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International Rescue Committee

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) is one of the largest humanitarian aid organizations in the world. To support its work of helping refugees in 40 countries around the world rebuild their lives, it uses Meltwater’s robust PR solutions to help it generate and sustain media attention on humanitarian crises and its work on the ground.

Meltwater enables the IRC to:

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Align global teams

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Onboard 40 team members within four days

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Analyze media coverage across 40 countries in 21 languages

Hope Arcuri, Senior Communications Officer for the IRC, chose Meltwater for the organization after demoing nearly 20 PR tools. “I can tell you that Meltwater has some capabilities that truly no other tool in the industry has,” she says. “From AI capabilities with sentiment analysis to insight reports that really click in on data that you're looking for to consultancy help on the side with projects you might be doing, with Meltwater we’re able to really turbocharge, innovate, be extremely efficient, collaborate, and know what we're all doing at the same time.”

The Meltwater Suite gives the IRC the analytics and collaborative tools it needs to make sure refugees are not forgotten.

Real-time collaboration tools for international teams

The first step to optimizing PR strategies? Getting everyone on the same page. For the IRC, that meant aligning a communications team across time zones and languages. Before Meltwater, it relied on static timesheets and inconvenient meetings to coordinate the organization’s media outreach efforts. “A lot of early mornings or late nights, we would have to translate things on our own,” says Arcuri. “It was disjointed, it was hard to work together, and it felt like we were kind of stuck in 1995.” 

Now, 40 communications and PR professionals in the United States, United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Germany, Sweden, and South Korea use Meltwater's media relations platform to collaborate seamlessly. Shareable dashboards and instant translation tools keep everyone in the loop of what each other is doing. 

The ability to manage multiple markets within one tool is a feature the IRC hasn’t been able to find anywhere else among the many PR solutions it’s tried. “This is the first time we found something, where I can know what my Swedish colleague is doing, even when she's offline, and she can know what our UK colleagues are doing even when they're offline,” says Arcuri. “Being able to track who is reaching out to who, and which press releases are going where, and who is running which insight reports — all on whatever time zone is best for us — has been really transformational for such a global team.” Without catch-up meetings and doubled efforts, the IRC has more capacity to add more great people to its communications department. As Arcuri explains, “We have more time to actually hire them.”

“Meltwater has capabilities that truly no other tool in the industry has, from the ability to have simultaneous workflows from different markets in different time zones to AI capabilities to Insight Reports. There's just so much that you can get out of Meltwater that you can't get out of other tools.”

Hope Arcuri, Senior Communications Officer, IRC

Efficient, hassle-free onboarding

Meltwater’s customer support and educational assets ensure the IRC wastes no time bringing new team members into the fold. “The really cool thing about Meltwater is they try to make the onboarding as efficient as humanly possible,” Arcuri explains. “They have certifications and recordings so that you can get your team up to speed. They also have a lot of consultants available to help you learn the tool.”

Meltwater representatives provided the IRC with a variety of training formats and resources to match each team member’s needs. These include live and recorded sessions that gave everyone the chance to engage no matter what time zone they were in. As a result, Arcuri’s entire 40-person team became adept at using the Meltwater Suite within four days, leaving more time to work on more ambitious PR initiatives. 

“I think Meltwater knows none of us have time, so we have to figure out a way to make this quick and easy,” Arcuri says. “As far as the efficiency and time saved using the tool versus how long it took us to get onboarded, it was totally worth it.”

Attention-grabbing data analytics and optimized media outreach

With Meltwater, the IRC has the powerful media monitoring and analysis capabilities it needs to keep the world’s attention on critical humanitarian crises. It uses the media intelligence platform to monitor and measure media coverage within its eight priority markets across the globe. The platform’s robust share of voice analytics help it understand which crises are being underreported and benchmark how much of that coverage mentions the IRC compared to its peer nonprofits. 

Meltwater's sentiment analysis tools let the IRC evaluate how well that coverage is supporting its overall mission. “We really want to dignify our clients, so we want to see, is the news coverage showing that?” explains Arcuri. “One of our values at the International Rescue Committee is optimism, and we use Meltwater's AI capabilities to see if that optimism is coming through.”

The breadth and depth of Meltwater’s data allowed Arcuri and her team to undertake the ambitious project of analyzing global media coverage of 20 different humanitarian crises over one year to understand how they compare. With the help of Meltwater data analysts, the IRC uncovered the shocking statistic that only 1% of global media coverage focused on these crises. 

Meanwhile, the strength of the compiled data appealed to journalists at major news outlets who cited it in stories, generating significant buzz about the need for more media coverage of these crises. “We need Meltwater every day to help us make it possible for the American public, or the UK public, or the Swedish public to understand what's going on around the world, who needs help, and the situations that really innocent civilians are in,” Arcuri explains. With each story published, Meltwater helps the IRC establish itself as a relevant and trusted leader in its field. 

Along with allowing the IRC to crunch the numbers on media coverage, Meltwater also gives the organization the data it needs to iterate on its past efforts. PR reporting and analytics tools show Arcuri and her team the direct impacts of their outreach initiatives. They use Insight Reports to understand which press releases and stories delivered the best quality media exposure and the highest share of voice. From there, they are better able to shape their communications strategies moving forward. 

More Insights in Less Time

“Using those insights to be more strategic has saved so many hours,” Arcuri says. “Meltwater genuinely takes 10 hours of work and puts it into a minute. So if you multiply that by our whole team, we've saved a lot of hours.”