I'm probably way behind the 8-ball on this one, but I've just come across another great free service from Google - www.google.com/alerts.
Basically, you can plug in your brand name or industry sector or competitor's name and request an "as it happens" (or daily, or weekly) alert. Google trawls the web, news, blogs, etc.
So instead of wondering if people are talking about you - you'll know.
And it's free -no subscription fee, unlike most media monitoring - so you can afford it on that zero budget!