Before we get into talking about how to build your PR strategy, it’s important to first level set on a few definitions. While media monitoring might sound elementary in nature, it’s a lot more complex than what you would think. It’s using software to monitor media publications for keywords, phrases, brands, and companies. PR stands for public relations and it’s the practice of earning media coverage through pitching reporters.
For example, let’s assume you work for Company A and you just recently announced a new product that is disrupting the marketplace. If you invest in media monitoring software, you will be notified when a journalist or a media publication mentioned your product in their article.
In this context, I am not talking about monitoring the media for coverage that you’re expecting. I’m talking about monitoring the media to uncover insights and find relevant opportunities.
Many industry pundits have been talking about using data in PR for many years. But sadly, this report from 2021, states that 78% of business leaders are facing challenges in using their data and aren’t using it all to make decisions. This kind of makes sense to me. The concept of big data is overwhelming. It’s hard to wrap your head around every piece of data that an organization has about its customers, employees, business performance and so on.
The key is to isolate the data and extract insights based on the task at hand. In this case we’re looking at the media industry and what they’re publishing in the marketplace.
Here are three ways to use media monitoring to build your PR strategy:
Invest in the right software
There are dozens of media monitoring tools and services available in the market and they can cost anywhere between 15,000 to $100,000 a year. Often, these vendors will charge you based on a few different parameters like number of user logins, quantity of dashboards, or just the pure volume of data.
If you are one of those fortune 100 companies that spends billions of dollars on marketing, buys media during the Super Bowl, or sponsors all the cool events and concerts, be prepared to make a large investment into the right media monitoring platform.
For smaller companies and startups, there are media monitoring tools available that are less expensive and can scale as you grow your business.
Monitor for media opportunities
I’m surprised that most PR professionals don’t do this. But the media publishes thousands of articles every single day and it’s impossible to read every one of them. What is possible is to use media monitoring software to find those hidden topics and themes that the media is writing about.
For example, we intuitively know that NFTs are dominating the social media landscape and media coverage. It’s not hard to use software to identify the volume of coverage or conversation about the topic. But the opportunity is hidden in the large volume of coverage. By analyzing the media headlines and article text, you can start to uncover those hidden topics that the media is writing about. You can then use that data to inform how you tell your stories.
Don’t forget about journalists
It’s one thing to analyze the coverage on a web page. It’s another thing to analyzing the person writing the words. Some media monitoring platforms will give you the ability to integrate social media conversations among certain individuals. So imagine for a moment that you analyze every journalist who has written about NFTs over the last 12 months.
So you not only have media data in order to identify topical relevance, but now you have audience data which gives you more insights into the narratives that are important to these journalists. Again, you can use this data to inform how you create content and other brand messaging.
The PR industry is not known for being driven by data and insights and that’s okay. With innovation in the media monitoring landscape and overall SaaS market, there are now tools available to help.