AJ co-founded TrendKite in 2012 and oversees all aspects of the organization’s sales operations.
I initially wrote the title of this blog as “The Do’s and Don’ts of Media Monitoring,” but quickly realized it would not likely be a comprehensive tome on everything you might want to do or not do with media monitoring. Perhaps, in fact, you’ll be able to add your voice to the conversation and share some of your best practices that I’ve omitted here. That said, I’m hopeful that this is a good start at providing some guidance on what to think about regarding media monitoring and how it can help you achieve more impactful PR results.
Media Monitoring Do’s
- Carefully Consider what you Want to Monitor – Media monitoring obviously starts with looking for mentions of your brand, but what else might be important? You might also want to monitor for conversations relating to competitors, the market, specific keywords or even high-profile customers or other important influencers.
- Create a Structure for Information Flow – It is easy to get so heads-down in day-to-day activities and overlook the need for others within the organization to have access to your media monitoring reports and analysis. A clearly defined rhythm of communication, especially if you use a media reporting and analysis tool with easy to understand reports, will help make sure that you don’t create an information silo.
- Understand the Difference between Outputs and Outcomes – It is pretty easy for media monitoring to turn into a quantitative exercise that focuses only on the number and reach of mentions. While this is useful data, your PR ROI is driven by the outcomes of these efforts. You’ll want to know what activity, such as lead volume, social engagement, SEO improvement, is being driven each mention if at all possible.
- Identify Gaps – Use media monitoring to identify the white space as well as the noise. Where are conversations happening that should include your brand, but don’t? Who’s talking about your market and mentioning competitors, but not you? It’s great when media monitoring reveals positive earned media mentions, but far more often its value is revealing untapped opportunity.
Media Monitoring Don’ts
- Boil the Ocean - Have you heard the saying, “If everyone is special, isn’t that just another way of saying no one is special?” If you try to monitor everything, the really important bits just won’t stick out. You have to be smart about what you monitor, and the list may not be short, but keep it to a manageable size or it will become useless.
- Rely on Google Alerts – Google Alerts are great, but they have a few enormous gaps. First, they are designed to track web pages, not conversations. They miss social and content conversations that may be important to your brand. Next, they do not give you any information about the value or quality of a mention, essential data if you want to measure outcomes and impact.
- Waste time Making Reports – Your time is better spent analyzing information and acting on its insight than creating charts in PowerPoint. Choose public relations software with built in, interactive visualizations and get yourself out of the slide/spreadhseet/.pdf making business.
- Be Late – Does it feel like time is speeding up? Many of us thought the 24 hour news cycle was bad enough, but think how many Tweets fly through your feed in an hour. It can be exhausting trying to keep up. But, timely response to opportunities or negative mentions is paramount. A late response can mean a lost opportunity to be part of a key conversation. Because you can’t be everywhere, all the time, you must have a media monitoring service with customizable news alerts so that you are notified of the very most important events in as near real-time as possible.
This seems like a good start, but I said at the outset that I might have missed a few. Do you have any additional media monitoring Do’s or Don’ts to contribute? If so, we’d love to have you join the conversation.