By Mary Sullivan (@marys123)
As PR professionals, we are constantly looking for new and better ways to keep tabs on what the media is saying about our clients. Were we in The New York Times today? Did TechCrunch pick up our latest announcement? These are all answers we tend to look for on specific websites. But physically monitoring the Internet and the vast amount of publications and blogs we pitch can take hours out of our days – probably the whole day if we let it – so we need tools to help streamline the process.
Enter Reputation Scanner.
Reputation Scanner is an iPhone app that allows users to track brand and company mentions by the hour. The app sells for $1.99 and is an easy way for the PR/marketing professional on-the-go to keep tabs on their brand.
Essentially what Reputation Scanner does is allow you to set up a news feed for a brand, client, industry – whatever you need. Next, you can set up a the time frame in which you want to conduct your search – by hour, day, week, month or even forever. You can even go as far as to search a specific website, for a specific term, in a specific time and also exclude certain search terms. Take a look here!
Pretty cool, huh? When I heard about this app I was psyched because it sounded like a great way for us SHIFTers to keep tabs on our clients and their respective industries 24/7. But what I ended up getting was a little different than what I expected…
To start my experiment, I decided tomonitor what people were saying about SHIFT. I went in, typed “SHIFT Communications” as my search term and entered an unlimited time frame – basically resulting in a long Google listing of everything that had ever been written about our Company. After adjusting the time frame to 1 month, I simply got a list of results from Google listing everything that had been written about “SHIFT Communications” for the past 31 days. I did that for the 7 day, 24 hour and 1 hour option – and surprise – the same thing happened.
Couldn’t I have just done that with the Google app on my phone?
Also, one of the first things that came up for “SHIFT Communications” each time I searched was our website. Kudos to our SEO team, but that isn’t going to help me see what people are saying about our Company.
I know the value here is that you already have a search feed set up for the “on-the-go” professional to look to see what people are saying about their brand, but unless you are a household name, I don’t think it’s worth it.
Take Coca Cola, the search example that Reputation Scanner provided on its website. For them, this app could be fabulous. Just to experiment, I set up a feed for Coca Cola on The New York Times’ website for the past hour. In the past 7 days Coca Cola had 32 mentions.
As a PR professional or brand manger, if you know your company is going to be in The New York Times and want to set up an alert to make sure you get it – this app is for you. But with its limitations in general, I’d only give it 2.5 out of 5 slices overall.