a school of silvery herring fish shown underwater with light from above and algae covered rock below.
School of Lake Herring Also known as cisco, the lake herring is a native freshwater fish in Michigan. © Paul Vecsei
Meltwater: Earned Media Reporting Tool

Meltwater Glossary

Learn how Meltwater uses terms to better navigate the platform.


Tags are keywords that you can assign to specific articles, social media posts, or other content within the Meltwater platform. Tags are different from Labels in part because they are assigned at the level of individual pieces of content. Tags help you classify and organize content based on specific themes, topics, or attributes. At TNC, one of the main ways that we use tags is to identify content by location, such as a US State. For example, from a search you can choose to add a state tag onto an article to ensure that it is included in reports and digests of media hits from that state. Tags can also be used to filter the results of a search so you are only seeing the content you have selected using the tag. 

Screenshot of Meltwater search screen in Explore with an item centered and the "tag" icon visible and circled in red
Tag Hover over the top right of a content item and click the tag icon to bring up a list of tags.
Screenshot of the Meltwater tagging pop-up window.
Tag Options. Select a tag from the options by searching or scrolling - or create a new one.


Labels in Meltwater are used to organize saved searches into groupings. For example, you may have a label for New York to organize all searches relevant to the New York BU. That label could be applied to multiple saved searches, including a search for local media hits for TNC New York, national media hits for TNC New York, and a search for senior leaders from the NY BU. When the New York label is applied to these searches, then these searches will be easily located from the Explore landing page by clicking the label “New York.”

Screenshot of Meltwater explore landing page with the menu of labels and corresponding searches.
Labels. In Explore you will see that searches are grouped into labels by team, department, or region for easy access.


Lists are collections of sources or media outlets that you can create within Meltwater. These lists allow you to group specific sources together, such as news websites, blogs, or social media accounts, for more targeted monitoring. For example, you might create a list called "Industry Influencers" and include social media accounts or blogs of thought leaders in your industry. This way, you can easily track and analyze content specifically from those sources. In the Media Relations section of Meltwater you can create lists of media contacts, such as contacts for a specific topic or simply all media contacts that you commonly work with. Reminder: when creating a new list or saved search in Meltwater, please include your name in the title to ensure others in the platform know that it is yours! 

Screenshot of the Meltwater Media Relations screen with My Contacts circled in red.
Contact Lists Contact lists of Media contacts can be found in the Media Relations section.

Custom Categories in Explore

Custom Categories are saved boolean queries that can be applied as filters to narrow your results for analysis and comparison. Custom Categories can be used wherever filters are available, such as Keyword or Advanced Searches and Combined Searches. They are best set up as reusable categories that can be used with more general saved searches or for ad hoc search analysis. For example, the Texas BU has a custom category for “Texas Staff” containing names of key staff members likely to be mentioned in the press. Now, when they run a saved search or create a new keyword search, then can toggle on “Texas Staff” to include mentions of these staff. Custom categories can also be set up to exclude certain results. For example, TNC is the New York Stock Exchange ticker symbol for a company called Tennant Co. If you are finding Tennant showing up in search results, you could create a custom category to exclude items mentioning Tennant and then apply that as needed to searches. 

Screenshot of Meltwater search screen in Explore with "custom categories" search filter circled and the dropdown of categories open.
Custom Categories You can use custom categories to include or exclude keywords - such as similar organizations or mentions of TNC.


In Meltwater, a saved search is a keyword query that you create and save with a unique name (reminder – please include your first and last name when naming your saved search!). Creating a query in Explore allows you to search across multiple media types at once, review the results, and gain further insights from the instant analytics. You can find your saved search in the first tab of the Explore section of Meltwater. When you have multiple searches, we recommend that you create a “Label” that you can use to group all of your searches (similarly to a folder) and pull them out of the longer list of all searches created by TNC Meltwater users. 

Screenshot of Meltwater explore landing page with the menu of labels and corresponding searches.
Search Find your saved searches from the Explore landing page. Create a new search by clicking any of the search options shown above the saved searches.

Filters (or Search Filters)

Filters are parameters that can be used to narrow down your search results to those which are most relevant. When creating a search - or when you run a saved search - you will see a row of filter dropdowns below the keyword boxes. From these dropdowns you can refine your search results to include only those results in certain languages or from certain sources. For example, you may use filters when you only want Spanish language results from News sources (excluding social media broadcast). These filter dropdowns include filter set, source type, language, location, keyword, sentiment, author, and custom categories. 

Screenshot of Meltwater search screen in Explore with the toolbar of search filters circled in red.
Search Filters There are several search filter options in Meltwater that can be selected and deselected from the dropdown menus shown above the search results.



Reach estimates the potential viewership of any particular article based on the number of monthly unique visitors to the specific source.


Advertising Value Equivalency (AVE)

Ad Value Equivalency is used to estimate* the amount of revenue attributed to an article. The logic Meltwater uses when calculating an online advertising value equivalency is, where X=Reach, 0.025=standard error & .37 = dollar value per visitor:

X * 0.025 * 0.37

*While this is a very popular Widget among Meltwater clients, it is important to note that this is our best estimate and it does not measure an exact value.