June 28, 2017

Helping PR pros make smarter decisions

The care and feeding of your media monitoring account

The care and feeding of your media monitoring account

Happy Groundhog’s Day! The little groundhog, known affectionately as Punxsutawney Phil, did see his shadow this morning no thanks to overcast skies and a chance of showers. According to legend, this means six more weeks of winter. Even Potomac Phil, the DC counterpart, is predicting a month and a half more of cold and snow.

Both traditional media and social media are abuzz today with tidbits about these “whistle pigs.” These creatures require a good bit of tending to keep them in top weather-predicting shape. They need to hibernate each winter and eat a healthy, vegetable rich diet.  And a media monitoring account to track the groundhog chatter also requires a bit of regular maintenance to keep it running well.

Set up good keywords – When you open a media monitoring account, whether it is to gather traditional news clips, social media mentions, or both, it is worth a little extra time to plan out and implement your search criteria. A few that might track our small rodent friend might include mentions of himself, Gobblers Knob where the event takes place, and perhaps his counterparts in other parts of the country.

Tweak keywords as necessary – It’s best to get these key words and phrases entered before a big event in order to get a baseline for the volume of chatter and hone in on exactly what you are looking to track. If your search terms are not an exact match for the type of results you are looking for you may need to alter your keywords slightly. You may need to broaden the focus on some of your criteria or narrow others.  I might suggest that Phil exclude mentions of the 1993 movie Groundhog Day with Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell, for instance.

Clean out false positives – If you get results that technically match your keywords but aren’t quite the type of coverage you are looking to track, then remove them from the account on a regular basis to ensure the best possible data is retained. If there is a lot of this type of clutter, you may consider narrowing your search criteria.

Analyze your results – Get into the account and look over the results to find common trends, report on numbers of clips, relative size of the sources, or overall tone of the reporting. Some media monitoring accounts offer charting and graphing features to help you visualize some of this information. Are people critical of Phil’s prognostication track record? What percentage of this year’s coverage also mentions climate change or the mild winter thus far?

Download the data – You have worked so hard to get the set of results you want, be sure to spread the information around and save off the results outside of the media monitoring account. For example, Phil might want to share his mainstream media coverage with his marketing team in an executive summary report, while emailing out a newsletter style report of blog coverage to his Facebook friends.

With more winter weather around the corner, you will have plenty of time to focus on your media monitoring account before the weather improves and flowers start blooming.

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