Media monitoring is the process of reading, watching, or listening to media source content and utilizing the aggregate information to identify and analyze articles that contain specific keywords or topics on a continuous basis. PR and communications professionals can monitor for print, broadcast, online, and social content. They can set up detailed searches – or have a software or service do it for them – to monitor for brand keywords, topics, and even for competitors and their influence.
PR pros can also measure marketplace sentiment about their brand, product, or services and understand whether their mentions are positive, negative, or neutral. Here are the fundamental channels that you should monitor.
The growth of digital media and the ability to search content online gave media monitoring the opportunity to innovate from traditional media clipping services into software-based processes that aggregate and review online news sources. Most of the well-established online news monitoring services now deploy specialized software called web crawlers that systematically compile the text of online news sources and index all the words in those articles and postings.
Once the software has compiled the content, it identifies all news articles containing each client’s keywords or phrases and then automatically pulls out and delivers the relevant articles to each client.
Unlike human readers in old-fashioned press clipping services, software seldom misses valid articles because it reads the entire article word for word. The software can monitor news media sources in all countries in virtually all languages.
Unlike human readers in old-fashioned press clipping services, software seldom misses valid articles because it reads every word of the article
Monitoring broadcast and radio
While often a more manual process than scraping text on digital articles, broadcast and radio news remain vital sources for monitoring. They are best monitored through closed caption feeds or full audio/video recordings of news programs on national broadcast networks and local broadcast stations across global markets.
Networks and stations also sometimes, but not always, convert the live news program into online articles they post on their websites that can be found via online monitoring services. Two things worth noting here: Because not everything on the news will be posted, online monitoring will not necessarily capture every broadcast mention.
Also, because writing the closed captioning script is often a human process, there is room for error. Consider if your monitoring strings are set up for commonly misspelled keywords. It is an important thing to keep in mind if you’re consistently missing coverage.
Tracking what consumers and other organizations are saying on social media has become imperative. In addition to monitoring the major social networking sites such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, monitoring for word-of-mouth content remains vital on blogs and microblogs, review sites, forums, and video sharing sites such as YouTube.
Monitor all the different types of social media as widely as possible since it’s close to impossible to predict where or when vital market intelligence will appear or where it will be repeated.
It’s important to be able to differentiate between social media management and social listening in these cases. There are a lot of vendors that provide social media management functions with a focus on posting and engaging, rather than monitoring.
Services such as Buffer and HootSuite allow users to post from multiple social handles at once and track engagement, but don’t provide listening tools across blogs, forums, and social media channels outside of owned ones.
Many of the more advanced news monitoring services also provide integrated social media monitoring with the communications and PR professional in mind.
For instance, Cision Social Media Monitoring offers comprehensive daily coverage of blogs, message boards, forums, review sites, and social networking channels. This is in addition to monitoring online and broadcast coverage, ensuring you have a holistic view of the news that matters most.
Monitoring print media
While press clipping services have been overshadowed as digital media has taken over, monitoring for print publications still makes up a significant segment of the media monitoring landscape.
Free tools on the internet will not cover all of these mentions. Specific mentions in publications including national or local community newspapers, consumer magazines, or niche trade publications can’t always be found online. Other print publications include newsletters, business journals, college/alumni publications, and international papers. Missing a critical mention through one of these mediums can still have a significant impact on your industry and even your brand.
Cision’s print monitoring capabilities enable coverage for more than 17,000 print publications through various global and national partnerships. The Cision Comms Cloud can provide digital context for print publications, ensuring that the print text from newspapers, trade journals, magazines, and more are directly available in one place with the rest of their digital content.
For a complete buyer’s guide detailing the various options for media monitoring solutions, download this reference eBook from Cision: The Ultimate Media Buying Monitoring Guide.