In Part 1 of this series, we looked at using keywords to get better, more targeted results from your Personal Profiles. Today’s post will focus on streamlining your results by considering the sources you search.
It’s fairly obvious that searching fewer sources means you’ll have fewer results. True, there are times when casting the broadest possible net is the best strategy. If your topic is obscure, or if your aim is to track all coverage of a topic, you’ll want to search the largest possible selection of sources to find content. However searching over 4,500 sources can result in… well, too many results. Despite your best efforts in optimizing your keywords, sometimes words are used in contexts you didn’t intend. We want to show you how careful selection of the sources that you search can provide you with a better proportion of results that are relevant and worth your valuable time.
Each Profile Stands Alone
The basis for these source selection tips is the fact that each Profile can have its own set of sources attached to it. That is to say, the source selection you make for one individual Profile does not affect any existing Profiles, nor does it influence the source selection of any future Profiles. You can make separate source selection decisions for each Profile, depending on the topic, along the vectors described below.
Consider the Medium
The first decision you can make regarding source selection is that of which media to include. FPinfomart offers many choices, including:
- Trade Publications
- News wires and PR wires
- Online news
Obviously, selecting content from each of these media types will get you the broadest possible coverage. But perhaps certain media won’t produce relevant results for a particular topic.
Your first source narrowing option is presented on the keywords input page, where you’re asked to decide upon a subset of “News” type sources, as well as whether you wish to search for any blogs. The default selection for new Profiles to search ALL available sources, from all available media.
Initial source selection options, on the Profile creation/edit form
It is possible, at this point, to narrow your source selection to a single News source (News includes all media types listed above EXCEPT blogs and Twitter), a library of news sources (one of our “pre-set” libraries, or one you’ve created previously) and/or the same options for blogs.
However you’ll have more power and choice if you choose the 3rd option, “Let me select from the full list of news sources.” (Note: a similar option for Blogs will be available in the near future. In the meantime, you must select either all blogs, a single blog, or a blog category).
If you do select the “Full list of sources” option, once you’ve clicked the “Create” (or “Save,” if you’re Editing an existing Profile) button, you’ll be presented with the complete list of available News sources.
At this time, you can use the “All” and “None” links to select or deselect those media which you wish to include or exclude from your results, based on your decision as to which is most appropriate.
Select or Deselect sources by media for more relevant results.
Consider the Geography
Another vector along which you can narrow your source selection is by geography. Perhaps your topic is relevant only to a certain region. Or, you prefer to read the results only from local community papers, excluding the major papers. You may want only Canadian results. Whatever your geographic criteria, you can customize your source selection accordingly. Simply browse the geographic categories, selecting or deselecting some or all of any category (such as National, the various Provinces, International, US, UK, etc.)
Consider the Subject Matter
Newspapers are great for covering topics in almost any range of interest. Just about any subject can be covered in a newspaper. However for really subject-focused topics, browse our selection of trade publications and blogs. You’ll be able to select sources that concentrate on the field specifically relevant to your search query. Exclude anything that wouldn’t conceivably have relevant content.
If a Profile were on a finance-related topic, I might choose these Trade Publications and exclude all others. [click for larger view
Will you use this source combination again?
Now that you’ve carefully perused our complement of sources and selected just those relevant to this Profile, consider whether this is a combination of sources you might use again in future. If you’ll be creating other Profiles on similar topics, you can save yourself some time by saving this source selection as a Library.
To save your source selection as a library, simply type a Library name in this box.
To save your source selection as a Library, scroll to the bottom of the source selection screen. Simply type a name for the Library into the box (use something that will help you easily identify it in a list of other source Libraries you may create in future), and click Save. Your source selection will be applied to your Profile, and the Library will be saved for use in any other Profiles. Your source Libraries are also available in Archives search and Quick Search.
The next time you wish to apply an existing Library to a Profile, use the Select Libraries option on the initial Profile creation/edit form. Select the desired Library from the drop-down menu, and you’ll skip the rest of the source selection process.
NOTE: Blogs are NOT included in source libraries at this time. We will be offering the ability to create a selection of blogs and add them to Libraries, in the near future.
Sorting results after the fact
If you still prefer to search a broad spectrum of sources and then “slice and dice” your results after the search is completed, you can use our Navigators to view subsets of your search results. Navigators are located in a column to the right of your results. A number in brackets next to a Navigator indicates the number of hits within your results set belonging to that group. Clicking any Navigator will narrow your results set to just those which match that particular criteria. Two Navigators especially relevant to this discussion are Medium and Region.
Click one of the Navigators to narrow your results set by Medium, or by Region.
It’s tempting, when beginning a media monitoring exercise, to set up your searches for maximum volume of results. Most people quickly find however, that quantity doesn’t equal quality. There are two main methods to stem the tides of news volume: by optimizing your keywords, and by careful selection of sources for monitoring. Streamline your media monitoring by ensuring that only relevant content hits your screen.
I hope this two-part series on narrowing your Personal Profile results has been helpful. Got an idea for another topic you’d like to see explored in-depth? Let us know in the comments!