What is Media Monitoring and Why Does it Matter?

What is Media Monitoring and Why Does it Matter?

Now, more than ever, a company lives its life outside of the office in the no man’s land of social media, where commercial activities are absorbed into the public consciousness.

This is the digital media space that can make or break a business, and can be used to create a brand image and develop a reputation. It’s vital for companies to stay abreast of their presence in this arena, and that’s where media monitoring comes in.

Keeping an Eye Out

Media monitoring is the process of collating data that’s of interest to a business or undertaking. Often carried out by a public relations firm, the process is designed to inform about how something is being received in the media landscape, and what kind of responses are being generated in the press from specific activities. Media monitoring is, in this sense, a passive activity, but it reaps rewards for individuals or businesses looking to see what kind of popular reception they’re receiving in the news. Typically, the sources for this information are in radio, television, print media and online sources, where an item of interest may relate back to the client. It may not necessarily relate to the client in question, and could involve their area of interest, the activities of a competitor, or relevant developments in the particular industry.

Staying in the Know

As ever more media platforms develop and court the interaction of the online public, so-called “buzz monitoring” becomes more and more essential, where monitoring traditional media and social media concerns overlap. It’s important to keep a close eye on developments in this environment, as it’s impossible to predict how far or how fast a post or news piece can go viral. In this way it’s possible for a negative story or bad review to creep up and be seen by a lot of people before there’s time to react and the damage has already been done. Media monitoring provides a framework to keep abreast of such dialogues and empower people or businesses to respond in good time and help manage narratives to their advantage. It’s also a great space to engage customers directly and help build lasting relationships to mutual advantage.

Covering All the Bases

Product Media

There are plenty of varying metrics employed in media monitoring to give users a better idea of interest shown and at what level dialogues are being maintained around a client’s area of activity. Mentions of a company will be recorded, known as “clippings”, and then usually presented to a client on a regular basis. With print media the calculations are a little different, as it’s generally assumed that a single newspaper will have more than one reader past the person who made the initial purchase, and so the figure is usually tripled. In this way it’s possible to provide a forecast of the circulation saturation and show a client approximately how many individuals have been reached by the content.

Why it Matters

Media monitoring is essential for companies both small and large: without being able to get a handle on a company’s media presence, it’s extremely difficult to generate accurate PR strategies properly tailored around the true scope of available marketing resources. It enables clients to follow their own impact and look for weaknesses in their distribution, while being able to find which medias and demographics they enjoy the best penetration with. As new platforms for digital media develop, media monitoring will only become more vital to any one trying to keep in step with the times.

Posted by Nika Goddard

Nika Goddard
Psychologist, writer-freelancer, traveler and just creative person, lover of world cultures, languages, food, wild spaces and urban places by nature. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn

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