Meltwater News: Easy media monitoring, but labor intensive and short on analytics
Chris Vanasdalan | TrustRadius Reviewer
July 08, 2014

Meltwater News: Easy media monitoring, but labor intensive and short on analytics

Score 4 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Software Version

Meltwater Buzz & Meltwater Press

Modules Used

  • Meltwater News
  • Meltwater Press

Overall Satisfaction with Meltwater News

We use Meltwater News at a corporate level, primarily for media monitoring and newsletter distribution to internal stakeholders. We also use the tool to compile targeted media distribution lists to support corporate PR efforts.

We originally purchased the tool to help us with our internal metrics and reporting too, but I'm finding that the features around tracking and reporting aren't as robust as I had hoped.
  • I like the fact that I get morning and afternoon media monitoring reports delivered via email, so I can quickly see when our company, products, brands, or competitors are mentioned in the news. I also like that I can archive relevant stories directly from the monitoring report and easily add them to our company newsletter.
  • Users can customize how frequently they receive media monitoring reports, and once stories are archived, newsletters can be set up to send automatically.
  • Keyword searches allow users to find members of the media that cover relevant topics or stories most often. This helps when developing a targeted PR campaign.
  • The reporting features are underwhelming and are not intuitive for users.
  • Meltwater allows users to create several newsletter distribution groups, so you can send content specific newsletters to different audiences like execs, sales teams, HR, customers, engineers, etc., but you are only allowed one email newsletter template. While the content may change, the look of the newsletter is always the same no matter what the audience. I find this feature very limiting.
  • There are no metrics around clicks, email opens, or other basic things you would normally track with an email newsletter.
  • It is difficult to customize or even edit headlines, so you're often stuck with a headline as it appears in the media monitoring report. There is is no way to run any kind of basic A/B testing around different headlines, newsletter designs.
  • I haven't even tried to send a press release via the "newsroom" feature, simply because it seems very difficult to do. Again, it's not very intuitive and there are no instructions, case studies, FAQs or best practices. Any support or training must be done over the phone with a Meltwater support rep.
  • I don't feel that the tool is worth the big sticker price. At the cost of $51k per year, I expect a much deeper set of analytics
  • It does save some time when it comes to building and distributing newsletters, but it is still fairly labor intensive overall. Often the results are not as accurate as one may hope. I find myself frequently tweaking the keywords we're tracking in an effort to get better results.
If you are simply looking to keep tabs on media mentions, build basic email newsletters, and put a newsfeed on your website, then this tool works well. I also really like being able to search for reporters based on region, title and keyword. Make sure you've identified what specific metrics you hope to track and talk with the sales rep to see if you're able to track them. Reporting and tracking features are often underwhelming or non-existent.

Using Meltwater News

5 - Corporate Communications (Public affairs team), Brand and Digital, Social Media team
1 - No special skills required to support.
  • Media Monitoring
  • Keeping tabs on what competitors are doing
  • Building and distributing employee newsletters
  • We really want to explore the newsroom feature. Sending press releases via Meltwater will undoubtedly allow us to be more cost effective and targeted than using a wire service.
As a smaller sized communications team we would likely free up a lot of time and get better results by either subscribing to a more established clipping service, or engaging an outside PR agency.

Meltwater News Implementation

You are only allowed 15 users, so make sure you've identified who will have access to use the tool.
Change management was minimal - Make sure you clearly define what your goals are for using the tool. Talk to the rep up front about your needs. We did see a demo of the product before we bought, but we didn't really have a clear understanding of what we wanted it to do. As we began to define are needs, we realized not all of them can be met through this product.
  • Coordinating with various employees around training.
  • Having a broad set of keywords that initially led to inaccurate results.
  • Training sessions were held over the phone and via webcast. Users watched the Meltwater rep walk through the features. I would have preferred on-site and hand-on training.

Meltwater News Support

Our support contact is responsive and helpful. She takes the time to explain the different features and is honest about it's limitations. I would like to see more self service type training tools and more proactive support. We always initiate contact when we hit a roadblock. There is very little contact from Meltwater reps trying to pro-actively help us improve the overall usability.
ProsCons
Quick Resolution
Good followup
Knowledgeable team
Problems get solved
Kept well informed
No escalation required
Immediate help available
Support understands my problem
Support cares about my success
Quick Initial Response
None
No - We have a good level of support for the features we use.

Using Meltwater News

Once you get some basic training it's pretty easy to use. I would like to see training manuals, or instructional videos to help me explore features I'm not currently using.
ProsCons
Like to use
Well integrated
Quick to learn
Requires technical support
Lots to learn
  • It is easy to archive relevant stories and add them to a newsletter
  • You can keep track of basic metrics at a glance (overall media hits, stories by region, stories by keyword, etc.)
  • We do have a dedicated support person at Meltwater who is accessible and willing to help us when needed.
  • Manually adding content is cumbersome. For example we often try and incorporate internal news posted on our company's intranet portal. These stories must be added manually using a specific process.
  • I'm finding myself frequently tweaking key words in an effort to get better results and cut down on irrelevant hits around media monitoring.
  • The newsroom feature seems very difficult to use, although to be fair, I haven't explored it much.