Using local news in competitive intelligence

Newseum is the museum of news located in Washington, D.C. It has a website dedicated to daily front pages of newspapers from all over the world, provide for free.

Naturally, local news from all over the world is an enormous source of data, and while not all are useful for competitive intelligence, much of this local coverage would not make it onto Google or Yahoo! news. Having a site like Newseum can help gather information on a local level, or seek out information at the home of a company's headquarters (such as looking at the news in Bentonville, Arkansas for what's going on near Wal-Mart HQ). This could be beneficial for both major competitors and for smaller companies. Smaller companies can gather intelligence on other competitors in greater detail – which is found more often in local papers than in national press.

For example, selecting three random papers from the day:

  • The Bennington Banner, Bennington, Vermont: On the front page, a story regarding Wal-Mart expansion in the area.
  • The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Atlanta, Georgia: On the front page, a story regarding airport business and a new terminal bringing in new jobs.
  • The Dayton Daily News, Dayton, Ohio: Three teaser stories regarding Honda, Wal-Mart, and Federal Express.

These newspapers do not just cover major retailers and companies, either, but also locally-owned businesses and shops. Again, news about these companies may rarely make it on to Google News or Yahoo! Nws.

Ultimately, Newseum can be a free tool that will allow for a great deal of information collecting and competitive analysis. Monitoring competitor's activities around their headquarters and factories or areas of service can provide a great deal of intelligence. The only downside is that the information gathering would have to be done manually rather than by an automated process with a user interface. However, for specific searches on any certain area, a wealth of information can be provided for competitor analysis.