Media Monitoring: An Introductory Guide
A media monitoring program is designed to determine what is being said about an organization in the media. Originally covering just news media, most media monitoring programs now cover both news sources and social media.
By monitoring your organization's exposure in the media, you can gain key insights into your organization's reputation, consumers' perception of your products and services, and the effectiveness of your publicity/media relations programs.
If your organization issues news releases, it should also start a media monitoring program to identify all press release placements — and to uncover other stories about or mentions of the organization.
A media monitoring program can be local, national, worldwide or custom-designed to meet the specific needs of your organization.
Media monitoring is usually assigned to the public relations, communications or marketing department. In small organizations, the assistant to the CEO often takes on the responsibility for media monitoring.
News Monitoring Service
The person responsible for the media monitoring program specifies key words or phrases to be monitored. Most news monitoring programs of companies and not-for-profit organizations track media exposure of the organization's name, its brands and its executives, and key issues in all news media.
The monitoring program typically covers wire services, newspapers, consumer magazines, trade journals, broadcast news on TV and radio, and, very importantly, online news in Websites.
While monitoring these news sources, the monitor identifies and "clips" all articles that contain the key words you specified, and then delivers the articles.
Before the advent of the Internet, press clipping services (called "press cutting" in most of Europe) used humans to read print publications, mark articles containing the clients' corporate or brand name, cut out the marked articles and deliver the paper news clips to the client.
Today, most every news organization publishes all its news content on the Internet. As a result, software-based online media monitoring is more effective and cost efficient to capture and index news content and, then, identify those articles containing clients' key words. In the good old days, human readers missed between 30% and 40% of valid news clips. Today's online software misses almost none.
Social Media Monitoring
In addition to news monitoring, a full-fledged media monitoring program includes social media monitoring, tracking corporate and brand mentions in blogs, message boards, online forums, Usenet news groups and other online social media sites. In addition, a fully-integrated media monitoring program also tracks online video sharing sites such as YouTube and micro-blogging services such as Twitter.
Monitoring Media for Competitor Mentions
Many media monitoring programs also monitor key competitors to benchmark reputation, share of media, and comparative success of the media relations programs.
In-House Monitoring vs. Outsourced Media Monitoring Service
Some organizations do their media monitoring in-house with internal staff reading local publications and using search engines such as Google News to find online news articles and media mentions. For years, this method was reasonably effective and cost-efficient.
With the proliferation of both online news sources and social media, it is now very, very difficult for in-house staff to implement an effective and cost-efficient do-it-yourself media monitoring program, even if the staff has a superb understanding of online search tools. The task today is simply too complex and time-consuming for staff to do it both effectively and efficiently.
Except for the smallest organizations with purely local media coverage, an outsourced media monitoring service is almost always more effective and less costly than an in-house do-it-yourself approach to media monitoring service (assuming you count the cost of the staff's time).
Invariably, outsourced media monitoring services deliver more comprehensive media coverage with fewer missed clips, more timely clip delivery, at less cost. Most media monitoring services also include online clip archives — a digital version of the traditional "clip book" to store paper clips. With far more features than paper-based clip books, the digital clip archives are far superior to the old-fashioned clip book of news articles.
Selecting Outsourced Media Monitoring Services
Many companies offer media monitoring services. Some are local, covering only a small geographic area — one state or country, for instance. Some specialize in one type of media — TV news, as an example, or social media. Others offer fully integrated worldwide services covering all media. Selecting a media monitoring service — or a mix of services — can be daunting and time-consuming. Prices and pricing models vary considerably. Some services charge per clip fees and require long term contracts; others offer flat rate pricing on a month-to-month basis (which is almost always the less expensive alternative). An article by CyberAlert, "Choosing a Media Monitoring Service: 9 Questions to Ask" offers solid guidance on how to screen and select from the available services.
About CyberAlert Media Monitoring Service
CyberAlert LLC, founded in 1999, provides the full range of news monitoring and social media monitoring services to hundreds of companies, government organizations and non-for-profit organizations. The company is well-known for its PR Grants Program that provides one year of free media monitoring service to selected not-for-profit organizations.
With its powerful online software tools, CyberAlert captures the content of more than 900,000 news articles each day from over 50,000 online news sources in 75+ languages.
CyberAlert also monitors 5+ million blog postings each day from a universe of 50+ million blogs. It also monitors 100,000 message boards, forums, and Usenet news groups and 200 video sharing sites such as YouTube. It also monitors all new "tweets" each day in Twitter for mentions of its clients corporate or brand names.
Clients can implement the full suite of CyberAlert services or any portion of the service.
CyberAlert's advanced querying tools enable complex queries that identify and save all your valid clips, and delete irrelevant articles.
The CyberAlert service includes automated software translation of foreign language articles and a fully-searchable archive of all your saved clips. The archive includes powerful search and organizational tools so that you can easily find most any clip by date, key word, source or other parameters. You can also easily create daily/weekly clip reports to share with executives or publish articles on your website.
With the CyberAlert service you get all the tools you need to effectively monitor news and social media, archive your clips, measure the results, and gain insight into the strengths and weaknesses of your corporate reputation, the reputation of your brands, and the effectiveness of your media relations program.
Find out more about CyberAlert Media Monitoring Services.