At your Monday meeting, your boss says she wants you to start monitoring online media for your organization. You think “Great, I already have so many other projects on my plate! How am I going to fit this one into the mix, too?!?” Not to worry. I have some ideas to help you monitor traditional or social media with just 15 minutes a day.
Here are a few pointers on how you can get started:
Monday – Write down the top items that you need monitored most. Maybe it’s your company name, the CEO, and the name of your company’s spokesperson – these would get you most of the traditional media mentions with just three quick online searches. How many results do you get? Ten hits in the last month or maybe more like 1,000 results in the last 24 hours. If it is the former, you may be able to manage gathering the results on your own within the 15 minutes per day timeframe. If it is the latter, you may look into using a monitoring service to help you aggregate, organize, and disseminate the daily chatter.
Tuesday – If you only found a handful of clips in your initial search, then repeat your search and see if anything new has come up. Then you can record your findings for the day in an email and send it off to your colleagues. If you missed something, someone on your team is bound to tell you and you can revise your searches moving forward.
If you were flooded with clips, then today would be a great day to set up some sort of online tool to help you manage the monitoring. (CustomScoop offers a free two week trial or there are several other services you can contact. There are even free online tracking services like Google Alerts.) In your 15 minute window today, set up a trial with a monitoring company. Use the list you created yesterday as a springboard for search criteria and consider adding a few key issues for your industry or a competitor’s name just to see what sort of results you get for comparison.
Wednesday – Review your results thus far. Are you happy with what you’ve found? If not, try tweaking the search criteria you are using, such as alternate spellings for names or common misspellings. If you are getting flooded with results, try limiting the original search terms by adding a key phrase from a recent press release, or pairing the term with other more specific industry language.
Thursday – Take your 15 minutes today to review your results for the day and perhaps seek out the opinion of someone else on your team. They may suggest other items to track or ways you could search online. If you set up a media monitoring account, then you could contact customer service for help tightening up your keywords or utilizing their suite of tools to analyze the results in the dashboard.
Friday – In your 15 minutes today, compile what you have learned into an executive summary-style report. If you had a few clips per day then you can compile these into a newsletter format, perhaps providing the title, byline, and a brief summary or excerpt for each clip.
If your search criteria returned a large amount of clips, try using a bulleted list to touch on the top five trends you saw in the results and provide a volume chart with the daily totals. Alternately you could report on the most notable five to ten results in terms of size of the publication, tone of the article, or number of reprints of the story.
Saturday & Sunday – Enjoy your weekend!
Monday – Before the meeting with your boss, do a quick check to see what happened with your search terms over the weekend. Use part of your 15 minute window to jot down any changes to your Friday report. Then take your findings to the boss. Should you continue looking for the results the way you did last week or alter your approach? Maybe it’s time to widen your search criteria, or add in alternative sources like social media.
In a week, with just 15 minutes a day, you started a media monitoring regimen. With an hour and a half of your valuable time invested, you have compiled a baseline report and have a great head start on developing a robust monitoring program.