The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) is a UK trade organisation for the one-to-one marketing industry – those companies that speak directly to their customers and the businesses that help them to achieve this. The DMA also holds industry events, conducts research and publishes reports, lobbies for legislation to support its members’ business practices and, since its merger with the Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing (IDM) in 2015, it also offers a full range of expert training.
Any successful communications department must be able to ensure stakeholders are informed about the goings on in the industry, as well as the company. For an industry-wide membership organisation this is particularly challenging and only a superhuman would be able to monitor every significant news outlet for every relevant topic or keyword. Not only this, but we know that different stakeholders in such a broad business have different focus areas and content they’re interested in monitoring.
Keeping track of the media and influencers that a body like the DMA wants to engage with and listen to can also be incredibly challenging. The DMA’s Group Head of PR, Tim Bond, commented: “Just having a list of media contacts isn’t that useful when you’re looking for journalists that know about a specific story, for example about consumer data protection legislation. We need to be able to see who has written about specific topics in order to make sure we’re engaging the right media audiences on any given campaign. Meltwater allows us to do that.”
“We can’t afford to live without a media monitoring platform, but Meltwater goes one step further and connects our media monitoring needs to the influencers we want to engage.”
Tim’s favourite Meltwater feature is the ‘Influencer Contact Database’, an application that is integrated into Meltwater’s media monitoring platform. “I’m able to identify and target journalists and influencers at a national level who are interested in covering our key messages with a simple swipe.”
Meltwater’s industry shaking Natural Processing Language (NLP) feature is a unique solution built to overcome those pesky generic ‘beat’ assignments.
Keyword searching based on content previously covered by an influencer, as well as beats, enables the DMA to create up to date distribution lists in real time and ensure tailored, targeted and relevant PR outreach which generates maximum impact with minimum effort.
“If we didn’t have Meltwater we would have no choice but to rely on Google Alerts to know what’s being said and by who. I’ve tried this before, it doesn’t really work.”
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PR tools shouldn’t monopolise working hours, but rather optimise them. “Every morning, I receive a daily digest of coverage from the past 24 hours straight to my inbox or phone allowing me to monitor stories as they unfold,” Bond, explained. Meltwater’s morning reports allow users to save valuable time by gaining a quick snapshot of the media landscape over their morning coffee.
Users have the option to customise frequency of media monitoring reports. Tim commented, “I prefer a wrap up overview of content to be sent in the morning as I consider myself to be a ‘checker’, so receiving the feed in this format helps me to better manage my time”. Others prefer to receive as it happens media alerts, or threshold reports so if there’s ever a spike in or negative sentiment they are alerted to the situation before a full on crisis develops. Often our clients wish to receive reports; Meltwater supports them with a fully flexible and tailored solution.
Sitting firmly in the ‘anti-AVE’ camp, Tim discussed the alternative to using this metric to measure PR ROI. Whilst he admitted the solution isn’t necessarily universal, it can be applied to many companies. “I think it’s important to use a media monitoring tool to compare volume of coverage and reach in order to gain a better idea of scale and whether impressions have been generated by big placements of coverage or smaller ones,” Tim explains. “The ability to analyse the sentiment and influencers that are writing about us is useful too. Meltwater’s influencer contact database helps us do all this and build long lasting relationships with the influencers we need to engage.”