At noon CST today I’m going to be participating as a panelist in a Bulldog Reporter teleseminar entitled Online Measurement: Proven Tools and Affordable Techniques for Tracking Brand and Reputation on the Internet.
Among the sites I use for tracking mentions of Mayo Clinic in the blogosphere (and in other on-line sources such as news sites) are
I use the same tools to track some other issues I care about, and set up searches that are connected to RSS feeds that automatically send updates to my RSS aggregator. I use NetNewswire for Macintosh because I like being able to take my feeds with me on my laptop when I ride the bus. There are other software packages available for this, or you can use My Yahoo!, Google Reader, My AOL, Newsgator or other on-line services so you can read your feeds from any computer. The only downside is you need to be connected to the internet.
In addition to potentially giving an early warning about issues that may be brewing, I also find these services (which are all FREE) helpful in identifying potential story ideas. Frankly, most of our mentions in the blogosphere are positive, although we do see posts falsely claiming Mayo Clinic support or validation for a product. We follow up on those, involving the Legal department if necessary. But we have lots of patients who have blogs, or people blogging about the experience of a family member at Mayo Clinic, and we have had some occasions in which we see a compelling patient story in a blog, and have followed up to see if the patient would be open to having a story on the Mayo Clinic site for patients.
And, of course, now that I’ve done this post I will see it show up in those monitoring sources I’ve mentioned above.
We also use some flat-rate paid service for more comprehensive on-line monitoring, primarily of news sites. That’s what is really nice about the web and automated on-line services: instead of a per-clip fee, you get everything for a flat rate. We still use a clipping service for the print clips because the on-line versions of major newspapers differ from their web sites, but particularly for major stories we can use free and flat-rate online monitoring services to get quick feedback and pass it along to the patients involved, to caregivers and to leaders of the organization.
I look forward to hearing my fellow panelists’ contributions.