Do you remember the feeling of being a kid on the way to the nickel-and-dime store? Your pockets were heavy and rattling with all the change you could shake free from your bank, or find rolling around under the couch. You schemed about all of the various combinations of gummies, chocolates, and other sweets to get the biggest brown paper bag of penny candy you could afford with your treasure.
That upbeat feeling is how you can approach changes to your search criteria. In a media monitoring account, there are so many different ways you can approach tweaking your search terms to yield the results you want. Here are a few sugar-coated ways you can try:
The Swedish Fish Approach – These red-gummies were always among the most cost effective treats when I was young. It was all about quantity; you could literally get them a dime a dozen at our corner store. These were great if I wanted to share with friends or lord the big bag of 120 over my little sister for days after she scarfed down all her candy. Similarly, if you want to gather as many clips on a topic as possible use broad search terms in your monitoring account. For instance, try “gummy bear” instead of “Haribo Gummy Bears” or “sour gummy” instead of “Sour Patch Kids.” This also gives you the added benefit of looking into what else may be going on in your industry.
The Chocolate Bar Method – If there is a press release or focused issue that you are looking to capture with your search terms, then you are looking at a situation that requires quality over quantity. You want the big chocolate bar; the one keyword or phrase that sets your media release apart from other similar items from competitors or general industry news. In this instance, a more targeted approach is better, such as brand names, legislation numbers, or very specific key phrases. You can also pair a case sensitive proper noun with a broader word to ratchet the focus in even narrower. Think “Scharffen Berger semi-sweet,” “Ghiradelli hot chocolate,” and “Lindt truffles” as opposed to the generic “chocolate.”
The Mini Chocolate Technique – These individually wrapped morsels are the happy medium, plenty to share, but satisfies that cocoa-craving. Again the brand names offer some ideas, with M&M or Reese’s being examples of an overarching term that may capture many more specific references. The little candy coated chocolate boasts a number of varieties these days, including milk chocolate, white chocolate, peanuts, almonds, peanut butter, pretzels, and numerous specialty flavors. In terms of search criteria, you may need to brainstorm some “middle of the road” search criteria to hit this sweet spot. You can also try pairing some broader terms with qualifiers, such as “chocolate AND crisps” or “chocolate AND caramel.”
Now that you are salivating over all of the possibilities, dive into that media monitoring account and make some changes. Focus your search criteria to just what you are looking for in terms of volume and specificity.