News Monitoring Software

In business, it’s important to know when you’re being talked about. The best media monitoring tools alert you when your company is in the news, track your earned media efforts, reveal what customers are saying, monitor competitors, gather valuable intelligence and reveal business opportunities. But can a free media monitoring service do all of that?

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Free News Monitoring Software

If you’re new to news monitoring tools, you might wonder why anyone would opt for a paid tool when there are plenty of online media monitoring platforms inviting you to sign up or get started for free.

But are they really free?

There are two possibilities:

  1. You’re really signing up for a free trial or demo of a news monitoring tool for 7, 14 or 30 days – after which you’ll need to become a paid subscriber to continue using the service.
  2. The media monitoring tool offers a basic free tier that limits the PR tracking tools and features you can access. Or it may restrict the number of search terms, social media accounts and sources you can monitor. This is commonly referred to as the Freemium model. Once you’re using the platform, it may not be long before the limitations convince you to upgrade to a paid account.

So is it possible to get by using a free media monitoring service?

If your news monitoring needs are simple and you’re not concerned with monitoring every potential source, then perhaps a free media monitoring tool may be enough to get you started.

But an effective media or press monitoring strategy is about a lot more than simply knowing when a website mentions your brand.

Freemium news monitoring platforms are often too basic or too limited to deliver genuine benefits.

For example, most free or entry-level media monitoring software only monitors the easiest media sources – news sites, blogs and perhaps Twitter. But with social media platforms such a huge part of the everyday online conversation, your media monitoring reports may be missing a lot of valuable or important social media mentions happening on Facebook, Instagram or YouTube.

Many social media marketing tools also double as social media monitoring tools, allowing you to monitor various social media accounts and set alerts for specific search terms. However, you'll still need another media monitoring service to track and monitor other traditional media coverage.

And by splitting the job of full web monitoring across multiple monitoring tools, your data isn't in one place, making comprehensive media analysis harder.

By not paying for a dedicated and feature-rich media monitoring tool, you may be leaving more value on the table than you’re saving. A lot more.

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What is News Monitoring?

Whether you prefer to call it news monitoring, press monitoring or media monitoring, the point is the same. You want to know when and how online news sites, blogs and maybe even social media users talk about your brand.

You may also be keen to monitor how they talk about other brands, topics or themes relevant to your business strategies.

But more than two million news articles and about 7.5 million blog posts are published online everyday. And then there are the millions of tweets, posts, threads and messages published to social media in a constant stream of fresh – often opinionated – content.

That’s a lot of media to monitor. And if your brand name pops up regularly in articles and social media posts across the globe, not all of those mentions will be relevant or require your attention.

Media monitoring helps companies to sift through all of that noise to identify the stories and mentions most relevant to them.

Usually, these may be mentions of the brand, products or services. However, some companies use these tools for competitor monitoring or to track public interest in certain topics.

This information can lead to valuable insights or business intelligence, informing internal decisions on marketing and PR activities – or even product development and business strategy.

For example, social media monitoring might reveal the most requested new product features in conversations about your brand. Or it might reveal which competitors have a greater share of voice (SOV) or media exposure with the target audience.

If your company isn’t already using media monitoring software, you can be certain some of your competitors are.

Why News Monitoring Matters

News monitoring provides an objective picture of your brand, your messaging and how they’re perceived in the marketplace. But it can also give you a window onto the marketplace as well; how it moves, adapts and evolves over time as new trends emerge and competitors vie for attention.

When tied to clear and measurable business goals, a good news monitoring strategy can deliver both immediate and long term benefits, including:

  • PR Measurement: Measure the success (or failure) of your press releases and other PR activities to get your message out. Use PR tracking tools to capture relevant news stories and other mentions for coverage reports, etc. Press monitoring can also help you decide how to adapt your PR strategy to more effectively shape the story you want to tell.
  • Brand Awareness: A successful brand is talked about. Monitor mentions across online news sources, blogs, review sites and social media platforms to discover just how talked about your brand really is. Examining those mentions can also reveal what people understand about your business (awareness) and what the general feeling is towards it (sentiment). Just as important is to identify where your brand isn’t being talked about!
  • Business Intelligence and Insights: Reveal trends, identify potential business opportunities and build a picture of customer behaviours, needs, wants and attitudes. These insights can be invaluable guides to future marketing, PR, social media and product strategy.
  • Competitor Analysis: Monitor competitor activities, including mentions, news stories and sentiments to measure your brand’s share of voice (SOV). Which brands dominate public and media discussions about your industry? How well does your brand and message stand out in the marketplace?
  • Influencer Management: Identify who is writing what about your company (or not), and develop an outreach strategy to nurture advocates for your brand. Which news sources, journalists or influential bloggers do you need to build a closer relationship with?
  • Reputation Management: By monitoring what’s said about your company, you can respond quickly to negative mentions before they have the potential to damage your brand reputation. Provide proactive customer support, resolve complaints, monitor review sites, correct inaccuracies, quash misinformation and more.
    Social listening and reputation management can also be an effective early warning system, giving you time to prepare for …
  • Crisis Management: Track how the press and other media sources report on your business in a crisis. Is news coverage supportive or critical? Are your efforts to resolve the crisis also being reported?

List of free softwares

ANewsTip

Primarily a press release distribution service for PR agencies and PR professionals with paid accounts gaining access to media lists. However, the platform also has a few handy and free media monitoring tools, such as Alerts which allows you to check your PR efforts by monitoring news sources and Twitter for brand and keyword mentions. [Link]

Feedly

Feedly began as an RSS aggregator, but has evolved into an AI-powered tool for users to curate content from news sites, blogs, newsletters and Twitter. While media monitoring isn’t its core purpose, the free version allows you to monitor mentions from a list of specified sources or streams. [Link]

Google Alerts

Probably the simplest and most commonly used media monitoring tool for beginners. You can set up email alerts to monitor specific sources (News, Blogs, Video, etc. – even Books) for mentions of your search terms, filtered by region, language and relevance – although social media monitoring isn't included.  [Link]

HootSuite

A popular social media manager with some handy monitoring features included, such as keyword alerts and custom scoring capabilities. Agencies and PR pros may already subscribe to the paid version, but if that doesn't include you, and you're only concerned with monitoring social, then Hootsuite may be the answer. [Link]

Mention

The free version is limited to a single alert and only a thousand mentions, meaning you'll likely outgrow this media monitoring tool very quickly. Also, the free version ( and some of the paid tiers too) limit the number of social media accounts you can monitor, while some of the largest social media platforms like Facebook aren't included, limiting its use as a social media monitoring tool. [Link]

Newsmeter

An online global news tracker that allows you to search news sites for articles containing your chosen keyword(s) – as long as they were published within the last 30 days. The results are detailed and you can also generate customised reports. The free “demo” version is restricted to a single user and only 10 keywords, after which you’ll need to upgrade to a paid plan. [Link]

SEMRush

A feature-rich SEO tool with uses far beyond media and news monitoring. The free version includes a few handy media monitoring tools, such as Brand Monitoring, allowing you to track media mentions on websites, review sites, forums, Twitter and Instagram. [Link]

Social Mention

PR professionals, social media marketers and agencies have been using SocialMention as a quick and easy no-frills media monitoring tool seemingly since forever. On the surface, SocialMention works like a search engine. Search your brand keywords, filter by date and review your mentions. And you can set up email alerts. But it also provides some handy (albeit basic) analytics on those results, including sentiment, reach, top hashtags and more. However, being free, you'll still need to manually collate the most useful information into your reports. [Link]

Social Searcher

Only interested in monitoring relevant mentions and conversations on one or more social platforms? The freemium version of Social Searcher lets you perform keyword searches to capture mentions on up to 11 social media sites, including Reddit, Flickr, Tumblr and Vimeo as well as the major platforms. You also get some statistics on sentiment, etc. and free email alerts. More detailed monitoring and analysis requires a paid account. [Link]

Tweetdeck

Once, Tweetdeck made it easy to monitor conversations, accounts and keywords across multiple social sites, including Facebook and LinkedIn. However, Tweetdeck is now wholly owned by Twitter, restricting its scope to the one fast-moving platform. If your company relies heavily on Twitter for customer engagement, outreach and content distribution, then Tweetdeck has you covered  – but you'll be leaving a lot of the web unmonitored. [Link]

Zoho Social

Like Hootsuite (above), Zoho is another popular social media management platform that can be used as a free social media monitoring tool. However, if you need to monitor the web beyond social media, you'll still need another tool for news monitoring. [Link]

Nexis Newsdesk News Monitoring

A good monitoring tool should do a lot more than track online mentions of your brand name. You need to know everything that is said or reported about your company, brand and competitors.

Our Nexis Newsdesk™ media monitoring tool helps PR managers and communications professionals in leading companies around the world to run effective monitoring strategies from a single dashboard.

  • Monitor conversations in multiple languages across online media, including news and social media
  • Collate, filter and analyse all of your online coverage and media exposure
  • Capture valuable competitive intelligence with in-depth analytics
  • Conduct market research through social listening and customer engagement
  • Share insightful reports and news stories across the organisation via newsletters, alerts and RSS feeds

In 2021, Nexis Newsdesk won the CODiE award for Best Content Search and Discovery Solution for the fifth year running.

Run effective PR campaigns

  • Track the success of your press releases by measuring media coverage.
  • Monitor influential bloggers and manage blogger outreach.
  • Identify influencers and useful media contacts for targeted news updates.

Make data-driven decisions

  • Analyse your media coverage and social listening data for valuable insights.
  • Create impactful reports that visualise your findings and bring information to life.
  • Develop competitive intelligence to reveal new opportunities and guide future strategies.

LexisNexis is the most comprehensive media analysis and news monitoring service on the market. By subscribing to Nexis Newsdesk™, your company gains access to:

  • Our 40-year news archive
  • 40,000 data and online news sources
  • A comprehensive media contacts database
  • Detailed social analytics
  • Award-winning in-house expertise

Go beyond standard news monitoring and discover how your brand is really performing in the modern media landscape.