NewsWatch – Ambitious Danish Media Surveillance Company

A year ago media surveillance company Newswatch declared they were going to take the market of media surveillance in Denmark. With a mere 15 employees that plan sounded farfetched. Today, the company has grown to 58 persons, offices in five countries and a market share of three percent – and NewsWatch is far from done.

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Diana West Mortensen parks her car outside the supermarket, grabs her phone, which immediately starts buzzing, and slams the car door. She is chief analyst at the Danish media surveillance company Newswatch, based in Singapore, and on her way home from work. However, the Skype message she receives on her phone tells her, she is not off duty yet. While picking out groceries, she gets briefed about the work load.

“What time is the deadline”, she asks and jots down the reply before getting back into the car, now heading for her laptop at home.

It´s election time in Denmark and that means the 44-year-old mother of three and her colleagues work almost around the clock to keep up with the extra workload – election time is as busy for media surveyors as it is for politicians and reporters.

“As soon as the election was announced in Denmark, we knew Newswatch as a company had its first big chance to show how strong we are in our field. Our whole organization is put to the test, both in terms of the individual employees and our technical capacity. And I feel we are really showing that Newswatch can deliver a quality product and keep focus on the clients, also under immense pressure like this,” she says.

Grown 400 percent in a year
Steffen Egelund Pedersen, Partner and Head of Production, agrees. He and two friends started up NewsWatch in January 2010, with the clear goal of taking over the throne of media surveillance from market monopoly giant, InfoMedia. Egelund, himself a former press chief for the Conservative Party of Denmark, is thus well aware of how important media surveillance can be for those who work with the media. The same goes for co-founder Jens Kloppenborg-Skrumsager, a former local politician and the investor, Jacob Lund Nielsen.

“We were not satisfied with the existing media surveillance in Denmark. The articles came in a messy state, they came too late in the morning and we thought we could do it better by tapping into the unused talent of accompanying Danish spouses out here among other things. That´s why we decided to start up Newswatch in Singapore two years ago,” he explains

The three guys with their new, unproven sorting system didn´t look like the winning horse back then. But getting a rated email with all relevant clips from all newspapers, radio and TV in summary form each day at 6 in the morning – the latter an easy advantage due to the time difference – quickly proved attractive to the spin doctors and press chiefs in the important offices at home. And so Newswatch grew.

It is about the product
Today, the company boasts 58 employees, in five different countries.

The most important thing for NewsWatch – and in Egelund´s opinion the way to achieve the goals – is to focus on what it initially started with: Making a better product than anyone else on the market.

“We are expanding our business every day by grabbing a bigger and bigger share of the Danish media monitoring market, and we are doing that by constantly keeping our focus on delivering a state of the art product,” Egelund says.

So while the company itself expands its customer base and hires more and more people, focus is on developing and enhancing the media surveillance tool itself: A social networking option in the morning surveillance has been introduced, so the articles can be easily shared. A range of different features within the surveillance allows the receiver to comment and share it internally the way he likes it, and a virtual archive – the biggest in Denmark – has been launched as well.

Diana West Mortensen´s phone rings again. Having gone from 15 employees to 58 puts a certain pressure on those who possess information, and as a full time chief analyst, she is the go-to person, when a problem arises amongst the employees – she has already reached her laptop, and is now pushing to meet the next election deadline, while answering questions from all sides to the best of her ability.

Back in the office, Steffen Egelund is well aware of this limitation.

“Yes, that’s one problem, we have these days,” he says, smiling.

“We need more hands!”

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