Why Use A Service
There are three primary advantages to using clipping services.
Clipping services are often the only source for coverage of limited-interest publications such as local newspapers. Moreover, clipping services will search for references in the whole of the published piece rather than in the abstracts some publications use online so their results will be more complete than a do-it-yourself online search. Clipping services can also monitor advertising.
Through your fax machine, you can receive clips from major metropolitan papers on the same day they are published rather than waiting for the article to be posted on the Web.
A Physical Likeness
Traditional clipping services will usually offer you the entire clipped article. This means that you can see how much space was given to the text of the article or to any accompanying graphics or photos. Online clipping services can be a more effective resource if your company’s industry is primarily covered through online publications. These mentions can often be emailed directly to you but you will miss any print-only publications.
Choosing A Service There are approximately 45 national, regional, and state clipping services in the market. The two largest and most expensive clipping services are Cision, BurrellesLuce.
Differences between companies relate primarily to their coverage and their fees. National providers cover many more sources than regional or state bureaus; however, the smaller bureaus will usually offer more comprehensive coverage of local press. In addition, regional providers typically charge less than national companies for their services and can offer faster delivery of clips of local papers.
Clipping services charge a monthly service fee plus the cost of each clipping. The monthly fee varies depending on the number of publications monitored. You can expect to pay between $100-300 each month, plus $1.00 for each individual clipping.
Internet-based clipping services are generally less expensive, with some even offering their services free, but their coverage can be drastically limited since print mentions are not tracked.
Additional charges may be incurred if the clipping runs over multiple pages of a publication, or if you require coverage of foreign publications.
Make sure to ask if there is a minimum term before signing up with a service. Some of the national providers require a 3-month minimum commitment.
Check if there are additional charges for monitoring more than a certain number of search topics.
Trade publication coverage can be quite inconsistent across services. If that’s where the majority of your mentions will happen, make sure that the clipping service includes those industry publications that are important to you.
To learn of other clipping services in the area, consult a local public relations association.