The team from brand tracking company Newsclip explain the various ways that media monitoring can benefit a brand or company.

The job of a PR team is complex. They have to generate publicity for their brand, always be ready to respond to a PR crisis and stay on top of the media coverage the brand gets.

Why is it so complex? Manually monitoring the media for coverage can become a massive task and rob PR teams of time they could be spending more productively on generating media exposure for their brand.

If they don’t have a large team of people constantly scanning all of the printed articles, broadcasts and online news reports, it becomes nearly impossible to find every mention of the brand.

A media monitoring service becomes a vital tool for keeping track of media coverage – the efficient way.

What is media monitoring all about? It’s the process of continuously reading, watching or listening to editorial content on various media channels. It includes tracking international media titles, online publications and websites that regularly publish content.

This process provides hard data about a brand’s media coverage, such as the number of mentions across media channels, and where editorial content was published.

Media monitoring forms part of brand tracking, which is an essential service for measuring the success of your brand. Brand tracking is made up of many parts, including reporting, social media monitoring, social listening and advert monitoring. But before we start looking at how important brand tracking is, let's start with exactly what media monitoring is all about.
Take a deep dive into the definition of this topic in our blog post, What exactly is media monitoring?
The valuable information that tracking services provide helps brands find insights into their PR strategies and campaigns, brand image and crisis communication.

What can it do for you? At least nine things that will make your PR initiatives and business even more awesome.

Get the most out of your PR strategy by using media monitoring to:

1. Manage your brand reputation

Do you know what people – including your potential customers – think of your brand?

With so many media channels to keep track of, it might seem impossible to know exactly what people are saying about your brand in the media.

A media monitoring service solves this problem by notifying you of all mentions of your brand on media channels. It tracks not only print and digital publications and websites, but also radio and television broadcasts – so you’re fully in the know.

Business reputation doesn’t happen accidentally; it comes with representing your brand well in the media, and shaping the way people think about your business.

Business reputation doesn’t happen accidentally.
With the information you gain from the monitoring process, you’ll be able to identify if there is a need for more publicity. This is your opportunity to create and distribute content that will change how media audiences perceive your brand.

2. Measure your PR strategy

A good PR strategy will ensure that your brand gets publicity, help to build its reputation and prepare your team for addressing any PR crisis.

Media monitoring provides you with information that you can use to improve every aspect of this strategy, including:

Your brand messaging

Is your brand message coming across correctly in the media? A look at the media coverage that your service provider found will show you if reporters are referring to your brand and solutions correctly.

This information allows you to tweak your PR strategy. If the media is not referring to your brand messages correctly you need to incorporate initiatives into your plan that will help your messaging come across more clearly.

Your reach

Media monitoring will allow you to see if you have reached the correct media titles, target audience and regions.

How does it do that? It will show you which media titles published your press release, allowing you to easily identify the publications and stations that didn’t publish it. Use this information to modify your press release distribution list and ensure it aligns with your target market.

A good service provider will also show you exactly what was published. You’ll be able to see if the media title cut down the information in it significantly. If this is happening, you might need to re-evaluate the way you write your press releases. Are you including too much jargon or technical information? Could your press releases be shorter and punchier?

You might need to re-evaluate the way you write your press releases.
With media monitoring, you’ll also find out if you’re reaching the right regions. If your coverage did not get to all the communities you targeted, you’ll need to consider expanding your media contacts list or building stronger media relationships in relevant areas.

Multi-channel coverage

If you reached out to media titles across different media channels, but your content is only being featured in one or two of these channels, you need tweak your strategy. Adapt your PR content that will appeal to the media channels you’re not getting coverage from.

3. Track your PR campaigns

How do you know your brand’s latest PR campaign met its objectives? First off, you’ll need a comprehensive view of all the media coverage your campaign generated.

Your tracking service can find all mentions of your campaign and marketing messages across traditional media channels and online websites. Use this information to check if your brand is generating enough publicity, getting coverage in the right media titles and if it’s being portrayed positively.

Tracking your campaign can help you identify if it’s meeting all its required targets and, if it isn’t, allows you to make changes mid-campaign. Without tracking the progress of your campaign, you’ll miss out on any spikes in media coverage and you won’t know which elements to replicate or avoid in future.

4. Drive crisis communication

When a PR crisis strikes a brand, it can take many different forms:
  • Customers disliking your new offering,
  • Consumers taking offence to your marketing material, or
  • News breaks about a problem in your company or a scandal involving an employee.
Knowing how to communicate to the media and the public about these incidents is vital. Before you can contain a crisis, you actually need to know that it’s happening.

This is where media monitoring becomes extremely helpful.

Detecting a looming crisis

A good service provider will deliver articles, blog posts, audio and video clips mentioning your brand to you as soon as the information is made public.

This helps you detect negative coverage as the news breaks, giving you a head start on containing the crisis and minimising damage to your brand.

Addressing a PR nightmare

At times, a PR nightmare grows despite your best efforts to stem the flow of information from newsroom to newsroom or blog to blog.

Don’t stop tracking your coverage! You need to keep up with the story as it evolves, and make information available to the public as new facts and rumours are reported.

Learning from your experiences

Your media monitoring service can also help you prepare for potential crises. Use it to see how much negative media coverage you received and whether media outlets picked up your crisis communications.

Use the lessons you learnt to improve your crisis communication plan, outlining best practices and media contacts that have proved helpful in sharing your announcements.

5. Monitoring your spokespeople

Your spokesperson is the face of your brand in the media. Their communication with the media needs to be accurate, effective and bolster your brand image.

How do you measure whether they’re achieving this? And how do you make sure the media quoted your spokesperson, instead of getting comments from another employee?

Media monitoring lets you find all mentions of your spokesperson, and other employees in your company. A look at the articles and broadcasts they were mentioned in can show you how well they communicate with reporters. It can also help the spokesperson improve future communication.

Added to that, it makes it easy to discover if the media spoke to someone else in your company, or if an employee is sharing information without permission to do so.

6. Detect trade name infringement

Every business, brand and organisation has its own trademark and trade name – or even an assumed name that it uses to present itself to the public.

These marks and names distinguish brands and organisations from others. When someone uses your trademark or trade name to promote their own products, it could cause damage to your reputation. It could also cause a loss of revenue, due to consumers buying the competitor's products instead of yours.

Trade name infringement: Your brand’s media coverage allows you to easily identify if your trade name is being used in a misleading way. With this information, you can quickly take the necessary steps to inform consumers of the fraudulent use of your trade name.

7. Build media relationships

When you track the media for coverage of your brand, you’ll get a good indication of the journalists and editors that report on your brand, or the topic, most often.

These people can be an invaluable resource for your company.

Contacting reporters in the midst of a PR crisis, in the hopes that they will have time to listen to your side of the story, might not work well every time. But if you build relationships with reporters who cover your brand, business or industry, they might be more willing to take the time to hear you out and report on the information you provide.

Media monitoring is an efficient way of identifying who these reporters are. The data your tracking service gathers can even show you the coverage each of these media contacts have given you in the last few months or years.

With this information, you’ll know how to approach each reporter, whether it’s a subtle introduction or a more personal meet-and-greet.

Keeping all of this in mind, are you ready to start monitoring your media coverage? It’s time to do some research and find a provider that offers exactly what you want, and who is willing to tailor their services to your specific needs.