One of our practice areas here at the Brick Factory is media monitoring and measurement through our product ImpactWatch, so we want to tell you a little bit about how we do things. All of our ImpactWatch work consists of two components. A service offering, comprised of the Media Analysis Team, In-House Developers, and Project Managers, and the ImpactWatch platform itself, the web-based software tool that we use to do the work. The ImpactWatch platform is powerful, and thus, complex. Having the Media Analysis Team to manage all of the articles, the developers to make customizations, and our Project Managers to ring lead it all enables us to offer a complete measurement solution.

Human Media Analysts

Our Media Analysis team is really the core of the service we provide. You just can’t get the same quality of article tagging, de-duplication, and sentiment analysis with purely automated systems, and the qualitative value of your media suffers if you try. Nuances in language used across different industries and media types vary quite a bit, and it’s difficult for automated systems to pick up on those subtleties.

Don’t get me wrong, the ImpactWatch Analysis Team utilizes tools to create all kinds of automation when media pieces come in to the system. But, ultimately, our team of analysts reviews every client article to ensure the accuracy of automation, and to pick up anything the software missed. No search string is perfect, so irrelevant articles will always be coming in. These are all removed from the system by the Analysis Team. Identical articles that come in from multiple sources are all associated with a single primary source so you don’t have to wade through all of the pickups. Finally, each article is analyzed for sentiment toward our client and its competitors.

We know every measurement project and client is different. Our media analysts become subject matter experts in the topics associated with your business, based on a specific protocol that we collaboratively work with you to define.


I told you it was powerful… ImpactWatch has been in development for over a decade, and has been designed from the ground-up to be as responsive to client needs as possible. For instance, most of our clients have distinct business units with unique key messages, initiatives, products, and competitors. These tags are easily modified within each business unit without affecting tracking for the other units. Articles in the database are filtered according to each business unit so that only applicable tags are displayed. This saves time for our Analysis Team which in turn lowers costs.

This customizable system adds flexibility and allows us to add, change or remove tags at any time. In addition to personalizing article tracking, ImpactWatch also allows for virtually unlimited interface modification. The organization and display of news items, trend tracking, graphing and reporting tools reflect the preferences of each client. As a software firm, we also have the resources to add custom modules to the system, ensuring that ImpactWatch adapts to our clients’ workflow.

Qualitative Metrics

If your measurement program is only using quantitative metrics to score your media mentions, that’s fine. Lots of people do it. Straight article volume, circulation, and even Advertising Value Equivalency provide a consistent baseline from which you can measure your media over time. However, we don’t feel that paints an accurate picture of your media posture.

In addition to those metrics we also factor in some fairly easy to gather values that are qualitative.

  • Where was the mention in the article? Headline? First paragraph? Last paragraph?
  • Was the article a full length feature or just a short brief?
  • Were there any quotes from company executives or third-party analysts?
  • Last but not least, was the mention in the article Positive, Negative, or Neutral?

That’s right; if it’s a negative article we actually give it a negative score. Quantitative metrics are all positive additions to your overall score, casting a blind eye on whether or not the mentions about you were actually good ones.

That’s a bit about how we approach media measurement here at the Brick Factory. Let us know what your thoughts are.