PR, advertising and branding firms have long used media monitoring services to track public opinion on their clients and hot topics. But large datasets of thousands of TV and radio interviews are helping them to build an even clearer picture of what their key audiences are thinking and feeling, which gives them a big business advantage.
Media data has long fuelled the work of companies in branding, advertising and PR. Firms track media mentions of their clients, their clients’ spokespeople, and their clients’ competitors to gain insights on public opinion which could be used to help the business.
Articles from print and online publishers are vital for companies to understand how they are perceived in the media. But if these are considered in combination with broadcast data, a fuller picture emerges. Journalists often follow an editorial line and cherry-pick quotes from a company to support that line. So increasingly, brand and PR firms recognize that transcripts of TV and radio interviews offer more context to what a company is doing and how it is perceived.
Using broadcast data in machine learning applications allows companies to:
Full-text, detailed broadcast transcripts provide a more complete perspective of what is being discussed, allowing companies to spot signs of bias and judge the accuracy of statements.
A number of companies are already using broadcast data to inform their PR strategies. A few years ago, Home Retail Group, which owns major UK retailers Argos and Homebase, noticed the importance of local TV channels in attracting customers to buy from the 1,100 Argos and Homebase shops across the UK.
Home Retail Group trained staff across the country to front campaigns and engage with local TV and radio. "Using a local accent on a broadcast … is an incredibly powerful and cost-effective platform for engaging with our customers," said Chris Wermann, director of corporate affairs at Home Retail Group.
Monitoring broadcast data also gives firms an insight into new markets and audiences for their products. Howard Kosky, CEO at broadcast specialist Markettiers4DC, told PR Week that many PR agencies are missing opportunities by ignoring digital TV and radio channels. He gives the example of Polish Radio London. "If you are trying to reach the growing Polish community it’s got 250,000 listeners, yet many PRs are not even aware of it," he said.
Nike likely looked at broadcast data before deciding to publicly support Colin Kaepernick, the former American football quarterback who began taking a knee during the national anthem to protest police violence against African Americans.
Widely-covered criticisms by high-profile individuals widely seemed to give the impression that associating with Kaepernick would cost the brand customers and investors. Broadcast data, analysed in conjunction with demographics, told a different story. Nike’s primary consumers weren’t turned off by the player protests.
In the days after Nike’s advert about Kaepernick aired in September 2018, the media widely shared news of people burning their Nike trainers and declaring a boycott. Once again, the sensationalism surrounding these protests painted a grim picture, but deeper analysis again revealed a more complete picture.
Within three weeks, Nike estimated that it had made an extra $6 million.
Then earlier this month, a U.S. sporting goods store that boycotted Nike over the ad campaign went out of business, admitting there were more Kaepernick fans than it thought. Broadcast data could have given the store owner a more accurate picture of public opinion than sensational headlines.
What insights could your PR and marketing teams gain with broadcast data?