Modern PR professionals have a lot on their to-do list. In many cases, we wear many hats and have responsibilities including everything from brand identity, product messaging, content creation, and crisis management. Whether you are a one-person PR/marketing team or part of a larger group, chances are you don’t have many extra minutes in the day. When we talk to PR pros, they often tell us that this is exactly why the important job of media monitoring sometimes slips through the cracks or is done with half-hearted effort.
We get it. Media monitoring is a challenge, but it is also an essential element of any day-to-day PR plan. Here are 5 things you can do to integrate it more easily into your daily routine.
1 - Be selective about what you want to monitor.
As the saying goes, don’t try to boil the ocean. Today’s media landscape is vast and if you try to track vague terms or every company in your space, all you will get is noise. It pays to be strategic when deciding which keywords, people, and companies you want to follow. Spending time cleaning up your contact database and updating the keywords you are tracking may seem like a chore, but doing so once a month or so will make life much easier every other day.
2 - Manage by exception.
It is good to keep your finger on the pulse of coverage about your brand and industry even when everything is flowing along normally, but you need to have a way to get notified right away when something significant changes. Did your coverage or that of a competitor spike? Did sentiment take a nose dive? Is a relevant hashtag suddenly trending on Twitter? If so, you need to know right away so that you can react and respond.
3 - Set up a consistent reporting cadence.
Work with your team and your executive sponsors to come up with a regular cadence of reports that you will provide on a weekly and monthly basis. Schedule time in your calendar to review them and provide analysis and suggested next steps. Remember that you aren’t monitoring media for the sake of doing it, your practice media monitoring so that it can guide your strategy.
4 - Keep in Mind the Communicator’s Funnel.
The Communicator's Funnel is a framework for PR measurement and reporting addresses the brand impact, digital impact, and bottom line impact. One goal of your media monitoring strategy should be to tie mentions, events, and brand-produced content to measurable business outcomes. Doing so will help you convey the value of PR in a language that executives can easily understand.
5 - Use the best tools for the job.
Yes, it is possible to do some degree of media monitoring with Google Alerts and social media monitoring tools, but it isn’t efficient. If you want to accomplish effective media monitoring without letting it become a huge time suck, it makes sense to invest in technology that does much of the work for you. The best media monitoring solutions let you set parameters for notifications, helping you to determine which mentions have meaning for your brand.
We hope you find these tips useful. Proactive and effective media monitoring doesn’t have to be a drag. With the right tools, a thoughtful approach, and some time dedicated to maintenance, you can get the right information you need to make good decisions and communicate your results.