A Guide to Media Monitoring Services

Judging by Google search results, many people and brands are looking for more information on media monitoring services. They want to know what it is, what tools are available and examples of how it can help their brands.

Media monitors keep tabs on your brand mentions across all forms of media, so you know when your brand is getting mentioned and by whom. Since media has such a profound impact on consumer opinion, brands use media monitoring services to ensure they’re not taken by surprise. Knowledge is power, and brands use media monitoring as a reputational safeguard by including their media coverage as part of their baseline metrics for well-rounded brand health.

That being the case, we’ll give you the rundown in our guide to media monitoring services so you can make the best decisions for your brand.

And we’ll break down media monitoring with a specific focus on:

  • What media monitoring services are
  • How brands are using media monitoring
  • Criteria for choosing a media monitor

There’s a whole lot of growth going on in the media monitor arena, and for a good reason. Last year gave brands the kick in the pants they needed to address their shortcomings. Take a look at a few figures that we dug up:

  • Globally, the media monitoring services market stood at $2.74B in 2020. Brands and businesses were hungry for media intel during the pandemic, as evidenced by an annual growth rate of 10.6% over 2019.
  • Experts think there’s still a lot of gas in the media monitor tank as they predict the market to grow to $7.25B in 2028 at a CAGR of 13.2%.
  • The ability to strengthen your crisis management strategy is a big reason that brands are piling into the media monitor PwC’s Global Crisis Survey found that 95% of business leaders feel that their crisis management strategies could use an upgrade.

As you can see from the numbers above, media monitoring is hot right now. Let’s pick it apart a little bit.

complete guide to media and market intelligence

What are Media Monitoring Services?

Anyone who has a vested interest in how they or their brand is portrayed in the media can benefit from media monitoring services to keep them up to date on where and when they are getting talked about.

And we’re not just talking social media either – that’s comparatively new. Media monitors are used across every conceivable media type, including print, radio, broadcast television, digital news media, blogs and, of course, social.

As we noted above, brands are thirsty for media monitoring services on the heels of the coronavirus pandemic where most everyone was having to modify their business model. With new information, misinformation, and disinformation flooding media channels, it became necessary for brands to keep up with the news cycles and their brand mentions so they could strategize ahead of the torrent.

Talking points in the media were changing so fast that many brands struggled to stay ahead of disruptive consumer beliefs, lockdown measures and impacts to supply chains.

All that to say, the pandemic put a microscope on the importance of media monitoring services. But it’s not a new idea – not by a long shot.

The first iteration of media monitoring services was known as clipping services since they solely dealt with print journalism. And that’s because that’s all that existed back then. The first and most successful example of a clipping agency was formed in 1852 by a man named Henry Romeike, a Polish newsagent, in London.

Early clientele mainly consisted of artists, musicians, writers and politicians wanting to keep tabs on where they were getting talked about. These services would manually scour publications for mentions of their clients, clip them out and mail them to them.

The-first-and-most-successful-example-of-a-clipping-agency-was-formed-in-1852

Obviously, this process was labor-intensive and exposed to human error. In an article published in 1922 by Romeike’s son Georges, he mentions that his firm went through 1,500 newspapers every day using between 30 and 50 readers. They had to memorize thousands of names and topics of interest that pertained to their clients. Sounds exhausting, right?

Fortunately for us, media monitoring has advanced light years thanks to artificial intelligence. Whether you’re on the hunt for brand mentions or media with category influence, modern media monitoring services cast a wide net to capture everything. Let’s explore that a little bit.

How Brands Use Media Monitoring

Media monitoring services are still primarily used by PR firms. Still, it can and should be used by everyone for the ultimate in brand health and category awareness. Social media analytics are fabulous, but they’re only one piece of the media puzzle. Traditional media still influences your consumers’ choices, and you have to know how you are getting talked about as it happens. Additionally, holistic media monitoring allows you to track media mentions on subjects that affect your category, so your situational awareness is razor-sharp.

For instance, if President Biden’s proposed infrastructure bill could potentially impact or disrupt your brand, you need to stay on top of the conversation. Media monitoring services draw in everything published on the subject so you can break it down to a granular level.

Here we’ve drawn in top and mid-tier news publications in the U.S. broaching the subject in the last two months. In addition to breaking it down by source quality, we’ve also segmented it by source category as well for a bird’s eye view of how the conversation is playing out.

517-conversations

As you can see, if your brand needed to track movement, brand mentions and outcomes with this conversation and you were relying only on national and international news sources, you’d still be remarkably ill-informed on the nature of the conversation. That’s because the lion’s share is happening in trade and research journals. And that’s where publishers are getting ultra-specific on impacts that could affect your category.

Brands, institutions, and governments use media monitoring services to ask tough questions and measure the scope of media conversations relevant to their success. And they do this for several reasons. First and foremost, media monitoring services in tandem with social media analytics offer brands the most robust window into their brand health.

Secondly, brands seeking first-mover opportunities need a concrete understanding of media coverage to accurately identify market movements and whitespace opportunities.

Every brand and institution has challenges they are facing that they need answers to. And suppose your analytics tools aren’t up to the task. In that case, an agency can be employed to help you decipher media coverage so you can arrive at answers to your target questions.

For example, The Brunswick Group, an agency serving clients with global interests, used the media monitor capabilities within NetBase Quid to provide actionable media intelligence on the scope and direction of the plastics conversation for a particular client. This type of intel allows brands to see where emerging trends impact their industry – and their brand. It’s market intelligence that enables brands to shift with the tides of global thought.

plastic-conversations

As you can see in the above infographic, the brand implications are glaring. The media is what your consumers are reading. And since the bulk of the plastics conversation revolves around bans, reduction pledges, marine pollution and recycling, your brand would need to seriously consider messaging that lets consumers, and other brands you work with, know that you are mindfully addressing these issues. That way, you’re always on the right side of emerging trends in the global narrative.

Let’s discuss some things to keep in mind, whether you’re a do-it-yourselfer or outsourcing to a media monitoring service.

Criteria for Choosing a Media Monitor

As with any data analysis, accuracy is paramount. And that very much depends on how comprehensive your tools can get. After all, if you’re not able to cast a wide net, then you’re working with a dataset that can’t tell you the whole story.

To give you some perspective, NetBase News scours LexisNexis News and provides access to:

  • Over 90,000 total sources from 96 languages.
  • 5-3 million articles per day originating from news coverage from a total of 226 countries.
  • Access to 27 months of historical news data.

Extensive coverage that mines the news media across the globe helps to ensure that if it’s being talked about, you’re picking up on it. Additionally, NetBase News provides complete domain coverage with full-text articles. It even includes stories hidden behind paywalls for the ultimate in accessibility.

And in today’s global economy, speed to insight is of the essence. So, whether you are monitoring your brand mentions, seeking answers to category questions or staying sharp on your competitor monitoring, you want to get access to information as fast as you can.

For example, a few keywords put us on top of Tesla’s global brand news in moments, so we know where the conversation is taking place. And it gives us the ability to filter extensively for a deep dive into every aspect of the media coverage.

As you can see, it’s critical for you to know who the DailyMail is for your brand – especially in a crisis situation.

That’s where being your own data analyst can give you a leg up versus farming out your media monitor needs. It literally takes minutes to tune into brand coverage worldwide, so you have the whole story. And from there, you can assess sentiment, sentiment drivers, traction, authors, geo regions, etc., so you see every hue of the conversation.

Additionally, the monitoring capabilities within the Quid product’s news and blogs dataset transform thousands of news stories into visuals representing how various media narratives relate to each other. You can also track topic movement in the media over time and discover how these stories resonate with readers.

The most common use cases for Quid’s narrative mapping capabilities are:

  • Understanding brand perceptions in the media
  • Strategic communications planning
  • Identifying key opinion leader coverage
  • Event and issue monitoring

Speed to accurate insight is what you are after, whether you’re seeking out-of-house media monitoring services or looking to become your own media monitor. It also helps if your tools are designed to work together flawlessly.

Regardless of where you are getting your media intelligence from, insist on accuracy, extensive coverage, transparency and speed. At the pace of today’s market, it’s the gold standard for media intelligence.

Do you feel confident in how your brand handles media coverage? Reach out for a demo, and we’ll give you a test drive of the analytics tools that top agencies use for their clients’ media monitoring services.

complete guide to media and market intelligence

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