If you want to track your startup’s press, head on over to clippPR and sign up for its beta test, which launches right before SXSW.
clippPR isn’t just a tool to fuel your vanity. Cofounder and CEO Thomas Knoll believes that startups who relegate their press mentions to a bookmarks folder or spreadsheet are missing out on priceless interactions with potential customers and allies.
The goal for clippPR is to get you engaging with people who comment, tweet, and post about your startup. So after you “clip” a press article with its plugin, it tracks all those things. When new comments or tweets pop up, you can click through and respond. If an article from two months ago suddenly gets a flurry of comments – maybe from a Hacker News link – that article will rise to the top of your clippPR list. The list ranks press in terms of highest and most recent engagement.
For $19, your whole team can view your press and have discussions around each article – “we should have emphasized our apps more,” or “let’s not mention those problems next time.” For another $19, you can track press about a competitor, one of your cofounders, or any topic of your choice.
Knoll, who has worked with startups like Seesmic, UserVoice, and LaunchRock, believes that developing relationships with users is one of the best ways to stand out. He also saw that at Zappos, where a friendly customer service representative can turn someone into a devoted customer and a grassroots advocate for your brand.
“The big ultimate goal is to help brands understand that conversations with their customers or potential customers are a great way to build a business and to build loyalty and to build relationships,” he says.
This was similar to the promise of social media monitoring tools, but many of them are too abstract, says Knoll. They focus on measuring numbers, metrics, and “sentiment,” and not so much on actual human engagement.
“They’ll show you the number of impressions, but it’s almost impossible to click through and make an impression on those people. It’s not about having 10,000 likes as this click of a button, but it’s the fact of getting 10,000 people to actually like you – and that happens through conversations,” says Knoll.
And something funny has happened, even though clippPR is only doing private alpha testing. Record labels and politicians want to join, to track their press. Investors want to keep an eye on portfolio companies, and sports recruiters would love to track high school athletes. Sounds like clippPR is onto something.