Monitoring what is happening in the news and online is imperative when it comes to staying up to date and creating marketing and communications campaigns but it no longer means you have to wade through a stack of newspapers each day. Media monitoring is the activity of scanning news, forums, blogs and other forms of media to identify when your brand or area of specialty is receiving coverage. Theres a number of reasons why this can be important, it might be to see how many news sources have run your press release so you can judge the effectiveness of a campaign or it may be to monitor the way your customers are talking about your brand.
The act of media monitoring for big business is quite a simple one - they spend a portion of their budgets to hire an agency to do this for them, but what resources are available if you don't have the budget for this? Well the good news is that it is something that's available to every person and business on the planet! It's called Google News.
Yup thanks to good ol' Google the news is you can set up a do-it-yourself media monitoring service which could prove invaluable to your business. Here is how it's done:
Leave it up to Google
Begin by logging into your google account and navigating to news.google.com. This is the general feed of news which you can narrow down based on location or topics. You have many options here on how to create a customised news feed.
On the right hand side menu, find and click on the 'advanced' link. This page gives you a few pre-set, popular sections that you may chose to follow if they have any interest to you or tie in with you business. Where you get the most benefit however is if you create custom sections.
Create Custom Sections
Custom sections are personalised to exactly what keywords/topics you plug in. This is where you get a boat load of power from this tool - enter keywords such as your brand name for Google News to monitor any articles where you brand is specifically being spoken about or general search terms that tie in with your business. In the example below the Coffee giant Starbucks may monitor both their own brand name, as well as more general topics such as coffee, caffeine etc.
By creating these custom sections you will have a tailor made news feed which automatically monitors a wide range of online sources from blogs to recognised news outlets so you can keep a keen eye on what is happening in the realm of your business. This proves useful as (using the Starbucks example) if you are in the coffee business and about to release a campaign based on a caffeine rich drink, if your news feed alerts you to a public resentment to caffeine based drinks due to a recent health scare - you are able to take an educated step and delay the release of that campaign to minimise negative impacts on your reputation.
This is just one more invaluable tool that you can set, (almost) forget and add to your marketing toolkit. Spend a few minutes setting this up today to stay updated with the latest news on your competitors, brand & topics of interest.