Media monitoring comes in for its fair share of criticism. And thanks to the connected world of today, many organisations have tools freely available to do their own monitoring. But does this really give them the value that a dedicated monitoring and analysis agency would provide?
Media monitoring is one of those things that, at face value, seems easy to do. However, it actually requires specialist skills to extract all the business benefits from it. Keeping track of what is being said about a company or brand, their industry of operations or specific topics of interest, and even their competitors can provide a much-needed competitive advantage.
As technology has evolved, so has monitoring agencies moved beyond providing the standard 'cut and paste' offerings of the past, to detailed analysis on what the impact of positive and negative coverage can have on a company. However, as with many things, technology has also made some monitoring and analysis agencies a bit lazy to move beyond automation and still retain that important human touch.
Automated analysis and clipping generation might be able to save some time and resources, but having specialists involved in the process who really understand and implement a proper methodology can mean the difference between success or failure for clients.
Organisations (and public relations firms) understand that performing online searches for coverage and buying the daily newspapers when they expect coverage to appear in them might be a quick fix. But the long-term business benefits of using a specialist agency to perform this critical function, is far better.
Very much like a medical aid, monitoring and analysis is something you would rather have and not need to use, than need it and be stuck without it. And like a medical aid, you want to know that when you need it the service is there and it is exactly what you have been expecting.
The value of this especially rises to prominence in times of crisis communication. When it is battle stations in terms of repairing damage done to the corporate brand, the last thing an organisation wants is to waste time conducting its own research and analysis. Some of the really good monitoring and analysis agencies will even be able to predict the onset of a crisis just by carefully scrutinising the existing coverage and picking up on reporting trends in both traditional and digital media.
Embrace the new world
It is vital that those agencies who really want to be successful in the market, be prepared to go the extra mile in terms of customer service and value-added offerings. As with any industry, a competitive market means competition is fierce and organisations are not as brand loyal as they used to be. Going above and beyond what is required and developing customised solutions to meet the unique needs of an organisation or public relations firm is essential.
So monitoring and analysis agencies need to embrace the new world of reporting and be prepared to do things a bit differently to provide full value for their services. Their future depends on it.