Media monitoring is the process by which a company keeps track of its media coverage. This practice benefits PR and communications teams in many ways. Most notably, a good monitoring program allows a company to more effectively manage its reputation, one of the greatest assets of any business.

Tracking media coverage has become an increasingly essential part of companies’ PR strategies. With the introduction of social and digital media, coupled with media content that is readily available to people on smart devices, a successful monitoring program is crucial to staying on top of your company’s public image.

Why is Media Monitoring Important?

Media monitoring is important because it helps you stay up-to-date on the latest trends in your industry and provides your PR team with the opportunity to proactively manage your brand. Having a strong monitoring system in place allows your team to listen to and take note of what is going on in your industry and how your business is perceived on a day-to-day basis.

If you want to increase your brand awareness and demonstrate your team’s impact, media monitoring will support your PR team with these goals.

The Best Metrics for Media Monitoring

Many metrics can be used when monitoring media. Selecting the correct metrics when establishing your monitoring program will provide your team with the data necessary to inform your strategy and reach your communications objectives.

Several essential metrics that can provide your PR team with an overarching view of your company’s and your competitors’ media coverage are:

  • Volume and tone of company mentions
  • Key message penetration
  • Top authors and outlets
  • Competitor and industry coverage
  • Social media coverage and engagement
  • Sentiment of coverage
  • Potential impressions

Why Media Monitoring Should Be a Part of Your PR Strategy

Here are a few of the ways media monitoring can support your PR team:

Manage Corporate Reputation

By following the topic and tone of and engagement with your company’s media coverage, you are better prepared to build or adjust your communications strategy accordingly.

With the ability to track what is said about your business, your PR team can quickly react to negative coverage and respond to such stories or mentions constructively, therefore mitigating potential PR crises. It also allows your PR team to identify opportunities to capitalize on positive coverage or trending topics in your industry.

Track Your Key Messages

Key message penetration is an excellent indicator of your brand awareness and the effectiveness of your messaging campaigns. With a media monitoring program that can detect keywords, concepts, and topics related to your campaigns, you can assess the extent to which your key messages have been picked up by the media. You can also determine the sentiment of that coverage, how many people were potentially exposed to it, and the level of social engagement it has received. This level of depth and insight will allow you to evaluate your existing strategy and inform future campaigns.

Know Your Industry and Competition

Beyond your company’s coverage, the coverage of your competitors and industry holds many insights.

Competitive intelligence is a simple way to stay on top of the latest industry developments and trends and to determine your company’s share of voice within your industry. Share of voice gives your team the chance to see how your company is faring directly against your competition. Monitoring your competitors also allows you to identify the topics driving their positive and negative coverage, and that which generates the most social engagement.

Measure the Effectiveness of Your Communications

Media monitoring is a great tool that allows your team to measure and improve the effectiveness of your communications. The insights gained can help you to determine whether you understand your target audience, you are reaching your target audience, and if you’re getting the type of engagement that you are striving for.

With a monitoring tool or service in place, the data is collected automatically, allowing you to perform an ongoing evaluation of your approach. Quality data from monitoring your media can reliably inform decision-making and accurately measure the impact of your communications.

How Does Media Monitoring Work?

Planning and correctly implementing a monitoring program is vital to ensuring the tool’s success for your PR team. If your team doesn’t do the appropriate planning, it’s likely your monitoring program won’t deliver the full extent of its value. A successful planning process will ensure that the program your team develops provides advantages from the beginning.

There are three core steps necessary to make the most of your program:  

Set Objectives

The first stage of planning your monitoring strategy is setting your objectives. What do you want to learn from your media coverage? Knowing this will help you to figure out the type of metrics you need to measure. As a starting point, monitor your company coverage fully, as this will provide a base-level knowledge of your brand. It will also allow your team to measure the impact of your communications over time and compare coverage to previous periods.

Establish Reputational Drivers

Perhaps the most important step is determining the drivers of your corporate reputation. Reputational drivers are the factors that contribute to the overall public perception of a company. Defining and capturing these brand elements will help your team to understand and manage your corporate reputation.

At PublicRelay, we use a framework of essential drivers to guide the planning of your monitoring program. Several core drivers that can apply to most businesses include workplace, leadership, financial performance, and government relations. These drivers, which are mutually exclusive and capture every facet of your company, offer a clearer picture of what is shaping public perceptions of your company.

Gather and Interpret the Data

After collecting initial media data, you can gather and interpret your metrics. The interpretation of the data is what aids you in understanding your business, your competitors, and your industry. As your team interprets the collected data, you can now make changes to your campaigns as needed. With this information, your team can see what works, where you can improve, and which of your key messages are captured by the media. 

With sufficient planning and accurate data collection, your team can draw actionable insights and improve your PR and communications strategies.

Elevate Your Media Monitoring Program

Media monitoring is essential to helping your PR team understand how well your current strategies are working and how your team can continue to plot a path towards future success. To take your strategy to the next level, consider incorporating media analytics into your communications process.

At PublicRelay, we offer clients accurate and in-depth analyses of their media coverage. With our media monitoring solution, we can help you to build a foundation of nuanced, high-quality data to assess the effectiveness of your messaging campaigns. Demonstrate the success of your communications strategy and start tracking your earned media now!

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