How to create a winning media monitoring strategy - 11 mistakes to avoid

September 1 2016
Published in Tips and Guides

It’s no secret - keeping an eye on what is being said about your brand is vital to maintaining your reputation, but it’s easier said than done. The huge quantities of information being shared online every day - along with the speed at which it can be published - have turned reputation management into a challenging affair.

Many brands are now using media monitoring data to keep up with how they are portrayed online, but it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of information available.

Visibrain has come up with the 11 crucial mistakes to avoid when setting up a winning media monitoring strategy, along with the best practices that will help you to get the most out of your data.

Mistake 1: Picking the wrong person for the job

Media monitoring is vital for reputation management and should never be delegated to an intern. Make sure that you pick someone qualified for the job.

Of course, the ideal person to have in charge of your monitoring should have a good knowledge of media monitoring tools and data analysis. But they also need to have the necessary intuition and PR skills to identify a budding crisis and alert the rest of the team before it has time to snowball.

On top of that, they need to know your brand inside out. Make sure they’re well-briefed on any “smoking” issues that require constant attention, as well as your brand’s PR history.

For example, the head of media monitoring at McDonald’s should know that in 2015, the brand’s Mexican branch experienced backlash on social media for an ad criticizing the national dish. This information could have been used to help the brand to avoid making exactly the same mistake in Italy a few months later with an ad that criticized pizza…

Mistake 2: Monitoring “by hand”

Given the gargantuan amounts of information that come from social media and the online world on a daily basis, monitoring by hand is simply no longer an option. The hundreds of millions of news stories, blog articles, social media posts, photos, videos being published every day are impossible to sift through manually without the right tools.

Equip your team with the tools they need to get the job done. To get an idea of what you need, start by experimenting with a few free platforms (such as Google Alerts, Social mention, or Tweet Deck) before moving on to paid tools. Beware: free tools come with many frustrating limitations such as incomplete data coverage, poor reliability and very basic features. To get the full array of data you require, you may need to combine several free tools, which can be difficult to coordinate.

While paid tools can represent a considerable investment, they are worth it. The deeper, more comprehensive media monitoring they provide will save your team time and stress in the long run.

Mistake 3: Overzealous monitoring

When it comes to media monitoring, don’t overdo it. The amount of information being published online every day is huge. Trying to monitor it all is not only impossible, it’s counter-productive: over-the-top monitoring waters down your results and heightens the risk of you missing out on something important.

Narrow down your search as much as possible by choosing three key topics to monitor. For example, you can choose anything that directly mentions your brand, anything that mentions your C-suite, and any “smoking” PR issues that your brand might have. Focus all of your efforts around these three topics. For any others, simply set up alerts to notify you in case of abnormal activity.

Certain topics need to be monitored in a different way. In some cases, monitoring all mentions of your brand in the press is not the best solution. It can make more sense to select some key strategic sources to keep an eye on, such as certain publications or individuals that frequently publish content that is relevant to your brand.

For more media monitoring best practices, download the full guide!

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Published in Tips and Guides