If your business was on the nose would you know?
It’s time to re-examine media monitoring, writes Sarah-Jane Aston, thanks to a revolution in data.
Preparing a media monitoring report used to mean cutting up newspapers and pasting hard-copy clippings into bulky books, that would sit proudly gathering dust.
Now PDFs pop into inboxes where they can sit unopened for days on end.
But the increasing availability of public data means the insight and reporting which can be derived from coverage can make monitoring a powerful tool for any business.
If you are still scrapbooking you are doing it wrong
Media monitoring is not, and should never be, viewed as just a scrapbook of “brand mentions”. The tools now available can also track sentiment, volume, competitor activity, reach, and can even act as an early warning system for issues. More analytics and data are available than ever before to help brands derive insight and value regarding their name, product or industry.
The understanding which can be inferred from this new “media intelligence” can even underpin marketing or business strategies.
For example, imagine a business that sells kitchen appliances. Through clever media monitoring, we can identify the brands with which their current customers engage with or aspire to the most. Helping them focus on the complementary brands which fit their customers’ profiles opens the door to strategic partnerships for the business to pursue.
What should your media monitoring cover?
Understanding social media conversations and overall industry sentiment can place your business’ own coverage into context but also help you stay on top of trending issues and topics as they unfold. How much productive time could be saved by having key industry stories and trends delivered to your staff’s inbox every morning for example?
As more and more companies recognise the requirement to produce their own social content to engage with clients, customers and investors (all of whom are spending increasing amounts of time in Facebook’s walled garden for example), being informed regarding industry trends and topics is vital. Media monitoring can ensure that you are never on the back foot and always have a good view of what’s coming your way.
When implementing a media monitoring strategy, it is vital not to underestimate the importance of the insights to be gained from social and digital media, as well as print and broadcast. Viewing influencer mentions (potentially as they happen) as well as conversations as they unfold will improve your understanding of how your company is seen, but also how you fit into the bigger picture of your industry. For some brands the added insight gained from analytics which reveal their customers preferred platform can reinforce and inform their overall communication strategy.
Media monitoring is never more important than during a crisis. Having a monitoring account set up before there is an issue makes the reporting during a crisis significantly less stressful, and means there’s a benchmark against which to measure the problem. Monitoring social media, print and broadcast can also help businesses identify a potential problem before it escalates. Social networks can make one unhappy post amplify to thousands – seeing the original message when it happens at least gives a company the chance to respond. Do you know what’s being said about your business right now?
Similarly, identifying negative mentions in media monitoring and acting on them quickly could make all the difference to the reputation of your business in the long run.
Unfortunately, crises aren’t always avoidable, but media monitoring lets you follow the commentary and conversations as a situation unfolds to ensure you respond in a timely way. Media monitoring also provides a measure for the traction your messages are having with the public. Is misinformation still being shared? Are you losing control of the message? Media monitoring can help inform strategy and tactics regarding your response.
Sarah-Jane Dabarera is the Account Services Co-Ordinator for Cannings Purple’s Design and Digital team and has communications experience in the legal, property and innovation and technology sectors. She is IAP2-certified in community and stakeholder engagement. Contact Sarah-Jane.
Cannings Purple provides comprehensive, flexible media monitoring services. For more information regarding how we can help you gain insight through media monitoring contact us.