December 8, 2016

Helping PR pros make smarter decisions

Setting news alerts to help you enjoy your free time more

Setting news alerts to help you enjoy your free time more

Anyone who has had media monitoring as a core part of their job responsibilities knows the downside: with the 24-hour news cycle, blogs, and social media, it often feels like you can’t step away from your monitoring for a moment without the possibility of missing something.

If that “missed something” is a potential issue for your company or client, the stress multiplies.

I don’t think it’s any coincidence that many of the people with whom I’ve worked in public affairs and public relations are Type-A personalities. Missing something—particularly something important—is pretty much out of the question. I’ve seen this manifested in a number of ways with monitoring, particularly when users create more work for themselves because keywords and search terms are crafted too broadly so that “nothing is missed.”

Combine that with a 24-hour news cycle, and you have a pretty solid recipe for burnout.

Technology can help

When reviewing monitoring platforms, ask if there are any email alerts or notification systems built into the software that will notify system users when content comes in. Setting up an email alert (or alerts) can be surprisingly tailored, depending on what you need to know about–meaning, what’s so important that must be brought to someone’s attention as soon as news comes in.

Depending on the software, you can receive email notifications based on:

  • Specific words or mentions, like a person or company name
  • Content you are interested in when it appears in major publications
  • Mentions on Twitter
  • Establish frequency intervals—be notified when new content comes in every hour, or a full day at one time
  • Specific times of day—for daily notifications, you can even pick the best time to receive the email notification. This flexibility is great if you need to review content before the workday starts, or if you’re more concerned with content that appears just after the stock market closes.

You can even designate specific notifications to go to different team members. If you have search terms that impact more than one department or practice group, you can set up email notifications to go to the person who needs to see the notifications the most. By linking email notifications to specific search terms, no one is inundated with a lot of coverage that isn’t relevant to their specific function or area.

Using email notifications will allow you to enjoy your time off without worrying that you’re going to miss an important story or breaking news. With an “always on” news cycle, this could be the most liberating feature of a monitoring tool.

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About The Author

Jennifer Zingsheim Phillips is the founder of 4L Strategies, and has worked in communications and public affairs for just over 20 years. Her background includes work in politics, government, lobbying, public affairs PR work, content creation, and digital and social communications and media analysis.

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