Media Monitoring: A Strategic Necessity

  • August 14, 2018
  • INK Team

This post comes from intern Valerie Carter.

In PR, media coverage is one of the many tangible ways in which we demonstrate success for our clients. Coverage monitoring helps to show the ROI of strategic outreach to target media. However, it does more than simply show results to a client. Media monitoring helps us to stay ahead of industry trends and “be there before” for our clients (an INK mantra). It also helps to inform thoughtful strategy and real-time opportunities. It’s not that we monitor, it’s how we monitor and what we do with that information that makes all the difference.

Using industry tools like TrendKite and Meltwater, our coverage tracking experts scour the internet on press days and beyond to ensure clients are covered in the way we intend, and in the tone we expect. Since each client has different business objectives, we tailor monitoring strategies to fit their individual needs, whether that’s tracking coverage on an announcement or simply keeping a pulse on industry trends to find timely news opportunities. Here are a few of the ways we apply media tracking to our programs:

Improving future approach

Looking at months of media coverage data, we analyze to see which of our communications strategies have worked well to further optimize our future approach. Many times, we’ll notice an announcement gets more pick up at a certain time of the month or year, or that a competitor got more or less coverage on similar news – seeing these trends and digging into the “why” is necessary for gaining insight into corresponding industries, competitors, and appropriate outreach plans for our clients.

Finding newsjacking opportunities

Another goal of media monitoring is to find opportunities for proactive media outreach to enhance our clients thought leadership and provide coverage when the news cycle is slower. This is especially important for B2B clients because it can potentially catapult them into a news cycle that was not originally intended to include their brand. For example, last year, when the Equifax breach news broke, we drafted a response from our cybersecurity client, Cybernance, and sent pitches to media friendlies in less than an hour. This resulted in 11 unique articles on sites with over 20 million unique monthly visitors that quoted the Cybernance CEO, further positioning him as a thought leader in the cybersecurity space. Creative thinking, diligent media monitoring, and acting fast ensure this practice, often referred to as newsjacking, was successful.

Managing a crisis

During a crisis, media monitoring becomes a crucial task. By monitoring for client mentions and important keywords we can stay on top of breaking news when it matters most. Monitoring enables us to get a temperature check on audience sentiment and figure out a strategy to move forward.

Back in 2016, INK was awarded by PR News at the Agency Elite Awards for Measurement and Evaluation. The award recognized our work on the daily media report we produced for Enel. From small, print-only local coverage to global news outlets, monitoring Enel was no easy feat. The report was a top priority for Enel’s executives and was delivered to them 50 weeks out of the year.

Benefits of tracking media coverage should not be underestimated. It can have a huge impact on a brand, and often is a make-or-break factor when responding quickly. We would love to hear more about ways in which media monitoring has helped advance your business. Leave a comment below or give us a shout @heyINKco.

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