Media monitoring is an important aspect of branding for any company, and should be treated as such.
Tracking your company’s media coverage, social mentions, and reputation is no easy task. This is especially the case when you throw offline media monitoring into the mix.
That is actually one of the first and most important questions you should ask a media monitoring company before hiring them.
Here are 5 questions you should ask in order to best understand which media monitoring agency is the best for your company, and if you current provider is doing the best and most comprehensive job for you.
1/ What types of media do you cover, and to what extent?
Of course, this is the most important question.
You should know the types of coverage your business needs, what the issues are and what you want to track prior to asking this question. Then, see if the answer is in line with what you envision for your business.
Offline media should be included in this list if that is where issues that are relevant to your company are discussed.
Consider geographical media monitoring in addition to the types of media covered.
2/ Will you help me set up my monitoring?
Once you have established what it is that you want monitored, you should be able to rely on the company to help you setup the monitoring brief, create the right searches, and ensure that all of the media that is supposed to be monitored is being covered.
The services you are paying for have to encompass all of your media coverage in order to be effective.
When interviewing a media monitoring company regarding this issue, ask what support they will provide during setup, as well as whether there may be any modifications throughout the length of your contract.
3/ How fast will I receive coverage?
The speed of delivery of your media coverage might greatly depend on your individual company’s needs. It also may depend on the type of coverage it is.
The speed of delivery can vary greatly for different media monitoring vendors.
The timing of delivery can be weekly, daily, or in real time.
Real time can alert you immediately to media mentions, but it can also be filled with a lot of irrelevant information if the right filters don’t send you clear and concisely reported information.
Ideally, you want a combination of speed and accuracy.
4/ What if I’m not sure what should be tracked?
You have to be able to rely on the expertise of a media monitoring company to help guide you to success.
Do they understand your industry, your region, your target audience, and have your best interest in mind?
Be sure to ask the right questions to help you choose a partner that can identify issues and competitors that you may not know of, or know how to identify.
5/ Can you help me with reports of your coverage?
Most marketing departments have to report on their efforts.
Ask if a media monitoring provider includes reports in their coverage. What do those reports look like?
Will executives and investors outside of the marketing team easily understand the reports and see the big picture in how the media coverage relates to branding, marketing, and the bottom line ROI?
These are important aspects of media monitoring, and if your media monitoring company can help make this easier for you, it will allow you to concentrate on improving on your marketing efforts rather than writing or compiling reports.
When interviewing potential media monitoring providers, they should be able to answer these questions for you.
The right answers will lead you to the right media monitoring supplier for your company.
An outside media monitoring company has to have the right expertise to be a part of your marketing and brand management team and align with your goals.