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Public Relations Industry Analysis: Q1 2015

Social Network Analysis Visualization, By Calvinius

This article is reprinted from the RMP Media Analysis blog Analyzing This...

By Roxane Papagiannopoulos—The first quarter of 2015 has come to a close and Cision (GTCR) has made another acquisition: Viralheat. The #FutureofPR now has the social media monitoring component accounted for along with the best of Vocus, Visible Technologies, and Gorkana. Cision announced this information on March 23rd, with a detailed FAQ, and for that we thank you Cision 🙂

Looking at the industry late last year I pointed out that this was one of two missing components in the Cision ecosystem. What else is missing from the Cision family? Broadcast, but it is questionable if Cision will take that on directly. There is currently a partnership with Critical Mention in place.

Industry Acquisition Options

These are vendors who are potential acquisitions in 2015:

MarketWired spun out Sysomos to focus on the press release business. Here is an opportunity for the likes of NASDAQ (GlobeNewswire), Cision (add to the PRWeb component), Business Wire or another private-equity firm to increase market share and take out a competitor.

Sysomos was spun out of MarketWired and is now a stand-alone offering. I was betting on Cision picking this up but that did not happen. This would be an option for LexisNexis to build on its acquisition of Moreover last year, if they want to give the NewsDesk product another facet.

PR Newswire is owned by UBM plc, whose products are events, marketing services, and news distribution. As the small fish in the UBM pond, PR Newswire isn’t holding any of the strategic cards for growth. This is an opportunity for an acquirer (namely Cision) to gain marketshare, thought leadership (Meltwater), and a content marketing component. Expect PR Newswire to be on the block soon.

Critical Mention is on the selling block (or is it?). When I asked CEO Sean Morgan he said, “Everyone is for sale all the time right?” But the real question is: “If Critical Mention is for sale, then who has the money to purchase it?” There are a few plays here:

  • The Market Share Play: iQ media, TVEyes, or ShadowTV purchase Critical Mention and gain significant marketshare. Old rivalries may sink this option.
  • The Competitor Play: Here again a private-equity firm or some other conglomerate picks up Critical Mention to put the pressure on Cision’s expanding offering.
  • The Change of Ownership Play: Critical Mention has a solid and growing customer-base. New competition comes in the form of iQ media which is positioned as an alternative whose focus is on media intelligence.

Critical Mention has been invited by the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) the week of April 13th to demonstrate their ecosystem of services and monetization platforms for the newsroom at NAB’s exclusive SPROCKIT launch program. The fact is Critical Mention provides the broadcast option to several vendors including Cision, NASDAQ (MyMediaInfo), MetroMonitor, and more.

New Partnerships

IBM and Twitter announced a partnership in 2014; last month they announced new cloud data services that will use conversations and insights from Twitter: “IBM has also integrated data from the microblogging website into Watson Analytics, which was launched back in September. This enables developers to quickly pull Twitter data into any cloud-based applications they are creating, in order to identify and explain hidden patterns and relationships.”

“New” Vendors in the U.S.

  • Talkwalker: Read all about their offering in this post.
  • MediaMiser: A Canadian-based solution making in-roads into the U.S. market. Read about them in my recent post.
  • Precise: Have been in the U.S. for over a year, but were purchased by Kantar Media’s parent WPP. Here is a vendor with whom I would like to sit down and see how the integration has progressed and impacted the offerings to customers.
  • Meltwater: Is not new I know, but their Outside Insight coming out party on March 16th this year is new. The new solution is completely redesigned, according to the press release. I’ll be featuring Meltwater here soon – keep an eye on this column.

New Vendor in the U.K.

PRgloo, positioned as “A complete Media Relations platform combining easy to use tools with exceptional analysis,” has hit the market just this spring. I expect this to be the elegant solution PR has been looking for all these years. More to come after I get a first-hand look.

“New” Products

  • Moreover (who I spotlighted here) is now part of LexisNexis. LexisNexis is pushing their Newsdesk offering as, “a consolidated media monitoring solution with industry-leading analytics and an unmatched content collection–including global web, broadcast and social media content.” (The quote is from some of the emails I’ve received pitching the product.)

There you have it Q1 2015 has lived up to expectations that the public relations industry consolidation continues.


Image thanks to Calvinius.

Roxane Papagiannopoulos

Roxane Papagiannopoulos

Roxane Papagiannopoulos, Managing Director, Analysis CARMA North America, is an experienced public relations measurement professional helping clients understand and measure their outcomes. Roxane brings nearly 20 years of experience in the public relations and communications industry and founded RMP Media Analysis a media intelligence consultancy.
Roxane Papagiannopoulos
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