Being able to establish exactly what each brand’s goals are before starting the process of media analysis is essential for both parties. Without knowing what it is exactly your client needs, or what they would like to achieve, it will be difficult for you to know which data needs to be extracted and analysed to identify useful insights.

This makes the initial steps of conducting a media analysis vital. You could even go as far as to say that the first few steps are the most important part of the entire process.

Here, the team at Focal Points offers three things to consider when setting client-specific objectives:

1. Participate in active listening

The first step in setting client-specific objectives is to have an on-boarding session.

“This is where we discuss what the client aims to achieve through their media analysis. This entails actively listening and understanding the client’s needs, and providing a co-created reporting solution tailored to their specifications,” says Mikaela Slattery, media analyst at Focal Points.

Active listening is a vital component of the on-boarding session, and it’s something that both analyst and client need to do to get optimal results.

But first, what exactly is active listening?

According to The Business Journals, “Active listening involves being totally focused on hearing the words the customer is speaking, interpreting what these words mean and responding in a positive manner that demonstrates (1) you understand what the customer is saying, and (2) you consider it to be important. Active listening is the only effective means to rapidly uncover information that is critical to satisfying the customer.”

Basically, if you’re not listening to each unique need and requirement stipulated to you by your client, you might get confused and mix their objectives with someone else’s. Remember, each and every client is unique, and so are their brands.

That’s why it’s important that you have all the most important details committed to memory … and paper. However, the clients also need to listen to what your service has to offer, as not all media intelligence agencies offer the same thing.

“At Focal Points, our reports are unique to each client. This makes the on-boarding session an ongoing process, as communications objectives are not static, so we have close working relationships with all our clients to ensure the analysis aligns with the specifications,” Slattery adds.

2. Know what it takes to achieve desired outcomes

In setting client-specific objectives, it’s also important to remind the client to be very particular about those objectives.

“No two brands’ communications strategies are the same, so the desired outcomes need to be specified in order for the analysis to reflect which strategy was effective. If we don’t have a specific objective, the analysis will likely not reflect the desired outcome,” says April Parry, internal media analyst at Focal Points.

The team suggests that analysts ask their clients the following questions in order to understand what their objectives are, and to provide an accurate reporting solution:

  • What media platforms would you like to receive insights from? Editorial (print, broadcast, online) or social media (Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter)?
  • What components of your brand’s media coverage would you like to focus on? For example, products or CSI?
  • What information on your brand would you like to gain insight to? For example, would you like us to analyse the way your brand’s image is being portrayed in the media? Or what your spokespeople are saying? What about reach?
  • Would you like to receive a brand benchmarking report to compare your brand against its competitors?
  • Who are the competitors that you would like to compare with, and what insights are you interested in looking into? (For example: What are they doing? What messages are they sharing?)
  • Would you like to gather insights on your campaigns, events and product launches? If so, when and which ones would you like the agency to analyse and for how long?
  • Would you like to look at international as well as national coverage?
People often forget these small details when conveying what it is exactly they’d like to get out of the analysis. The more specific you are, the better the results will be.

Additionally, analysts need to ensure that all these questions are answered and that these objectives are met. Referring back to active listening, this means that analysts need to pay close attention to each and every request.

3. Be mindful of your client’s PR strategy

Often, public relations agencies are expected to achieve a specific set of tasks for their client’s brands, but don’t know where, or how, to begin.

“That’s why it’s important that the analysis agency is aware of the client’s objectives and determines what the PR strategy will be to achieve these aims. An effective PR strategy can be informed by analysis and updated accordingly, if the analysis is structured to reflect the desired outcomes that is,” says Parry.

In the world of PR, there is nothing more important than creating an effective strategy for your client’s brands. However, managing each and every objective that pertains to these strategies can be difficult to keep track of — this is where media analysis comes in.

Not only can companies such as Focal Points help you to benchmark your client against their competitors, allowing them to gain deeper insights into their strategies, but it also let’s them keep track of their brand’s reputation.

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