How Meltwater’s custom reporting services inform Western Union’s brand strategy
When a company as prominent as Western Union assesses its reputation, it needs something far beyond a bird’s-eye view. As the world leader in remittances and money transfers — with more than 550,000 agent locations in over 200 countries and territories worldwide — the company has a vast online presence, racking up around 80,000 media and social media mentions every month. Meltwater’s extensive data sets and in-house human analysts are the perfect solutions for Western Union’s communications and brand management requirements. Before Meltwater, Western Union’s social listening, analytics, and insight department found it difficult to access and make sense of the ocean of relevant data generated each day. “The ability to interpret and create a narrative around that data, to understand the true impact, is critical to Western Union and other large Fortune 500 companies,” says Evan Escobedo, the department’s global lead. “Meltwater helps us truly understand not just the outputs and outcomes but also the impact our messages have and how they align to our business priorities.”
Meltwater enables Western Union to:
Manage its reputation on a global scale
Measure the impact of its communications against key internal objectives
Stay on top of industry changes with customized reports and human analysis
“Meltwater is a full package. Being able to have the platform and the professional services organization that you can trust is why I enjoy working with them so much.”
Evan Escobedo, Social Listening, Analytics & Insight Global Lead, Western Union
Brand management that spans the globe
Established more than 170 years ago, the Western Union brand has an international notability that requires 24/7 management across every time zone. Escobedo and his team need a solution that can track and evaluate the brand’s reputation across broadcast news, digital news, blog forums, and review sites as well as a multitude of social media platforms. Meltwater’s media monitoring and social listening solution, Explore, ensures the team never misses a tweet.
The platform’s real-time analysis — from the sentiment of conversations across social channels to how influential the authors of top mentions are — eliminates the need for time-consuming data-gathering processes. Instead, Escobedo and his team can focus on in-depth analysis, using geographic region filters, competitor share of voice comparisons, and keyword clouds to pick up on different pockets of conversations about Western Union worldwide.
Western Union also uses the Meltwater platform as a crisis detection solution. Spike alerts for flagged keywords and topics help to identify potential brand perception risks early with insights that inform any necessary response. As an industry leader, those features benefit the company doubly. Early alerts about natural disasters, humanitarian crises, and other world events help the company tailor its messaging proactively for audiences in relevant regions.
Measuring the true impact of messaging
With campaign monitoring, Western Union’s communications teams can align their outputs with overarching business priorities. This was especially true when it came to Western Union’s 2021 release of its environmental, social, and governance, or ESG, strategy report.
Measuring and understanding public reaction to the campaign was crucial to informing how Escobedo and his team should roll out similar initiatives in the future. They used Explore’s custom dashboards and interactive analytics graphs to understand critical details at a glance, like conversation sentiments, report coverage, and whether or not top-tier publications and industry leaders had weighed in. Quick conversion of dashboards into shareable slides meant that Western Union’s analysis, branding, marketing, and comms teams could easily collaborate and strategize from a comprehensive, integrated set of data. No scrambling from tool to tool is needed.
Hand in hand with custom dashboards, custom reporting enabled Escobedo’s team to communicate results more efficiently to key stakeholders and decision-makers. "The needs and expectations of the C-suite have changed tremendously when it comes to media monitoring, analysis, and insights,” Escobedo explains. “When it comes to presenting just a graph of the number of mentions over time, they won't spend any time looking at that. They want to see if we are influencing the conversation and how? What is our reputation? And what does it mean to our business and our business priorities?”
With crucial information, business priorities, and teams aligned, Western Union was able to speed up the process of taking its communications from tactics to strategy and from data to narrative.
Capitalizing on custom reports and professional services
No matter what happens, global money movement never stops. To keep up, Western Union needs the ability to respond to and evolve with industry, company, and audience changes in real-time. Meltwater enterprise professional services allow Escobedo to increase his team’s capacity without having to increase its size.
When they need bespoke frameworks for measuring the impacts of everything from new press releases to campaign rollouts, they rely on Meltwater professional services to deliver with quick turnarounds. With conversations about Western Union happening around the world non-stop, it makes sure they are capable of identifying opportunities and risks at the speed modern communications require.
More than an external resource, Meltwater’s professional services work in sync with Escobedo’s operations at Western Union. They collaborated to customize a scoring model for Western Union that measures the true sentiment and prominence of media mentions in conjunction with traditional metrics like volume and reach. “We see them as an extension of our team — tremendously reliable and responsive,” Escobedo says. “If I have an urgent need, I can always count on them to come back quickly with a response, whether it’s some in-depth analysis or creating a custom alert.”