We’ve all been there, coming across a significant report or piece of news far too late for it to have been a timely pitch topic. Or, arguably even worse, having a client flag an article they were mentioned in to YOU [insert screaming] before you were able to share it with them. You may have asked yourself, “what could I have done differently to avoid this tragedy?” The answer is proactive media monitoring. 

Often underestimated and oversimplified, media monitoring involves staying on top of industry trends, tracking media mentions and determining newsworthy topics to implement in your work. It’s a way to pay attention to, or listen to, what is being said and how people are discussing a specific topic or industry. 

In an age where new developments, research and opinions are continuously flowing, media monitoring is never-ending and should occur on multiple platforms – print, digital, broadcast and social media. Feeling overwhelmed? We have three tips to master media monitoring and enhance your listening abilities to supercharge media relations programs

Know Your Resources. 

Media moves quickly and it can be tough to keep up, but there is no need to do it alone. Subscribing to email newsletters, for example, makes it easy to catch up on daily or weekly top stories from specific publications. Joining online groups and reading through forums relevant to your industry is another way to keep up with the news and gauge public perception in real time. 

A quick visit to various news websites to scan headlines is also a must, and should be done a couple of times per day. By doing this, you may see an exclusive story break on one outlet, and be able to move quickly to offer client commentary to other outlets who have yet to cover. You can also follow reporters on social media, including Twitter and LinkedIn, to see their latest work and commentary on recent news conveniently on your timeline. This also serves as a way to interact and build a relationship with the reporter outside of their inbox. It’s a win-win. 

Make Google Your New Best Friend. 

If you work in PR you had to have seen this coming from a mile away: set up Google Alerts. These alerts should be created to monitor for client mentions and industry terms/topics specific to your clients that may be included in news coverage. Determining keywords and phrases relevant to the industry you work in and what matters most to your client(s) is essential and it will help you find not only recent articles on the subject, but the reporters who are currently covering them. Will these alerts flood your inbox during the week? Yes. Are they helpful? Absolutely. 

Beyond setting up alerts, simply searching keywords on Google will identify trending topics and people. Looking for specific phrases used or articles published within a certain timeframe? Save some time by using the tools bar to refine your searches and thank us later.  

Set a Monitoring Routine. 

We’ve all heard of morning, nightly, skincare and gym routines, but what about routines for media monitoring!? As humans, we’re creatures of habit and routine. Similar to those previously mentioned, establishing a routine for media monitoring is only going to benefit you in the long run. Let’s get it trending on TikTok. 

Block time off your calendar each day and set aside time to conduct your monitoring. Early mornings and late afternoons are most time efficient, but if you’re expecting an article to publish, do several quick searches throughout the day. Your routine can also include checking social media, listening to podcasts, going through your hundreds of Google Alerts or scanning your favorite reporter’s bylines. It only takes a few minutes but that can be the difference between trendjacking a story that drives coverage and missing an opportunity.

Media monitoring should be as an important part of your PR arsenal as pitching, writing, and relationship building. Not only will it help you stay on top of the relevant conversations happening, it will inform future campaigns and ensure you’re finding/reporting any coverage you’ve achieved for your client – all important aspects to support your work.

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