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What is News Monitoring and Why Does Your Business Need It?

What is News Monitoring and Why Does Your Business Need It?

Home Blog Digital Marketing What is News Monitoring and Why Does Your Business Need It?

While not everything is newsworthy, anything that truly is should be on your radar. News monitoring is more than spotting trends—it can make all the difference in how your brand positions itself in constant market shifts and changing consumer perspectives.

Sometimes, a significant event can give your audience an entirely different perspective when they engage with your ads.

In 2017, Pepsi made an ad featuring Kendall Jenner handing a can of Pepsi to a police officer during a protest.

The ad was quickly removed, as Pepsi received backlash for trivializing Black Lives Matter protests. Taking note of the news would have been a good hint not to take an ad in that particular direction.

By the same token, Smith & Wesson’s newspaper ad was also poorly placed next to a piece of news covering a school shooting.

smith and wesson misplaced ad

Source

These examples with major brands illustrate how crucial it is to stay on top of the latest news and carefully position your brand based on what’s happening worldwide.

Let’s explore the idea of news monitoring and how you can leverage this practice for greater success and reputation safety.

What Is News Monitoring?

In a nutshell, news monitoring is the practice of tracking and analyzing your media coverage across all channels (print and online news) to stay informed about the latest events, both local and global.

It’s important to note that media monitoring isn’t the same as news monitoring. The critical difference is that only some things you see in the media qualify as news, so media monitoring encompasses a broader scope of information.

Media monitoring can include blogs, opinion pieces, research articles, forums, social media exchanges, and more.

How News Monitoring Works

Although every business has a unique process, there are some key steps to help you integrate news monitoring into your business processes:

  • Set clear goals: You can monitor for brand mentions, specific industry news, location-specific events, or all of the listed.
  • Refine your sources: Depending on your expertise, you’ll likely want to focus on specific, trustworthy sources for your niche and location.
  • Keywords and alerts: Your brand name and unique industry terms are worth tracking so you can always stay on top of the latest events.
  • Filter and analyze your data: Once you have all the news, you’ll also need to set up a dedicated process to filter what’s relevant to your business and determine how to use it to your advantage.
  • Reporting: Most businesses, especially with larger teams, need to create reports with their news monitoring analytics and findings so everyone can stay informed about earned media coverage and how the brand is perceived.

Of course, each organization occasionally reviews this process to ensure it works and to see if any crucial news has fallen through the cracks. In that case, you should revise your process and introduce some changes to ensure you have a comprehensive media monitoring strategy so it doesn’t happen again.

Media monitoring campaign

Types of Sources to Monitor

Again, each business determines which sources are worth tracking, which are considered reputable, and so forth. Some to keep in mind include:

  • Online media
  • Dedicated online news websites
  • Social media
  • Print
  • Broadcast media (such as TV and radio channels)
  • Official press releases
  • Government websites and channels
  • News aggregators like Google News
mention sources

Use Cases of News Monitoring

If you’re looking to introduce news media monitoring into your strategy, there are many different areas where it can be applicable. These can be very helpful if you want to grow your business and improve your brand’s position.

Brand Reputation Management

You’ll want to notice if your brand name appears in the news. Fortunately, it’s easy nowadays to set up alerts you can leverage for preventative and restorative efforts to protect your image.

News monitoring can be an essential piece of the puzzle for setting up an effective brand reputation management strategy.

Many brands only focus on online reviews (on platforms like Google and Yelp or social media like Facebook) and social media mentions when building said strategy.

However, news channels and platforms are equally important, especially considering the earlier examples. One misplaced or poorly timed ad can affect your reputation and cost you a significant portion of your audience.

That’s why having an adjacent crisis management strategy is vital to help you recover from a mishap. Companies also precisely decide the best approach based on their news monitoring practices.

For example, in 2015, it was discovered that Volkswagen used software to “cheat” their way through emission tests.

Once this news became public, the company had to issue an apology, completely recall the vehicles with said software, and organize an investigation.

News monitoring was instrumental in uncovering how the company was perceived and its backlash level and in defining the exact course of action to restore its image slowly.

social media brand reputation

Competitive Intelligence

In addition to staying informed on how the public perceives your brand, you should also use news monitoring to learn how the public perceives your competitors.

A well-defined strategy to track your competitors’ names in the news can completely reframe your brand positioning and help you uncover gaps your brand can fill.

Here are a few examples of where you can track and analyze your competitors, specifically in the news:

  • News coverage and press releases that mention your competitors’ names
  • Daily scans to uncover any relevant industry mentions
  • Social media platforms and influencer news
  • Industry reports and expert opinions

Unlike ordinary blog posts and social media posts, news pieces are more unbiased and geared towards informing the public about the latest events and market shifts. That’s why the news is usually the most reliable, useful source to scan for up-to-date competitor-related information.

Of course, it can and should be substantiated with other monitoring practices, such as the sort of reviews their customers post and influencer campaigns your competitors run.

Market Analysis

Staying informed through relevant news outlets is crucial for understanding emerging market changes and the public sentiment around your brand. Plus, if you keep track of industry reports in the news, you can identify possible regulatory and policy changes well ahead of time.

Given how intricate this type of analysis can be, you can use templates for market analysis to save time and simplify incorporating news monitoring into the entire process.

Your templates should include segments that are particularly useful for your brand, and that will drive better decision-making based on the information you collect.

They also need to be customizable to your needs.

Here are a few market analysis components to consider and insights you can collect when leveraging news monitoring as a source for your analysis:

  • Emerging trends, as well as trends that are dying out
  • Regulatory environment and possible policy changes
  • Economic news and geopolitical indicators of potential economic shifts that can affect consumer sentiment and purchase power
  • Market demand
  • Tech innovations that can impact your brand’s position and performance compared to your competitors

Identifying Audience Types

Keeping your finger on the pulse of your market through news outlets will help you identify and understand different audience types, and shape your decision-making. You can use news articles and public commentary to keep your sources as relevant as possible to your location and industry.

In doing so, you can identify possible influencers, new customer segments, potential market expansions, and key stakeholders who affect your entire image in real time.

Furthermore, you’ll be able to distinguish between specific customer behaviors and preferences and their causes and the most effective marketing strategies for any given moment.

Crisis Management

Online news monitoring is the most effective and reliable way to ensure real-time awareness of any emerging crisis.

Although we’ve already mentioned it in the context of reputation management, it deserves a dedicated segment, given its importance for any business today.

Sometimes, the crisis in question can be caused by misinformation, which is not your fault. Whatever the underlying cause of the crisis, news monitoring will help you uncover it and mitigate the possible backlash and reputation damage.

This is, for example, a very common occurrence with manufacturers, who continuously need to monitor how the public reacts to a new product to address any issues in time. In 2017, Samsung had to recall the production of their Galaxy Note 7 model due to battery faults that caused fires.

They had to track customer reports and social media posts regarding that model to gauge market reception and the frequency of the issues people reported. News monitoring helped them react quickly and prevent further financial loss or reputation damage.

Content Strategy

Keeping tabs on the news will always help fuel your content strategy with relevant, note-worthy ideas that your audience will gladly engage with.

From event announcements to interviews, you can identify trends, market shifts, and the most relevant issues your customers face.

News-backed content can build your advantage in a few key areas:

  • SEO and better ranking
  • Boosting your brand’s relevance and credibility
  • Clever brand positioning based on local events and market shifts
content types

Leveraging Trending News for Content Ideas

Your brand cannot afford to discuss last year’s trends. News monitoring can help you identify what your customers are most interested in and craft content that addresses those topics.

Pandemic updates are a great example of how businesses established themselves with highly relevant content that built trust during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tech advancements such as AI are so widespread that practically every business needs to use them. You’re likely a few steps behind your competitors if you’re not.

Fashion trends are especially relevant for apparel brands, for example, as they help them create relevant products that meet their customers’ expectations and style preferences.

Animated Ads

Unlike static imagery or pure text, animated ads are far more engaging and attention-grabbing, which can help your business gain more traction.

They’re versatile and can simplify otherwise complex messages. They also enable a stronger emotional bond with your audience, so they take a special place in most brands’ marketing arsenal nowadays.

However, as we’ve seen from previous examples, poorly timed ads can seriously damage your reputation, so using credible news sources is vital to fuel your creativity.

You should combine your brand’s core values, unique identity features, and relevant news information. This can be something inspired by a current event, a movement, or any piece of news that you can draw inspiration from.

Coca-Cola’s animated ad from 212, Catch, captured the essence of the brand while keeping pace with the theme of the Super Bowl.

Media monitoring campaign

Integrating News Monitoring With Other Business Functions

Depending on its implementation, news monitoring can majorly impact individual business functions within your organization.

Marketing

In all honesty, no marketing strategy can be considered complete without news monitoring. Like Coca-Cola identified the perfect opportunity for their ad based on current events, any brand can filter the news for content inspiration, campaign generation, and more. Social media monitoring is a great way to gain helpful feedback from news sites’ social accounts.

Public Relations

Your PR team will need real-time access to the news to shape and manage your company’s reputation effectively. News monitoring will be the key factor in crafting the right communication strategy, enabling you to protect your image while understanding how the public perceives your brand.

Customer Service

Your PR and marketing teams can keep your customer service agents informed on the latest issues raised in the news so they can address them more effectively. Keep your eye on the news and any brand mentions by your customers, which can help you proactively solve issues for other users and elevate your reputation further.

Top Tools for News Monitoring

The sheer volume of news that can flood your inbox and channels makes it impossible to track manually. Luckily, we’ve got quite a few news monitoring tools to explore for impactful news monitoring:

Mention

As an all-around tool that can help you monitor, analyze, and interact with your community, Mention hosts several features for your news monitoring efforts. It can help you keep tabs on over one billion sources in real time, no matter the topic, keyword, or leading figure.

Most of all, you don’t have to sift through piles of raw data on your own – Mention can analyze it for you and generate actionable insights to fuel your decision-making process.

Mention dashboard

Google Alerts

Simple and effective, Google Alerts is a news monitoring tool that lets you track any phrase or keyword mentioned in the news. You can set alerts and get notified of what you find most relevant for your marketing/PR strategy and what your customer service teams can use.

Google alerts example

Meltwater

With an impressive pool of 6 million sources, Meltwater can be a real asset to your news monitoring strategy. Their engine proposes media monitoring services to help you organize your data, derive valuable insights, and fuel various decisions, including marketing and sales.

Meltwater

Cision

Used by major brands to monitor and measure their reputation, Cision is also an impressive news monitoring tool for boosting your brand’s reach with relevant media channels and outlets. Primarily geared towards PR and marketing experts, this tool is beneficial for anyone wanting to tap into news monitoring to protect and grow their brand reputation.

Cision

Talkwalker

Last – but certainly not least useful – Talkwater packs a punch for your media monitoring and social benchmarking goals. This media monitoring company can help you understand how well your brand is performing and use various news sites and social media platforms to gauge your market’s preferences to stay ahead of the curve.

Talkwalker

Over to You

All the news is at your fingertips, so there’s no need to let it go to waste. Explore your options and choose the right news monitoring tools for your needs. Set up a process to serve your various business sectors—and use it to grow.

To see if Mention might be the best fit to monitor news for your business, you can explore its features in more detail during a demo or set up a free trial for a more in-depth overview of its capabilities.

Already have a news monitoring strategy in place? We’d love to hear your examples of news monitoring best practices, both here and on our social channels, so we hope you can learn even more from our community.

Ciara Byrne

Ciara Byrnes spends most of her time reporting on digital marketing for an over-stressed audience of marketers and business owners trying to keep up with the fast pace of change. To center herself, she has become a wellness enthusiast, reaching “highs” like morning yoga on the porch of her family’s summer lake cabin to “lows” like failing to convince herself that wheatgrass is actually yummy.

Copywriter @Mention