Archive for August, 2011

VMS Closes Doors. What Are Your Options?

August 30, 2011
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August 29, 2011: Last Friday, as Hurricane Irene was preparing to wreak havoc on the East Coast, a 30-year-old media monitoring company battened down its hatches and closed its doors – forever. VMS (Video Monitoring Services of America) has been an icon in PR services for three decades, but after several attempts to resurrect its market share, it finally gave up the ghost, shut down operations and laid off its entire staff on Friday.

Since 1981, VMS was a provider of videotape copies of news clips and airchecks for public relations professionals and more, but digital video changed the business.  Digital delivery provided a less expensive alternative not to mention competition from other companies throwing their hat into the news clip / media monitoring ring. It’s sad that the pioneer of this service an industry grew to rely on couldn’t survive the digital revolution.

So what are your options?  VMS was a heavyweight, but Vocus, Cision, Critical Mention, and MediaWatchAZ (my personal favorite) are alternatives.  I’ve been using MediaWatchAZ for years for monitoring reports and airchecks not only because of their very  competitive rates, but primarily because of the excellent customer service provided by Mike Shaldjian and his team.

Perhaps VMS should have read a short little book titled, Who Moved My Cheese?, to adjust their business to the changing digital world.  If you’ve never read this book, then by all means go to Barnes & Noble and pick up a cup of Starbucks, sit down and read it…it’ll take you about an hour – or just buy it like I did.

In a nutshell, here are  Six (6) Important Lessons on Change that deal with moving the “cheese” and how to adapt your business practices accordingly:

  1. Change HappensThey Keep Moving The Cheese
  2. Anticipate Change. Get Ready For The Cheese To Move
  3. Monitor Change. Smell the Cheese Often So You Know When It Is Getting Old.
  4. Adapt To Change Quickly. The Quicker You Let Go Of Old Cheese, The Sooner You Can Enjoy New Cheese.
  5. Change. Move With The Cheese
  6. Enjoy Change. Savor The Adventure And Enjoy The Taste Of New Cheese

I love the lessons of the fable told in that little book.  Perhaps if VMS had taken a page from Who Moved My Cheese?, their final acronym wouldn’t have been R.I.P.

Peace and coconuts,

Marianne Schwab, Executive Producer, CMP Media Cafe

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