By Emily Olesh
Media monitoring: the act of monitoring certain situations, atmospheres, perspectives and reputations. Maintaining constant vigil over the news, events, legislation or public policies that impact our clients is a core tenet of public relations, and a service we are constantly working to perfect at RunSwitch PR.
Because we watch and report what people and the news media are saying about our clients (as well as what our clients’ competitors are doing), we can make informed decisions and recommendations for our existing and future communications strategies and approaches.
Media monitoring has its benefits for us – the communications professionals – as well. It allows us to stay informed of new developments in a range of industries. We use this knowledge to build up our own expertise.
I jumped on board the media monitoring “wagon” when I started working at RunSwitch last fall. I became part of the team that produced a daily media monitoring report for one of our national clients. I quickly learned there was more to media monitoring than looking through Google Alerts. I learned how to use CisionPoint to track TV, print and online stories. And then I learned how to use TVEyes to pull television coverage. Finally, I learned to use HootSuite to monitor social media conversations.
While it seemed as if the quantity of media monitoring platforms were endless, I came to fully understand the importance of each and how they work together. I quickly learned that media monitoring is a fast paced, comprehensive and detailed service. We start early in the morning and produce a timely report for our client by 10:30 a.m. every business day.
Through this daily monitoring, we stay up–to-date with our client’s news and can immediately inform them of any stories that might need to be corrected or supported with a full PR plan. I have learned to be prepared to research and provide a reporter’s contact information to our client proactively, should they need to reach out to a story’s author.
Once this daily report is turned in, our work isn’t over. We monitor media around the clock for all of our clients. Since the internet and media are always “on,” we are always “on” too.
I think it’s important to emphasize that we don’t ignore social media when monitoring for news and information. Monitoring social media allows us to see what our clients’ audience is saying, whether it be through comments on Facebook, photos on Instagram or Tweets on Twitter. Social media monitoring allows us to confidently suggest how our clients should utilize different social media platforms for certain occasions or campaigns. By monitoring our clients’ social media outlets and being proactive, we are able to help support their reputation.
Media monitoring has become an incredibly beneficial service for me personally. Not only have I learned to successfully monitor news and information for our clients, I also find myself monitoring other topics that are of interest to me.
I was always told that practice makes perfect, and I can definitely say that is true for media monitoring. At the end of the day, knowing what is being said about our client and being able to support them is one of the best services we can offer as a firm.