Media monitoring is an activity most PR professionals typically dread.
But that’s mostly because they don’t know where to start — along with the fact that it can be extremely time consuming and labour intensive.
That said, dissemination and comprehension of news content is essential for any organization that doesn’t want to be left behind in all aspects of good corporate governance. You can’t make good decisions without factual information and insightful analysis, and one of the best sources for that is media data.
Media coverage is an extremely credible source of information and market intelligence. When viewed through this lens, journalists can even be viewed as unpaid researchers for your firm.
This is where PR and communication professionals must see themselves as the eyes and ears of their organizations. They have the important, but sometimes overlooked, responsibility of identifying and communicating to media that could have an adverse or positive affect on their organization.
The evolution of executive news briefings
The nature of executive news briefings has rapidly evolved over the past 20 years, mostly because of the rise of the digitization of content and the Internet.
In the past, organizations paid staff to sift through newspapers and clip out pertinent articles. They would then provide media summaries for management, which included the salient points needed to make informed decisions.
But because of the time and expense, this activity was typically limited to enterprise-level companies and large government entities.
The Internet changed all that. The digitization of data removed many of the barriers around sourcing and collecting data, and perhaps more importantly made classification and searching information easier.
However, as in most other areas, the Internet’s influence has been a double-edged sword.
As the cost of publishing content has rapidly decreased, PR and communications professionals have also had to contend with more news sources (especially online) than ever before. Pain points for professional communicators now revolve around information overload and sourcing the content that really matters to them and their organizations.
To add to this challenge, the nature of how information is being consumed is also changing. People are sharing and consuming data in both social media and mobile more than ever, and that number is only growing.
So even though communication professionals have already swapped their scissors for computers, they must now deploy new technologies and strategies to solve for these new challenges.
The reality is that if a communication professional from the early 1990s could peek into the future and see an executive briefing of today, they might not recognize it. Today’s executive briefings have more features and value-adds than ever, including a combination of both traditional and social media content and basic analytics. However, with change comes opportunity. For the first time, we have the power to truly see how people perceive news and how it’s consumed. We can also alert decision-makers of issues and opportunities in real time.
When it comes to executive briefings, the challenge for most communication professionals will be how fast can they adapt and embrace these new technologies and processes.
Note: MediaMiser CEO Brett Serjeantson originally developed MediaMiser Enterprise back in 2003. MediaMiser Enterprise is a media monitoring and analysis platform, and also includes an executive briefings component as well as a media database.