The essential guide to media monitoring

5 Aug 2020

Industry Insights
If your brand is a fresh face in the industry, then you’ll need to know all there is about media monitoring in order to streamline your business success. Why? Because knowing how this service works will allow you to better manage your brand’s reputation as well as provide the best customer service.

With media monitoring, you essentially have an inside view of what your audiences are saying about your brand. Your brand is the fly on the wall, which gives your business a multitude of benefits, all of which will be unpacked right here in our essential guide.

Media monitoring defined

The process of media monitoring can be defined as the tracking of a brand or business’s media coverage and adverts on various channels, including traditional editorial as well as digital. This includes print, broadcast, digital media as well as social media.

This service allows your business to gain the insights it needs to adjust and improve on its marketing and public relations strategies and benchmark itself against competitors. It can also be used to keep an eye on other industries at large, so that you can see any upcoming trends within your own industry, helping you to always stay one step ahead of the rest!

Additionally, many other organisations utilise media monitoring to:
  • Monitor the impact and success of news releases
  • Gather insights about competitors and issues relevant to their business
  • Manage their brand reputation
  • Examine the strengths and weaknesses of corporate communications
  • Identify new opportunities for their business

A brief history of media monitoring

Prior to the digital age, media monitoring companies would have their staff manually sift through press coverage, listen to broadcast announcements and scan through advertisements in print media in order to ‘clip out’ relevant sections for organisations.

Just imagine: You’re an employee at a press clipping agency and you’ve been enlisted by a business to sort through mentions of its brand in various print media. You then manually scan through magazines, newspapers and pressers to find the mentions of these brands by name, day in, and day out. Talk about some tedious and time-consuming work!

Then, the Internet came along, and with it, masses and masses of data — now known as Big Data. Without media monitoring tools, businesses would be at a loss in terms of how to keep track of all the information surrounding their industries and brands.

And without the technologies behind these services, media monitoring would not be able to gather all the data necessary to provide useful insights for your brand.

The technologies that fuel media monitoring

These services utilise artificial intelligence (AI) and umbrella technologies such as machine learning, natural language processing and sentiment analysis in order to sort through mass amounts of data to find the keywords and mentions your brand is looking for.

To give you a better understanding of how these technologies work, here’s a quick breakdown of each one:

Machine learning
Machine learning is a subset of AI, in which humans train the system to decipher patterns and algorithms contained within the data that is fed to it. Simple, right?

This means that the more data the system is fed, the more accurately it can process similar information in future.

Once the system has been trained, it will then automatically detect these words together within the media.

Natural language processing
Natural language processing (NLP) is a component of machine learning. This technology organises and processes human-produced text into various word classes. This is done by looking at components of language, such as syntax, grammar and sentence structure.

Once a system has sorted these words and categorised them, it is then able to identify and allocate a particular topic of discussion for these word groups. At Newsclip, our data engine relies on NLP, allowing us to analyse media clips at an unprecedented speed. This allows our clients to receive instant insights into their brand’s media coverage.

Sentiment analysis
This tech is used to identify your followers and customers’ sentiment — or feelings — towards your brand, or a certain topic online. Sentiment analysis uses NLP to analyse various texts in the media and digital sphere in order to classify them as positive, negative or neutral.

This is a great way to determine how your consumers feel about your products or services, as well as how they feel about various trends within the industry. Knowing their attitude towards your offerings allows you to gather the insights you need to tweak your marketing or PR strategies for the better.

Garnering negative sentiment on a particular offering also allows you to understand the comments surrounding your brand, allowing you to respond accordingly and uphold your reputation.

How media monitoring benefits businesses and professionals

Being able to keep track of what is said about your business, and how it is said in the media is essentially how you maintain a good reputation, and ensure that consumers’ perspectives of you remain positive.

Without keeping track of who has said what, your brand is left in the dark, blindly putting out products and services without feedback. This leaves no room for business growth and it also means that you won’t be able to learn from the mistakes your brand makes.

Tracking your brand’s media coverage has other benefits too:

It lets you keep an eye on your marketing channels
Whether you’re looking to track your brand in press releases or on social media platforms, media monitoring covers it all. Not only will you have the benefit of seeing where your brand is mentioned in publications, broadcast channels, TV stations, websites and blogs, but you’ll also be able to see mentions on the social platforms your brand is active on as well.

This gives you a holistic view of how your brand is being received by audiences, offering you bountiful insights that allow you to create a successful strategy that will steer your business to success.

You can measure the effectiveness of your communications
Have you been wondering whether your latest press release reached its target audience or not? And, how much engagement did your campaign launch receive, really? These questions can be answered with, you guessed it, a monitoring service.

Because this service is able to answer some of the vital questions surrounding your communications efforts, your decision-making process essentially becomes that much easier.

You don’t have to spend time guessing and wondering about your work: All you have to do is sit back, relax and let this technology gather all the insights for you. Once gathered, you are then able to decide: Do we carry on with the current PR strategy, or scrap it and try again?

You can prove your ROI to clients
Merely stating that your client’s coverage ‘did well’ is not enough — you need the numbers to back it up. This is where media monitoring comes in; it helps you actually prove your return on investment to clients, showing that the efforts put into their campaigns, event launches and press releases are adding up.

Your client wants to see how well their brand’s offerings are doing, and media monitoring can allow them to do that. With this solution, you’re able to see an overview of the media coverage that has been generated for your client’s brand, whether it was a campaign launch or an event. This information is used to view the sentiment of the coverage, and you’ll be able to see exactly where people reacted positively.

You can then show this data to your client, which proves whether their investment has been profitable or not and where you’ve achieved successful results.

You can manage your professional reputation
With these services, you’re alerted to any negative mentions about the organisation you work for, as well as your own business, allowing you to act quickly and rectify the situation. Whether you’re a hardworking entrepreneur, innovative marketer or a jack-of-all-trades PR pro, you all have one thing in common: You need to establish a good reputation for the business.

When your employer’s reputation looks good, you look good. When your business is receiving positive feedback, it’s all because of you! You are the one generating those positive reviews and mentions, which feed back into your professional reputation.
Now that you’ve familiarised yourself with the service, it’s time to take a deeper look at the terminology that defines and makes up this solution. Here are the 10 media monitoring definitions you need to know.