When I first started out in the media monitoring business over 20 years ago, it was a sleepy industry—and not just because of bleary-eyed workers rising at 3 a.m. to physically clip stories from newspapers. The technology, the processes and the drive to innovate from the leading providers all left a lot to be desired.
The sleepiness worked to our advantage, as we were quickly able to scoop up clients and accolades by offering a modestly better product—adding a dash of modernization here, a sprinkle of design there. It wasn't revolutionary, but it was enough to stand out.
The key to our success then—as it is now—is the stellar service that our team provides. Our daily news briefs were punctual, comprehensive, error-free. We not only accepted client edits early in the morning, we anticipated them... so much so that pretty soon, there were no more edits.
By enthusiastically engaging our client contacts, we knew what was going to cause them flack, what would save them time, and what would earn them a pat on the back. A collection of little things turned into one BIG THING: the unwavering trust of our clients.
20 Years Later, Service Still Reigns Supreme
Fast forward to today, and Watershed's clients still regard our stellar customer service as our key differentiator. As a boutique firm in an industry crowded with giants, we know our people are critical to our success. We hire the best, equip them with tools and management support, and let them carry forward our culture of excellence.
The news briefs still go out on time every day, error-free, only they're bigger and more sophisticated than ever. We spend time upfront to understand each client's unique readership, the habits of senior executives, and the stylistic preferences that will lead to the strongest internal readership. We track all the notable peers, and filter out the junk. We write punchy summaries. Our highly-trained analysts read, code, interpret and analyze the news. Lots of small things that the giants may gloss over, we take the time to do right.
It's much the same with our media measurement and crisis monitoring. Our approach is to think like we're sitting next to you, with the same boss, same daily pressures, and same organizational interests at heart. If you succeed, we succeed.
And we have. Recently we added a Stakeholder and Influencer Intelligence practice that grew from our attentiveness to client needs. Strategic thinking has always been part of our service-first mindset, and now we are translating that into a variety of novel PR products and services that address emerging client challenges—in particular, misinformation, microinfluencers, and employee recruitment and retention.
A Bedrock of Trust
Communications and public affairs are by their nature people-centric functions. Human relationships are the cornerstone of the work, so they must be our cornerstone too. Our clients' relationship building with their stakeholders rests on a foundation of knowledge, trust, and strategic foresight, so these too are the pillars of our consultative approach.
I could not be happier to still be fully engaged in the media monitoring industry more than two decades after I started. So much has changed, and yet what got us off the ground back in 2003 remains the Watershed difference today: the best personalized service in the industry.
To all our clients over the years, thank you for your trust.