Keeping A Pulse On Relevant Media: An introduction To Media Monitoring


by Aryeh Powers

Have you ever heard of media monitoring? The term is a common in the PR profession. For those of you who are not familiar with the term, here’s the skinny of it: Media monitoring is what it sounds like. It is the art of scouring the media for relevant news which is related to your product, business or overall industry.

You can probably guess why having the gathering of information from relevant media sources is vital to the marketing efforts of your company, but I’m going to make 2 simple arguments for the necessity of media monitoring.

1. You need to your target market and what their interests are. Part of figuring out your target audience’s interests is watching what they watch and listening to what they listen to. When you have a pulse on the news that your target audience is subject to, then you can gauge how they will perceive your industry and gain tips on how to further position your product to meet their demands and interests.

2. You need to know what your competitors are up to. If your competitor is adding a feature to an existing product or are adding a new product to their brand’s line, then you and your company NEED to know about it as soon as it happens. You always need to be prepared to be as competitive as possible and in order to do that you NEED to know what your competitors are doing, in real time.

So how do you go about conducting your media monitoring if you don’t plan to use a PR agency?

First, you need to clearly state and identify your target audience. Next, you need to determine where they are getting their news and information regarding your industry or product. Once you have those 2 bits of information, you need a way to gather all of that news information in an efficient manner.

Luckily, most news articles can be viewed online. There are services that can provide you with the tools that you would need to pull articles based on your keyword preferences. A great free resource for you to use is Google Alerts. Google Alerts will alert you, when your specified keyword is found in a news article or blog post, and will send you updates according to your preferences, in real time. There are several preferences from which you can customize these alerts. Go to the Google Alerts  Web site for more information on this service.

Twitter and Facebook feeds are another great source for aggregate news. If you already have an account on each one, then you might want to consider setting up one for the sole purpose of tracking the Web sites and news agencies that you want. That way you can see what posts are going up from those sources in real time. If you don’t have a unique Facebook or Twitter account for aggregate news, then the drawback is that you might have to sift through a lot of profiles to get to the most noteworthy news and articles.

This is why searching the Twitter trends and utilizing the Twitter search tool can be of tremendous value to your business. You can see what people are talking about and what they are saying about a particular topic. Visit the Twitter search tool Web site for more information.

Another free way of keeping your pulse on relevant media is to sign up to your favorite blogs RSS feeds. You can click here to view the Anticipate Marketing RSS feed ;). When you sign up for a blogs RSS feed, you are really signing up to receive an instant notification when the blog of your choice is updated with new posts. This can be very important for both of the reasons that I mentioned above.

For services that require a subscription and monthly cost (and are well worth it), look into Cision, an industry leader in media monitoring and media research tools. There are similar services out there, but most likely Cision will be able to handle whatever your media monitoring requirements are.

Regardless of the method that you use to search for news related to your industry, it is important to keep a pulse on what is going on and how people are responding to news about your industry. Make sure to spend part of your day or at least a significant part of your week to see what your target audience is reading and to see what your competitors are up to.

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