So, what are the boys (and girls) saying?

At the end of every day, former Prime Minister Mulroney would ask his Press Secretary (Michel Gratton) “So, what are the boys saying?” to find out what journalists were saying about his government.

Traditional media is still important, even more so in this age of social media and citizen journalists.

You might not be aware that our Prime Minister, all Government Ministers and their advisors, CEOs and Senior Managers of large corporations, and yes, even your CREA Board of Directors all receive media clippings packages every day. Every organisation, large and small, pays attention to what media are saying about them and their industry.

What is media monitoring? It is similar to a Google news alert, but with a real person (or a team of people) filtering hundreds if not thousands of articles daily in order to keep (and share) those most relevant to the organisation’s needs.

Why should you subscribe to a media monitoring service? There are many reasons:

It allows subscribers to keep up to speed with what media are saying about their organisation/industry. These services will also capture articles that provide information about industry trends, as well as relevant information that is good to know. For example, your community may be coming to grips with a very divisive issue, one that other communities may have already resolved (wind farms and fracking come to mind).  A good media monitoring service will be able to find articles providing further background into the issue, both pro and con.

Media monitoring can also help feed your social media efforts by providing links to articles and information that REALTORS® might want to tweet to their followers, post on Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.

It may be useful for REALTORS® dealing with clients (as well as impress family and neighbours), by providing a wealth of information on housing trends in Canada and around the world, urban planning issues, and other good-to-know facts and figures, helping reinforce REALTORS® as the most knowledgeable about the real estate industry.

Many CREA members, as well as many Boards and Associations across the country, write subject-expert columns for their local media outlets, or maintain some kind of blog. The articles found by your monitoring service can serve as background research into an issue. As an added bonus, published columns or posts will likely be located by your monitoring service, and sent out to subscribers, further increasing the original article’s reach and page views. Additionally, many other professionals (mortgage brokers, contractors) also write columns that may be of interest to you and/or your clients, and a good monitoring service will locate these also.

The $64,000 question – bottom line, what does a service like this cost? If you’re the Prime Minister, expect somewhere in the neighbourhood of $12M a year.

At its most basic (and free of charge), you should set up some Google Alerts.

You should be aware that as a member of CREA, one of the benefits of your membership is that you can receive the same daily clippings package that the CREA Board, staff and over 2,000 members receive daily. Email me at pleduc@crea.cato be added to the list.

Pierre Leduc, CREA’s Media Relations Officer, facilitates CREA’s relationship with media, ensuring information given or requested about CREA is presented accurately. You will often find him monitoring what media outlets are saying about CREA and providing members with real estate news in CREA’s daily “Read All About It” newsletter. Pierre also coordinates media releases such as our monthly stats and quarterly forecasts. Pierre’s favourite hobby is watching major car racing events such as the Montreal Grand Prix.

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