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The 7 things to look for in your media monitoring solution

The 7 things to look for in your media monitoring solution

If your media monitoring solution encompasses these seven elements, then it’s worth the investment. If not, it’s time to upgrade.

1. Make your solution provider accountable 

Your business has KPIs, so why shouldn’t your media monitoring solution? Without a means of quantifying success, you have no way of knowing whether it’s doing its job, or just costing you money. Put quality KPIs in place, and ensure that these are being checked in performance reviews. Markers to consider include whether content is delivered on time – and in time, in the case of breaking stories? If important clips have been missed or left unflagged? How much time the content is costing the communications team to sift through and the relevance of selected stories? And finally the accuracy and quality of the summaries in capturing the nuance and essence of the stories.

2. Have a flexible brief

Passivity among the big players in media monitoring has led to the attitude that once a contract is in place, the brief can’t and won’t change. This is not in your interest: your monitoring requirements will change depending on emergence of given events and coverage. Instead of accepting the idea that one size will always fit, demand a concierge service which tailors itself to your needs depending on the demands of the day. This means alerts for abnormal spikes in interest in you or your sector; temporarily turning on coverage of a subject outside the normal brief; proactively providing additional round-ups on big news days; and maintaining an ongoing dialogue over what’s working – and what’s not.

3. Fix the fee

While it may seem like a sensible economy to only pay for the clips you receive, variable pricing is akin to an industry sting when it comes to media monitoring. If you’re being charged by the clip, not only are you more likely to be proffered irrelevant content, but on bad news days, you will suffer ‘double punishment’, receiving lots of negative coverage, and being charged more for tracking it. Likewise, variable pricing takes the shine of good news days, as the bill increases with each positive story. Fixed pricing, by contrast, allows you to be more flexible in your brief without worrying about the cost. It also makes the CFO happy by having predictable agreed pricing in advance.

4. Consolidation, that’s what you need

In every direction, there’s another news channel or social media platform with potential to carry stories about your organisation, but it’s a mistake to see these as content silos which have to be monitored separately (Digitisation has made monitoring in a single stream far easier, along with the understanding of how each channel amplifies the others. While the number of content channels has increased exponentially, it does not mean you necessarily need to see every single piece of content. New channels can still benefit from sensible guidelines as to what is and isn’t important. So instead of exposing yourself and the rest of your organisation to a deluge of different monitoring streams, consolidate your monitoring solutions, and you will save yourself time, money, and migraines.

5. Real-time solutions

Your comms team needs to know about bad news as it breaks, so real-time alerts are a must. A daily round-up, while valuable, can’t contend with an untimely wave of social media posts, news updates and changing opinions around the world, and key content will slip through the net. In order to respond swiftly to crises, or capitalise on positive reporting, your comms team needs to know about the issues as they arise, so they can be triaged and dealt with appropriately. Make sure you have the option of setting up a core group of people with real-time alerts in parallel to your daily round-up. And remember, real-time can have a broad definition – so be clear on what your provider actually means when they offer this service. 

6. Filter the noise

In today’s always-on news cycle, content overload is unavoidable. You should, therefore, make sure it stops at your media monitoring service, rather than flooding your comms teams’ inboxes. The use of AI and sophisticated analytics means that your service provider should be able to surface the 10, or even one, per cent of content that matters to you – and should work with you to define what these relevant stories are and how they are changing. AI also means that traditional no-go areas from a volume perspective – such as broader industry topics, can now be efficiently incorporated into the cuttings without either content overload or excessive charges (see point 3).

7. Know your audience

Not everyone in your organisation needs to know all the news all the time – it’s inefficient to send it to them, and will result in desensitisation to the briefings, and missing stories that matter. While traditionally the comms team was responsible for disseminating content to relevant individuals, this is an unnecessary drain on their time. Now interactive monitoring and content filtering has allowed customisation of monitoring at department and individual user level, giving people tailored content when they need it. This is a great way to engage the wider business in the role of communications and to keep the monitoring solution relevant to the changing needs of the organisation.

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