Keeping up with the news with Burrelle's

One day in 1888, the story goes, Frank Burrelle overheard two NYC businessmen complaining how they could no longer keep up with the news. After all, NYC had more than a dozen dailies back then, and most of those had three and four editions each day. So Burrelle and his wife launched the world's first news clipping service, serving up customized batches of articles to meet their clients' interests. Over the kitchen table, the Burrelles spent every day and night poring over each edition of the dozen NYC papers, clipping articles at 3 cents apiece. At first, the clients were all wealthy and powerful businessmen and politicians. But at the turn of the century, corporations and and then PR agencies, joined the Burrelle client base. For decades, professionals measured the effectiveness of their efforts by clip count and circulation. Later, they began to analyze the tone and placement of the pieces as well. Over time, PR professionals demanded a more sophisticated method of measuring success, and in 1980, Burrelle's launched the field's first media analysis and monitoring service. The service exists to this day, with much of the analysis now dedicated to social media. Read Burrelle's history here.