Media monitoring has been around since the first PR practitioners, but technology has greatly expanded its possibilities beyond the days of scanning for mentions and recording circulation or impressions. Today’s pros use media monitoring tools to mine a wealth of vital insights they can use to chart, pivot and refine messaging to drive success for the brands they represent. Here are 10 essentials of monitoring that will help you assess the quality of your earned content to make sure it’s working hard for your brand and that it’s aligned with your objectives.
- Don’t equate high circulation with high impact. A top-tier media hit may look impressive, but it does not necessarily bring a high ROI for PR. It’s less important to reach a large audience than it is to reach the right audience. A smaller or niche media story can have a big impact that leads to better brand awareness and engagement and ultimately drives revenue growth for your business.
- Review sentiment. To manage your brand’s reputation, you need to know what people are writing about it—whether it’s positive, neutral or negative. Identifying negative press quickly, especially in social media, allows you to course-correct a message or address misinformation before it spreads.
- Monitor keyword use within earned media. This is a crucial step to understanding how your PR efforts and positioning are translating with journalists. If priority messages aren’t getting traction in your brand coverage, you can use this insight to pivot strategy to get the right story across. Likewise, if an initial messaging effort surges then tapers, that’s your cue to reinvigorate the theme with new thinking and communication.
- Track trends geographically—local, regional and international—within your earned media. Looking at trends by market will help you see where your message is resonating and where there are gaps in awareness that can hinder business objectives.
- Consider the SEO impact of your earned coverage. You want to ensure your PR strategy is targeting media that will have strong search value to reach more customers or constituents.
- Use Google Analytics to understand PR referral traffic from earned media to your website and evaluate how readers are engaging with your owned channel content. This will give you insight into their priorities and interests, which can inform your future messaging and communication strategies.
- Use a suite of tools to monitor press and evaluate how PR campaigns are performing. This is particularly useful for cyclical or seasonal themes, enabling you to quickly determine if a message that resonated one year isn’t generating similar traction the next, and pivot strategy to make sure you hit your objectives.
- Do it daily. Make media monitoring a daily task so you can spot trends as they emerge. Routine monitoring is also an essential way to stay on top of new target outlets, reporters and influencers for your brand.
- Track your competitors. Monitoring media goes beyond your own brand. Make sure you’re up to date on the latest announcements from your competitors and use the same tools and analytic eye to evaluate the earned media they’re garnering. This will help you understand your brand’s share of voice. If general messaging is similar between brands, dive into the nuances of communication (for instance, style, word choice and timing) and relevant media impact to see how results vary. Use this research as an opportunity to refine messaging, forge new inroads with priority outlets and connect to specific reporters.
- Get inspired. In addition to following your own brand and its competitors, monitoring for your industry in general is a great way to find fresh ideas for content. You can also track keywords relating to an angle you’re considering to see how similar stories are performing in the market and refine your messaging.
Are you ready to get started? Mower’s PR experts provide measurement and analysis to track trends, compile earned media results and determine sentiment in ways that help us constantly adjust and optimize to the benefit of our clients. We’d love to explore opportunities with you.