Most PR professionals think about media monitoring and analytics only after launching a new campaign. You carefully monitor coverage of your story and sentiment. You measure how many stories are published, determine share of voice, and provide reports to your executives about campaign effectiveness.
This is all well and good, but if you start with media monitoring instead, before the campaign sees the light of day, you can hone your message and improve reception of your campaign – by understanding your target and what they care about, what people are saying about your competitors, and by jumping on trending topics.
Finding your hook
Before you start crafting your message, start by monitoring relevant content sources for keywords related to your campaign’s theme. “Relevant” is the key word here (get it?) – if your audience is 35-55-year-old men, monitoring Instagram isn’t going to help.
Think about which publications your audience reads. Where do they go for information? Regardless of whether that is where you plan to promote your story, monitor those sources for keywords that you plan to build your message around.
And learn the language of your target audience. How does your target talk about your product or service? Monitoring media will help you understand how your audience talks – so you can use the same language in your campaign. If you call your widget a “doo-hickey” but everyone else refers to it as a “thing-a-ma-jig”, then you need to make sure you adapt.
When you monitor media, you might find there’s a misalignment with what your organization is saying and what your target market is looking for. Don’t be afraid to change course. Go back to your marketing or product teams with your monitoring insights – share your data and help them improve the product/market fit or messaging.
Monitoring can also help you avoid pitfalls or identify potential detractors before you go public with a new campaign. For instance, you might discover that the keywords planned for your new campaign are uncomfortably close to an unsavory trending topic on social media, or that a key influencer just wrote a negative article about a new feature you were about to proudly launch to the world.
When you monitor social media and news sources, you can begin to identify who is writing most about your industry or product, as well as how they feel about your company or the product or service you offer. Advanced monitoring and analytics solutions like Agility Enterprise can help identify these influencers and what they are saying. Doing this can help you identify:
- Journalists who often write about your market or industry and whose opinions carry clout with your target audience
- Individuals with large social media followings whom you can leverage to gather product feedback, or influence to review or endorse your offering
- Detractors who could spread negative or misleading information about you
Identifying communications channels
Monitoring media for coverage can also help identify the publications and information sources that discuss your industry or brand the most, and even where your target audience goes to get their fill. This information will help you streamline your outreach around a new campaign and let you identify and focus on follow-up with the journalists and/or media outlets that are most likely to write a story about you.
Keeping an eye on competitors
Ever wonder what your competitors are up to? What they’re blogging about? Who’s picking up their stories? What people are saying about them on social media? Most organization would love to have a better understanding of what their competitors are saying and how their target perceives them. With media monitoring, you won’t need to wonder anymore.
Media monitoring and analytics are great to measure the impact of campaigns, but monitoring beforehand can do wonders for boosting that impact in the first place. Talk to us about monitoring for your next campaign, and see the difference for yourself.