Knowledge is power and the information you have has a significant effect on your decisions. Press monitoring is available not only for large companies and you can get started even with a basic and free method requiring no special knowledge. In this post, I will share why press monitoring is important even for a single entrepreneur and how you can do it on your own.

Why press monitoring is important?

Information is a kind of resource or tool that every company and entrepreneur must pay attention to. You can learn more about events that may affect your decision making and the life of your business such as tenders, conferences, training opportunities, competitors’ actions, events affecting your customers, legal changes etc.

Do not think that only large companies can do this. There are free methods to complete this task and after setting up the system you only need to spend about 10 minutes a day to use it. Once it is part of your daily routine you will see that it is something that your business has missed before. My first-hand experiences are very positive: our projects and decisions were affected by this organised information gathering.

Setting up press monitoring

Below I share how I got around this with a free method.

Write a list of keywords and sources

Write a list of keywords that affect your business. This can be the following:

– The name of your company and brands

– The name of your competitors

– Organisations, trade groups, institutions in your industry

– The name of your industry + keywords such as law, regulation, tender, changes, trends etc.

– The name and category of your products (the exact name as it appears in your catalogue and its general category for example carpet or television)

Also, find the RSS feed of publications writing about your industry. If they have no official feeds, add their address to your list.

Setting up Google Alerts

Go to google.com/alerts. In the text field write your first keyword and set everything as you can see below:

If you would like to add a website like an online magazine or your competitors’ website, write “site:exampleaddress.com” (like site:amazon.com or site:samsung.com). Under the settings area, you will find a preview of search results.

A list of all keywords you have entered will appear and you can access the RSS feed of the given keywords with the highlighted button.

Subscribing to feeds on a feed reader platform

RSS feeds gathered from Google Alerts and magazines can be loaded on an online feed reader platform or RSS reader software. I recommend comafeed.com because it is free, accessible from all your computers and has no premium limitations.

Register to the website and use the Subscribe button to add all your RSS feeds to the list. Try out the different functions like feed categories, marking news and moving news into various categories. The feed reader will update after a few hours.

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