Media analysis is only one element of a PR professional’s role, but can easily prove overwhelming.
The fast-paced nature and sheer volume of media output in the modern world means that the potential to miss a story is a constant concern for Communications teams.
Media analysis presents many challenges, but these can be overcome with the right tool. Getting on top of them can make the task feel far more meaningful and help to contribute to the common PR team desire to be more strategic.
Here we take a look at some of the prevailing problems in media analysis and how to solve them.
How to deal with the volume of media output
Media output via print, online and broadcast is relentless – and keeping up with the monitoring of this volume of coverage is a huge challenge.
It’s not just a case of looking for mentions of your own brand. Effective media monitoring means keeping an eye on all things that may have an impact on the organisation or organisations you work with. That can include world events, regulation changes, industry news and competitor analysis.
There is no way that a person can keep up by manually sifting, analysing and assessing all the media output there is. Boolean search strings and Google alerts help, but artificial intelligence solutions combined with the skill and understanding of PR pros are the real answer. A full analysis of the media requires looking at the whole data set – in our case, the world’s media.
AI tools can skim, sort and provide insight on media coverage and present the information in an immediate and easy-to-understand format, allowing Comms teams to see exactly what is going on and spend their time interrogating data and deciding what needs to be done next.
How to monitor the media in multiple languages
Global businesses have the added challenge of needing to stay on top of media output in multiple languages and time zones. Tools that monitor media in multiple languages and provide real-time alerts as well as insight into sentiment are fundamental to success.
AI can monitor media in multiple languages and provide instant translation to ensure you have the information you need on what is being said – wherever it is being said.
Strong internal comms is then critical to speedily share that information across time zones and geographical boundaries to ensure spokespeople for the firm are all equally informed and can coordinate cohesive responses and statements.
How to show the value of media analysis
Comms faces a constant battle to demonstrate the value of what they do to the C-suite and to the business as a whole. It’s a common worry within PR teams that their own organisation doesn’t really understand what they do or how they contribute to business growth and goals.
There’s a real need for PR teams to take ownership of establishing a PR measurement framework that doesn’t dominate their already-stretched resources and aligns with overall objectives.
Without the right barometers for success, arbitrary value measurements are often imposed that can stand in the way of real progress. PR teams can end up pursuing goals that tick performance indicator boxes and don’t contribute real worth. That’s the reason so much has been said about the need to truly leave behind measures such as Advertising Value Equivalent (AVE).
PR teams need to find ways to demonstrate the impact of PR rather than just counting what media coverage has been achieved. PR success needs to align with business success and reporting should show how activities have helped deliver on organisational goals.
How to avoid missing important media mentions
Missing an important media mention or relevant breaking story is the stuff of nightmares for all in Comms.
There’s the fear you’ll be blindsided by something that causes a crisis to take hold as well as the worry that a senior member of the organization will spot something first and ask why they were not informed. With such extensive and fast paced worldwide communications, the fear is real and well founded.
PR teams need media monitoring tools that provide them with accurate, thorough, real-time information on all the search terms that are of relevance to their organisation and sector. Good tools allow you to focus your attention on interpreting the data and deciding what things need to be acted upon and in what way.
Lauren Jane Heller, Director of Communications at the multi-million-dollar venture capital firm Real Ventures, has spoken of that continual nag of concern over missing something and finding the solution in Signal AI’s platform.
How to reduce the time media analysis takes
Media analysis can easily drain time and resources and it’s not unusual for apprentices and lower level Comms professionals to be almost entirely dedicated to it. With all organizations needing their staff to be more efficient and effective than ever before, time management techniques are essential.
While the urge to make an impact and break free of tedious media analysis tasks to spend more time on strategic aims, media analysis still needs to be done and done well. Finding the right tool to automate parts of the process is the only real solution to speed up media analysis. Even just the process of building accurate Boolean searches can be hugely time consuming, which is why progressive Comms teams are now finding alternatives.
AI powered media monitoring allows PR teams to find relevant media, gain quick and useful insight into it and redirect their time into making use of that insight to develop opportunities and quash communications crises.