It seems as if every day brings new information sources. Public relations professionals regularly lament the lack of time available to consume all of the good content out there — or even to identify what’s worth reading.
A good media monitoring program can help. Rather than hopping from site to site to access a random firehose of information, effective media monitoring allows you to tailor your results to just the content that’s most likely to be of immediate interest.
Here are some things that you should focus on when setting up a media monitoring feed to combat information overload:
- Zero in on the most relevant topics. Use your search terms to uncover articles about your organization, leaders, competitors, and industry. Think about what’s a “can’t miss” story and refine your keywords to hone in on these pieces.
- Configure alerts for the most important stories. Don’t wait to see mentions of your CEO until you login to your account. By creating email notifications for urgent stories like these, you can stay a step ahead of the game.
- Be realistic about what’s “urgent.” It can be tempting to act like every story is a priority. That’s not the case. You need to have clear criteria to separate the wheat from the chaff in order to maximize your time benefit.
- Create different buckets of search terms. Sort out your media monitoring keywords so that have a group that you must look at every day, along with the nice-to-haves and a broader bucket for days when you have more time to peruse potentially interesting content.
- Share your results among the full team. Too often teams reinvent the wheel by having everyone looking at the same set of sources or the same raw media monitoring results. By creating formal executive news briefings or informal lists of links to share with your team, you’ll all save time.
- Ignore simple mentions. If you’re looking to reduce your time commitment, use your media monitoring platform to skip over stories that just mention your search term in passing. You want to allocate your time to the stories that have greater keyword density and thus are more likely to be truly relevant.
- Utilize advanced search criteria. Take advantage of the ability to limit searches by requiring multiple keywords to appear, looking at capitalization, and using words to exclude certain stories.
- Focus on certain publications. Use your search criteria or reports to identify stories in targeted publications that matter most to you. These can go into your “can’t miss” bucket.
- Leverage geography and language. Don’t speak Dutch? Then don’t bother looking at those articles. Is your target market limited to certain states or countries? Limit your searches to those areas.
What other tricks do you have to limit information overload by leveraging your media monitoring solution?