We have definitely come a long way when it comes to monitoring and measuring the results of our PR and communications campaigns. In my first PR role as a Junior Account Executive at a PR agency 16 years ago, media monitoring meant meticulously reading piles of newspapers and magazines and watching videotapes of the 6pm TV news bulletins for brand mentions of our clients (with a coffee or two, of course!).
Changing media landscape
Then, the proliferation of content on the internet and social media and the uptake of smartphones happened. It was when I truly felt the transformation of the media and PR landscape. This is how Meltwater came to be almost 20 years ago: A technology company setting out to transform media monitoring at a time when online coverage really took off.
News can break from inside an aircraft on the other side of the world via a passenger from Melbourne using Twitter on their way to their overseas experience. News can break from a Sydney-based social influencer sitting at a cafe as they live-stream a citizen’s arrest on their smartphone on Instagram.
So not only do we have to monitor and measure the impact of our work – we have more channels and news sources to monitor. And we have to race against the clock more than ever to do so. Journalists and the general public continue to use newer, faster, real-time channels to communicate from anywhere.
But it doesn’t matter how many new social channels, new media sources, new social influencers or bloggers emerge. The need for monitoring and measuring the impact of our communications strategy still remains a crucial part of what we do.
Transitioning from media monitoring to media intelligence using AI
What we do need is a better way to monitor and measure our work faster, easier and more effectively. It is crucial that we continue to evolve our PR and communications strategies in a landscape that continues to be disrupted by technology (I’m all for ways to make our work life much easier!).
We need to go beyond media monitoring to media intelligence and we too can take advantage of technology to do this, thanks to artificial intelligence.
Artificial intelligence makes it possible for our media intelligence platform to learn from experience, adjust to new workflows and perform human-like tasks. You’ve seen this in action before – for example on Netflix. Netflix uses AI to learn from your viewing history and predict content you may like. Similarly, if you type in ‘Tesla’ as a search term or keyword, our platform will recommend other keywords from recent news articles such as ‘Elon Musk’.
We use a variety of AI technology for our platform, such as:
Machine learning: The ability to learn and improve without being explicitly programmed to do so. It means AI creates a better user experience.
Natural language processing: Makes it possible for programs to process and analyse large amounts of natural (human) language data, including text (such as from news articles).
And combined with our local experts, engineers and local account managers – this enables us to help our clients to easily go beyond media monitoring to media intelligence. In turn, we can help our clients enhance their PR and communications strategies:
1. We too can be data-driven
To be able to stay on top of both media coverage and social media conversations in real-time is even more crucial now. I know you’re thinking you’ve heard all this before but I’m talking about a real-time solution that captures social media conversations as well as local and global media coverage across newspapers, magazines, paywall content, radio, TV, online and social, all in one place. It doesn’t matter if the news is local – if it’s relevant, timely and topical – you’ll see it appear on overseas media as well as shared on social channels by anyone anywhere. And there are plenty of examples of how one tweet or social post can generate media coverage, raise brand awareness and inspire action #gretathunberg.
2. Insights to action quickly
Imagine you’re a PR agency professional and you’ve seen a negative article on a potential client. Imagine jumping into a platform and in a few clicks – you can see online coverage and social media conversations for this brand in relation to this negative article and within minutes, you’ve got the lay of the land to come up with a recommendation. Or, you’re an in-house PR professional on the train to work and an alert pops up on your smartphone about a negative article so by the time your CEO or spokesperson contacts you, you’ve already come up with a draft statement. AI-powered media intelligence can do this and more.
3. See the bigger picture in a few clicks
For me personally, this is what I love most about media intelligence – especially when I was a solo in-house PR professional managing day-to-day activities as well as thinking long-term strategy. It was too easy to get bogged down by the day-to-day but very motivating and exciting when you can see the impact of your PR campaigns holistically in real-time alongside trends in your industry, changes to your audience’s perception of your brand, and being able to adapt your strategy as you go. Over the years, I’ve used media intelligence to help create award submissions, brainstorm topics for opinion pieces, newsjacking opportunities, acquiring new PR agency clients, assess sponsorship proposals, research keywords for SEO and SEM and prevented an issue from turning into a crisis in the media/social media.
PR and Communications professionals can take advantage of the power of AI to transform their strategy and use this for competitive advantage. Feel free to get in touch if you’d like to chat about how we can help take you from media monitoring to media intelligence.