No matter where you work within an organization, seeing your company reflected positively in the news is bound to elicit a sense of pride. From an internal communications standpoint, it’s valuable to foster that feeling-something that can be done by sharing regular updates on positive media placements across the organization.
That process starts with media monitoring, a powerful tool that can fuel smarter strategic decisions and create a competitive edge for your organization. And while monitoring for your brand’s media mentions is common enough, tracking the media activity for competitors is just as important.
For a variety of corporate functions, monitoring your competitors’ media coverage prevents you from being caught off guard by vital industry changes that may impact short-term and long-term decision-making. It also allows your organization to proactively and consistently compare how well your media relations strategy is working and how efficiently the company’s key messages are being conveyed. Beyond the communications perspective—it can even be a window into regulatory, competitive and supply-chain insights that can inform daily operations.
Here are a few best practices to keep in mind when adding competitive media monitoring to your strategic planning mix.
Developing and revising a robust media monitoring process for your own organization is no easy task; so, it’s reasonable that duplicating those efforts across multiple competitors can seem daunting. Thankfully, putting competitive tracking into practice doesn’t require triple (or quadruple!) the effort.
While an always-on approach for your own organization’s media monitoring is mission critical, competitive media monitoring allows a little more flexibility and can be tailored in scope to fit your resources, goals and objectives. If you’re launching a go-to-market media relations campaign for a new product or service, all-in competitive media monitoring will likely be crucial. If you’re maintaining a general long-term public awareness campaign and just want a broad feel for your competition’s presence, more casual monitoring will do the trick.
Whichever approach you take—a detailed analysis or a broad overview—media monitoring technology can be a valuable resource that dramatically reduces the time and effort needed to effectively track competitive hits. LexisNexis Newsdesk® allows you to tailor searches and save them to your dashboard. Once created, those results are continuously updated and translated into a convenient, at-a-glance preview of new placements every time you log in. You can also create alerts that notify you—or others within your organization—whenever a search turns up a new result.
Tracking competitive media placements is one thing but understanding their impact and accurately comparing them across the overall industry is another. Using the Newsdesk® analysis function, you can automatically generate competitive intelligence reports that provide side-by-side comparisons of how your metrics stack up against competitors.
Every public relations professional loves to share hard-earned media placements with their organization, but there is also value in providing regular updates on your competitor’s notable coverage. In fact, offering key leaders visual break-downs of who was featured where, and what topics were covered can be extremely beneficial— especially when they may be less familiar with the media landscape.
Educating your organization on the value of media relations—and creating advocacy— is often a necessary and thankless task. While other functional leaders within your organization may not take the time to understand the intricacies of media metrics, most will understand the inherent value of seeing raw coverage. Seeing an accurate picture of how competitors fare in the media landscape can ignite just the right amount of healthy rivalry, which in turn can garner internal support for more robust public relations campaigns.
Being forthright with competitor’s placements can also provide much-needed level-setting within your organization. Not every (or even most) press release or company initiative is going to earn tier-one media placements. Sharing where your competitors have earned placements for similar news items can help to set expectations and to inform realistic media targets.
Sharing relevant media coverage from across the industry can also help to fuel improvements in your organization’s messaging and media relations strategy. Sharing competitor’s placements with brief annotations allows you to regularly collaborate with key figures within your organization and to discuss how different messaging strategies are performing among target audiences. Essentially, you can learn from the mistakes and successes of your competitors and use those insights to constantly improve your organization’s approach.
We could go on about the benefits of competitive media monitoring—we love this stuff, after all—but sometimes it’s best to jump in and experience them yourself. To get a one-on-one demo of competitive media monitoring—and how our tools can help—contact us today.