Making Your Media Monitoring Matter

Media monitoring is an essential tool for public relations professionals. After all, in order to shape the media conversation, you first have to know what’s actually being said. If you’re in the industry, you are probably familiar with the deluge of morning media clips in your inbox at the beginning of each day. Whether they come in the form of tip sheets or internal reports on key news stories for clients, these compilations can prove invaluable in preparing communications teams for the day ahead—that is, if they are used to their fullest potential.

The internet is a phenomenal way to receive news from around the globe and from a diverse array of perspectives. But not all news websites are created equal. Being able to recognize news outlets’ political, cultural, or geographic biases is essential to getting out the right information with critical context.

Focus is key when compiling media clips. While it may be tempting to provide a wide swath of stories for your clients and team members, try to limit the amount of reading put on their already busy slate. By highlighting news items that are timely, impactful, or directly related to a client’s messaging, public relations professionals can ensure everyone is receiving the information they need to know as efficiently as possible.

Another helpful tip for professionals compiling daily press clips is to allot time to summarize the articles that make the cut. Taking this extra step allows clients and team members to get a better sense of news stories beyond the headline. Ideally, everyone would have the chance to read the day’s news stories in full, but that is not always possible. Distilling information to a couple of key points allows your team to still engage with articles even on busier days.

But the absolute best way to make your media monitoring an essential part of your public relations toolbox is to follow up. Even if it’s not a crisis, following up with team members on the news stories featured in clips can help foster sharper messaging and new creative ideas that will drive your client’s messages forward and keep you and your team ready for the challenges ahead.