5 Questions Every PR Pro Should Ask of Their Media Coverage

December 07, 2021 by Leela Bozonelis

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When a company or organization begins to monitor its media coverage, it’s merely the first step in the large and ongoing process of converting that information into useable intelligence. Equally important to being able to set up search queries, are the questions that every public relations and communications professional should ask about their ongoing media coverage. Here are five prompts to inspire your thinking.

What does success look like? In the initial planning stage of your media relations campaign, be sure that your creative strategy identifies what you want to measure. Create a list of desired outcomes—e.g., overall media coverage, total number of social posts, over/under sentiment score, key messages communicated—that clearly outlines what success looks like for your campaign. Importantly, be sure this list reflects the metrics that matter most to your leadership team. Failing to create such a plan can be a strategic oversight and results in no clear way to demonstrate the success of your campaign.

Why did coverage spike on this day? A spike in media coverage can occur for any number of reasons. Whether it’s related to a regularly scheduled earnings release or a piece of breaking news, you will want to understand why this spike occurred. Within Nexis Newsdesk™, users can view their media coverage over a wide range of dates. When a spike occurs, simply click on the spike to view the top stories, active sources, who was mentioned in the conversation, sentiment and more in greater detail. This will help you quickly identify how impactful each news spike is to your overall business—and jump more quickly from analysis to actionable insights.

Who’s sharing it (and what are they saying)? Knowing when an article was shared can be critical in terms of building engagement within your target audience, identifying reputational threats or unearthing potential influencers to target for future campaigns. Newsdesk offers pre-built analysis dashboards that can help you hone in on the news that’s garnering the most interest online, the hashtags that are being used, and the personalities and profiles behind the coverage. Gathering all these insights into a single dashboard saves valuable time and effort, which can be vital to identifying a reputational threat or opportunity to be part of a larger conversation.

What do my results mean within the context of my industry? An important part of any media monitoring effort is understanding how your company or brand’s results stack up within your competitive landscape, big industry picture and overall market conditions. Does your organization have more or less media coverage than your next nearest competitor? Is that coverage more or less positive/negative/neutral? How frequently are your key messages or company leadership quoted in top tier media outlets serving your industry? How well do your strategic priorities align with the topics being covered—and conversed about—among analysts or trade media? With this data in hand, you will be able to measure the overall effectiveness of your campaign or coverage, which in turn can inform ongoing strategic communication goals and objectives.

How do I benchmark results against future media coverage? Gathering data and analyzing media coverage is only the first step. You need to benchmark your data against key metrics for your industry, competitors as well as your own additional media campaigns. Additionally, you need to follow through with creative, insightful analytics that help to assign a value to your media coverage. This is crucial given the need to show measurable return on investment when it comes to business decisions. A good place to start is by running a 7-, 30-, 60- and 90-day comparison of key metrics, which will provide a granular view into current conditions. Then, consider applying the same search parameters to past coverage to understand how your specific media landscape has evolved over time. Newsdesk can deliver results within the last five years, making an historical benchmarking effort all the easier.

Asking the right questions can be just as important as the answers that they provide. Luckily, the business-building data and insights offered by Newsdesk allows professionals access to tools that can help them achieve these key understandings. To learn more, contact us today.