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Have you ever stopped to think about how much media monitoring costs your company?

Your PR department has been collecting clips for your company for a while and you’ve even managed to come up with some metrics to trend for tone. But how do you know you’re capturing all the coverage that’s meaningful to your business? How many sources do you examine?

Have you ever really considered the cost of doing this kind of thing manually?

We did.

Made a few assumptions, adjusted for inflation, and voila! We figured out what a North American company spends on average per year on monitoring its media coverage. When trying to justify a monitoring service, consider these figures.

How much time would it take to compile a clipbook manually? This depends on the size of the company but, on a regular day (no issue to be managed or crisis to quell), let’s assume (if you’ve had your morning coffee)…it takes:

  • ~ 2 hours every morning to scan the news sites, broadcast sites, video sites, RSS feeds, and collect news clips
  • ~ 1 hour to manually generate a clipbook
  • ~ 1 hour converting the information into manipulate-able data…if you’re an Excel wiz
  • A few hours for tone analysis and reporting brings you to your full 8-hour work day

Some days will be worse than others. You might be sluggish because it’s a Monday or maybe your company recently released its earnings and there are a higher volume of mentions.

Now let’s talk money. According to the American Bureau of Labor Statistics website, in 2010, the hourly mean wage for a Public Relations Specialist is about $33.50 per hour. The Living in Canada website, in 2010, cites the average wage for a Public Relations professional working in Toronto at about $25.00 per hour. Landing somewhere in the middle, we’ll use $29.00 per hour as our yardstick wage.

Let’s say that he/she spends about 95% of their time working on media monitoring-related things. So, based on a 40-hour work week, your company pays about $1,000.00 per week toward manual media monitoring – which rings you in at about $52,000.00 per year.

Now, if you’re a larger company, you could be paying 2 or 3 staff members to share that work. Or consider if your PR pro is at the higher end of the pay scale and makes closer to $40.00 per hour – now it’s costing your company about $80,000 yearly.

When you consider that your company pays somewhere between $50,000 and $80,000 annually on manual media monitoring, it might be time to consider a full-service provider.

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