What do you like best?
There's a lot to like about TrendKite. The fact that I can be tracking how my company is doing in the media against competitors, complete with drill-down capability to actually get to the full content, is pretty compelling. Seeing our "share of voice" over time helps me keep my PR program on track, with tangible numbers that show we're X articles behind our competitor, for example, allows me to adjust strategies on the fly as needed.
The ability to track message resonance is definitely a plus. Is what we're saying actually translating into the coverage? Are they picking up the language we're using? This extends the value beyond the PR department to the larger product marketing team.
Their in-product chat is invaluable. As they're still working out some kinks, having instant access to get help is crucial.
I also love one of their least-touted features -- the alerts. They're like google alerts on steroids -- I can set up daily or weekly emails to go to whoever I want to help keep the entire company informed on where we're getting mentioned in the news, plus, where our competitors are being mentioned, and even general industry news. The *best* part, though, is the built in social sharing. It's little things like that that make my job easier -- people don't have to rely on me to tell them what to share, if they see something in their daily alerts they want to share with their network, the tooling is right there for them.
Finally, I'm VERY interested in their new Google Analytics widget. It's been a bit confusing in its first iteration, but I know they just released a new version that I haven't been able to dig into yet. However, the potential value is huge -- forget Ad Value-- if we can talk website traffic that comes as a result of PR, THAT's a measurement I care about.
What do you dislike?
The missing piece that would really round this out is tying a media contact database to the product. I already get great drill down into the coverage we're receiving globally, if it could go just one step further and tie the journalist's contact info to it, I wouldn't need to leave the experience for a different tool.
Beyond that, there's some work that needs to be done with their crawler. Their crawler is almost too good on some fronts, and then insufficient on other fronts. For example they have a hard time picking up any articles that have pagination (like Forbes content, for example) because they can't get past page 1 (to my understanding). I know they're working on it, but it's a bit frustrating that we need to be the alert ones to make sure TrendKite isn't missing anything. On the flip side, we can't quite figure out why sometimes articles get counted 2-4 times for seemingly the same thing. Not a pickup, just literally the same URL. This inflates our numbers, so it can be hard to trust the data.
The good news is their support team is fantastic and they're always willing to go above and beyond to help. They're also very communicative about what they're doing to fix the problem, so I do have confidence that these issues are being worked on and will be remedied over time.
It's definitely missing a few widgets that seem like no-brainers to me, but, I get there's a queue. For example I'd love to see a widget for Circulation comparison against competitors.
Recommendations to others considering the product
It may feel a bit pricey, but, if you really dig into it and start to use it as your daily dashboard, you're going to see the value in it pretty quickly. It's certainly not a one-stop-shop (yet, unfortunately) as you'll still need a media contact database, but, it really does up your measurability & ability to react. You don't have to wait until quarter-end to "see how you did" anymore.
What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?
Quantifying PR. Historically it's been such a difficult practice to measure, and TrendKite is a major step forward there. I've been able to be more strategic in our tactics because I'm able to see 'real time' dashboards of how we're doing against our goals.