By: Kaitlin Coogan
Media monitoring is an invaluable tool in today’s communication landscape. Gone are the passive audiences of the past, content to consume any information placed in front of them. Now, more than ever, the audiences we’re interacting with are extremely engaged and active, and, above all, particular. Successful communication must be aware of that factor and adapt, which, in part, is where the idea of media monitoring comes from.
While there have been recent developments in the practice, media monitoring is not a new idea. At its core, it’s the practice of listening and being aware about what’s being said in the public sphere. In the past, it looked a bit different, with teams scanning through physical papers everyday, clipping out mentions and articles. The advent of technology has changed the look of the process, though the idea stays the same.
Media monitoring is the process through which public relations experts are able to listen to what is being said online and in the news about their client. It encapsulates mentions of all kinds, in the news, online and on social media. The range at which we’re now able to “listen” through the internet means that businesses have the ability to be more in-tune with what people are saying about them and their industry than ever before.
At its core, media monitoring is essentially listening, so what makes it such a powerful tool? Media monitoring is about staying plugged in the conversations happening around your business, client or brand, and then using that information to generate, alter and evaluate communication efforts.
When used effectively, media monitoring is a tool that can help to identify potential issues, target audiences and successful messaging, mitigate issues, and respond to both potential and ongoing crises.
- Connects you to your audience
- Guides crisis management efforts
- Gives insights into successful messaging and tactics
- Helps track competition and market trends
- Informs internally about external brand reputation
In order to be an effective part of the conversation, you first need to understand the nuance that surrounds it. Media monitoring is about more than tracking mentions of your client, it is about keeping your finger on the pulse of the industry, listening to how target audiences are reacting to your client, and measuring the success of communications to influence future efforts. Media monitoring should be implemented at all stages of PR work, from planning to implementation to measurement. By regularly monitoring and interpreting the results, businesses are able to more effectively communicate and respond, and even solidify themselves as industry leaders.
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