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Vocus White Paper




Analyzing the Media Landscape for
Strategic Advantage
Vocus White Paper                                                                                                         ...
Vocus White Paper                                                                                                         ...
Vocus White Paper                                                                                                         ...
Vocus White Paper                                                                                                         ...
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Analyzing Media Landscape Strategic Advantage

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How can news monitoring be used to gain a competitive advantage for the company? Monitoring the news and current headlines keeps the company in-tune with the industry, the big players and the current trends. Through media monitoring, PR professionals can uncover new trends for product directors, gather market and competitive activity for the executive team, discover customer satisfaction blogs and messages for the head of customer service and demonstrate a value to the business beyond their traditional role. This whitepaper will offer tips and techniques to analyze the media landscape and how to apply it not just to public relations campaigns but to gain a strategic advantage for the company. Read more free whitepapers: http://bit.ly/drw458

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Analyzing Media Landscape Strategic Advantage

  1. 1. Vocus White Paper Analyzing the Media Landscape for Strategic Advantage
  2. 2. Vocus White Paper 1 Analyzing the Media Landscape for Strategic Advantage Analyzing the Media Landscape for Strategic Advantage Ever have a reporter tell you they loved the information you sent, which is why they posted the news earlier that day? Watched your product director get blindsided by a new product from your biggest competitor? Seen the look of surprise from your CMO when he realized the company’s reputation among key influencers has slipped? Been there when the CFO missed hearing about investors looking for companies in your industry? Scanning the headlines and reading industry articles has always been an integral part of everyday public relations. In fact, it has been engrained in most PR professionals from the day they began their career to “read your publications,” “track your industry” and “look for trends.” While the traditional value of news monitoring is clear--identify new opportunities, increase coverage and know your reporters--the value to the company is much greater. While traditionally media monitoring has been used to track the company’s news coverage, including how many mentions it has received and how much buzz has been generated, when used correctly, today’s media landscape provides the means for a much more powerful assessment. The information gathered through the news, such as new products on the market, effective messages with consumers and the organization’s ranking within the industry, can prove to be invaluable in other areas of the business as well. So how can news monitoring be used to gain a competitive advantage for the company? Monitoring the news and current headlines keeps the company in-tune with the industry, the big players and the current trends. Through media monitoring, PR professionals can uncover new trends for product directors, gather market and competitive activity for the executive team, discover customer satisfaction blogs and messages for the head of customer service and demonstrate a value to the business beyond their traditional role. This whitepaper will offer tips and techniques to analyze the media landscape and how to apply it not just to public relations campaigns but to gain a strategic advantage for the company. The Growing Media Landscape As media has moved online, PR professionals are not only monitoring what traditional journalists have to say but are also getting feedback directly from their consumers. With company perceptions flowing onto the Internet, it is now possible to get insight into all aspects of the organization through monitoring both online and offline media. PR professionals can not only track their own reputation but also that of their competition. The rise in consumer-generated media in blogs and other social media forums has led to added insight into customer service problems and other corporate image issues and with no lead time and 24/7 availability, this online move offers access to the information before it reaches the mainstream media. As consumers post entries on everything from customer service to new product announcements to general observations, savvy PR professionals are able to take that valuable information and distribute it throughout their organization to not only gauge the industries’ latest announcements but to learn from the reactions. While PR professionals are learning to maneuver the new media landscape and manage their online reputation, recent studies show that more understanding of the benefits of this new online information source may be necessary: • 72% of PR professionals say they have NO formal system for monitoring buzz in the blogosphere, only 19% say they do (Kent State/BurrellesLuce survey) • 53% agree that measuring and monitoring their reputation is a strategic priority in 2008 (Reputation Management for New Media Survey, Paul Dunay, 2008) • 58% do not have a strategic plan in place to manage its online reputation (Reputation Management for New Media Survey, Paul Dunay, 2008) The information that can be gleaned from the Internet as well as traditional media is invaluable to the company and its position- ing. As companies put solid media monitoring strategies in place, they will find the information necessary to help gauge their current strategies as well as develop a plan for their future approach.
  3. 3. Vocus White Paper 2 Analyzing the Media Landscape for Strategic Advantage Understanding the Landscape Many key areas need to be taken into consideration to develop a sound strategy employing the information PR professionals gather. It is important to establish an understanding of the landscape itself and your organization’s place in it to see what information will be most influential to the company’s future direction. • Competition - Monitoring not only the coverage your company receives but that of the competition will provide a fair evaluation of where the organization falls within the industry. As competitors emerge as the clear “media darlings,” it is important to identify their strengths. Are they using more compelling messages, have they focused on a newsworthy trend? The information you learn can identify what the competition is doing well and why it is working. • Industry - Monitoring the industry as a whole can accomplish two goals, to see how the industry is shifting as well as what trends are emerging. As the industry and trends shift, so do the players within it. For example, new players emerge as industries break into niches. By tracking the industry and these shifts, your company can stay one step ahead of the curve and adjust its message and approach accordingly. • Message and Reach - Traditionally, news coverage has been monitored to see the number of clips and impressions for companies. In today’s world, it is not just about the clips themselves, but the message that resonates. While getting cover- age is important, getting targeted clips that drive home the right message to the right audience is more important to the company’s success. With the addition of social media and online publications, those key messages are now able to reach even further and permeate throughout key industries. Monitoring your company messages will allow the organization to evaluate its media and online perception. Monitoring, Tracking and Evaluating As media has become a 24/7 source of information with new online publications and blogs appearing daily, the importance of determining and understanding what is important to the company is growing. Sifting through articles and postings can sometimes lead to more questions than answers without clearly defined values and an understanding of what is most important for your organization. • News by Source - Print, online publications, broadcast, blogs etc… the media universe is rapidly expanding and with it, so has the coverage area for monitoring. Most PR professionals are familiar with the general tactics for moni- toring traditional media such as print and broadcast, as well as the complications with each. However, monitoring online publications and blogs presents a new challenge. With 1000’s of new outlets appearing online, it is increas- ingly overwhelming to monitor and evaluate each. But, managing and defining the process offers some relief. Get started with a small subset of blogs that are important to the company and/or industry and use them to move forward and grow your online universe. As new blogs are discovered in the company’s industry, determine the impact on the business and therefore, the impact on your strategy. • Announcements to Monitor - Look for insight into the industry as well as into the competition’s strategy. As new products are unveiled and launched, evaluate their effects on the industry and gauge the reaction. This information will serve as reference points for future development for the organization as new services and upgrades are evaluated. Ad- ditionally, monitoring the organization’s news will also provide a gauge of the messages in the market. Has the company’s message resonated? Is the organization gaining momentum with the media? Are your spokespeople seen as authorities? • Monitoring Frequency - The online shift has turned the media into a 24/7 source of information. How frequently you monitor the news depends on your resources and priorities. Every company is different and needs to evaluate their resources. While monitoring in real-time is ideal for the most accurate picture, it is important to set a system that works for your organization. While print and broadcast will appear with less frequency and follow a schedule, online news can happen at any time. Doing a thorough media check each morning and distributing a report to the executives and other interested parties is a good start. Using readily available technologies, PR professionals are able to check throughout the day to stay on top of breaking news that may affect the company. • Evaluating Importance - As with anything, value is determined by the goals of the company. While it is important to get quantity, that cannot replace the quality of the message. Each article must be evaluated for both tone and prominence. As we know, not all outlets and articles are created equal, so why would the front page of a daily newspaper and a brief in an obscure blog with limited readership each count the same? Additionally, not all news is good. What if that front
  4. 4. Vocus White Paper 3 Analyzing the Media Landscape for Strategic Advantage page article spells disaster? The prominence and tone of your coverage makes all the difference. Companies need to not only track where and how often their news appears in an article but assign a value based on the importance of the outlet to the organization and determine if the stories are positive, negative or neutral to get an accurate read for the company. Whether using technology to identify and evaluate articles based on set criteria or having individuals sift through the articles to determine their value, it is important to take the tone and prominence into consideration when deciding on its ultimate impact. Analyzing the Opportunity and Refining your Program Once all the information is gathered, how can it be used to both improve your public relations program and gain control over the media landscape? News monitoring is an integral component to determine where your message has penetrated. Determining which coverage has had the greatest impact and influence shows where efforts are working. By then tracking and comparing the activity and efforts against results, you can gauge what activities are most effective in helping land those messages in stories. Gathering this information allows you to adjust your strategies to mimic the results and maximize your impact. By looking at the outlets and Designated Market Areas (DMA), you can see where they have succeeded and, more importantly, where they need to focus. As PR continues to grow and change, media monitoring will offer you new opportunities with outlets or journalists. Addition- ally, recognizing emerging trends identifies new avenues to pursue to increase your coverage. Sharing Business Insight Distributing a comprehensive report that not only highlights the coverage but puts it in prospective allows the company to truly reap the benefits of media monitoring. • One size does not fit all - Just as with preparing a pitch, it is important to understand your audience’s needs when distributing your reports. Consider what is most im- portant for each audience—PR, sales, product managers and executives—and customize your reporting for what is relevant to each of them. The reports should take into consideration what impacts each business area and offer them insight on doing their job better. While the PR team will be interested in specifics of the coverage, it is less likely that your CEO will be as interested in where the article appears as what it means to the business. It is important to note, reporting not only demonstrates your value but also highlights your understanding of the business. • Put it in Perspective - Packaging and sharing your results correctly will help the different departments within your organization gain insight into their individual goals. While it may be easier to simply forward articles, providing commentary adds context for the news and gives others an understanding of the media landscape allowing them to put the news in perspective. • Quick reference graph and charts - A picture is worth a thousand words and saves a lot of time. Using charts when possible to illustrate your points in the report will provide a quick reference for the results. Graphs and charts also offer powerful reinforcement to the text you provide. • How often to send - The news will dictate the frequency. In other words, send the information as necessary. Base the frequency on both your audience’s needs and the information’s impact. Daily reports are great and will offer insight, but are not always necessary. In fact, deluging your audience with emails can have a negative effect and lead people to begin ignoring valuable content. Getting Started with Today’s Tools Today’s environment offers PR professionals a variety of options for effective media monitoring ranging in cost and benefits. 1. Google and Online News Feeds - Google and other online services provide free tools that will help you monitor your online news. These services offer you the ability to receive email updates based on your choice of query or topic.
  5. 5. Vocus White Paper 4 Analyzing the Media Landscape for Strategic Advantage The service will automatically email you the latest relevant web and news results based on your search terms. These free services offer an affordable way to keep up with online news throughout the day. 2. Professional Service Agencies - Hiring an agency to monitor your news for you offers a very hands-on approach for companies. Typically, these companies perform ongoing searches to track the news you have requested. While not inexpensive, these companies provide a human element to news monitoring. A very thorough method of media monitor- ing, in many cases, they are able to offer human analysis to look at the tone and prominence of each clip. 3. PR Management Systems - Combining elements of the free services and the agencies, today’s leading PR man- agement solutions enable PR professionals to monitor news for the current landscape. PR management systems offer immediate, personalized news results delivered straight to your in-box. With Vocus, for example, you can monitor all of your news from Vocus as well as 3rd party sources such as Google, to get a complete and comprehensive view of the media landscape in one place. These systems also allows PR professionals to easily produce customized reports complete with charts and graphs that dissect news coverage to create a comprehensive picture of the organization’s place within the industry. Conclusion While monitoring the news can seem like a daunting task, when applied to other areas of the business, it can not only boost your public relations campaign but actually help the organization gain an understanding of the position of the business. Monitoring the different mediums using the available tools provides companies with the information they need to stand out from the competition and stay in-tune with the industry, the big players and the current trends. PR professionals are able to use the information they find to paint a complete picture of the industry and their place within it. By sharing that information among other departments, they are able to help give the organization a strategic advantage in its future planning to stay ahead of the competition. About Vocus Founded in 1992 by two entrepreneurs and best friends, Vocus (NASDAQ: VOCS) has grown into one of the world’s largest and fastest growing public software companies. More than 30,000 organizations around the world, ranging from Fortune 500 companies to one-person start-ups, use Vocus products and services to generate publicity and grow their businesses. Vocus software was awarded the prestigious SIIA’s CODiE for “Best Business Productivity Software” and has been featured in The Wall Street Journal and Fortune. We deliver our solutions over the Internet using a secure and scalable platform that allows our customers to eliminate expensive up-front hardware and software.

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