Various services designed to clip press articles on market trends, tips competition.
Four years ago Josie Ottman, vice-president of marketing for Boston-based Thompson Financial Services, began snipping items of commercial interest from newspapers and magazines and passing them around to department managers. The favor proved so helpful that now 65 pages of clips are circulated at a time. Ottman devotes 10 hours a week to clipping from some 70 publications. "I read all that stuff anyhow," she says, "so I might as well make it available to everyone."
Any business can gain by keeping tabs on the press: a company can assess its own ability to make news, learn what the competition is doing, monitor trends, and glean tips. If you don't have an in-house staffer to do it, consider an outside service. Such services employ readers who not only clip according to your instructions but analyze the material on request.
An Inc. sampling:
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* BACON'S CLIPPING BUREAU, CHICAGO (800-621-0561)
Costs $160/month, plus 96¢/clip. Follows 50,000 publications internationally, in 33 countries; 3,500 U.S. newspapers (all dailies plus most weeklies); 6,000 trade and consumer magazines; wire services. Delivers twice a week; two-to three-week lag. Features analysis of advertising-dollar equivalent. Will target by state or region; circulation; or type of publication.
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* Burrelle's, Livingston, N.J. (800-631-1160; in New Jersey, 201-992-6600)
Costs $218/month, plus $1.17/clip. Follows 11,000 U.S. newspapers; 6,300 consumer and trade magazines; English publications in Canada; wire services; Japanese economic news. Delivers twice a week; two-to three-week lag. Features TV extracts. Will target by western or eastern United States; state; city; or circulation size of newspapers.
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* Luce Press Clippings, New York City (800-628-0376; in New York State, 212-889-6711)
Costs $210/month, plus $1.12/clip. Follows 15,000 U.S. publications -- every daily newspaper and nearly every weekly; consumer and trade magazines; wire services. Delivers twice a week; 10-to 14-day lag. Features Canadian coverage (extra $65/month); international coverage ($10/month/country); TV extracts from news.
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* New England Newsclip Agency, Framingham, Mass. (508-879-4460)
Costs $98/month, plus 68¢/clip. Follows all 1,400 newspapers in New England; also key nationals like the New York Times. Delivers one to five times a week; 5-to 10-day lag. Features daily municipal bid announcements; transcriptions of local TV news.
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* Superior Clipping Service, Billings, Mont. (406-248-5996)
Costs $48/month up to 60 clips, 40¢/clip thereafter. Follows all Montana and Wyoming papers. Delivers once a week; one-to two-week lag. Features daily municipal bid announcements; can clip outside region for 60¢ per clip.
Costs $30/month/state, plus 40¢/clip. Follows every publication in Mississippi and Alabama, plus daily papers and business journals in Georgia and Tennessee -- about 600 in all. Delivers twice a week; five-day lag. Features coverage of top 45 national publications; faxes daily (extra fee); will analyze your coverage versus competition's.
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* Allen's Press Clippings, San Francisco (415-392-2353)
Costs $30/month to $56/month, depending on states. Includes 100 clips; thereafter, 30¢ to 38¢/clip. Follows 2,400 newspapers -- all papers in 10 western states, plus key nationals. Delivers twice a week; one-to two-week lag. Features strong focus on labor press, via trade journals.