly Twitter results)
  • Video (mostly Youtube)
  • Discussions (likely focused on Google Groups and forums).

Setting up seperate alerts with key search terms for each of these result types will give you far more comprehensive results than setting up just one “everything” alert set to show “only the best results.”

Google Alerts even has an option to export to CSV at google.com/alerts/export , which you can then take into Excel and merge with other Excel based reports you are using.

Alexa, Compete, Delicious 

Now that you’ve augmented your reports with additional web activity, you can use public data from services such as Alexa, Compete, Delicious to show a rough measure of relative popularity (despite frequently inaccurate data) of different website and blog sources from traffic and Google alerts.  For Delicious, you can use the number of site bookmarks as a metric. For Alexa & Compete, the site ranking is a good one to use.  In every case, you can find the score simply by typing in the site address into the search in the corresponding service.

Topsy & BackTweets

It seems that no Twitter search engine is perfect, even Twitter’s own, but both Topsy and BackTweets do a pretty good job of reaching back into the distant Twitter past (ie one week ago!) and finding tweets based on URL searches. Topsy also provides broad recommendations on which Twitter users are influential.

Klout and TwitterGrader

Since you’ve used Alexa and the like to enhance your web results, why not use Klout or TwitterGrader scores to show a rough measure of influence from the Twitter users that have tweeted your release.  Unless you have a huge list of people, the quickest way to gather the data is simply to type each Twitter handle into Klout’s search box and save the corresponding score.  You can do the same with TwitterGrader, although it typically takes a long time to calculate each score, while Klout scores are reported instantly.

There’s my summer tips for enhancing your release reporting.  Try’em out and become the metrics master at your office.


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