Are Humans Necessary in Media Monitoring?

A surprising revolution in the media monitoring industry, which drives PR strategy!

Biju D Vincent November 21, 2019
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Media monitoring has been a standard practice followed by many companies over decades. Even in this 2019, they are needed than ever before — thanks to the rapid shifts in the media landscape. With the evolution of technology and communication, many companies are looking for new options in the market, which is beyond traditional news clips and free tools, to deliver more value and show instant results. While doing so, they mostly fail to think about the two crucial objectives of media monitoring:
1. Comprehensive media coverage with zero noise, and
2. Accuracy of insights gathered from interpreting the media coverage.

Role of Media Monitoring in PR Strategy

As a PR person, one should learn all the relevant news which impacts the day — news articles not only focusing their company, but also their competitors and their industry. They need to be aware of how many media mentions, headline appearances, social conversations are there, what is being said about their brand in those mentions, plus what content is working, and what is not. They should also identify what their business does to align consumers' sentiment towards their brand, and measure how much of the conversation from consumers is owned by their brand, compared with their competitors. Thus, media monitoring helps PR to manage their brand portrayed in media, by gathering and measuring all the relevant media information.

You Can't Manage What You Can't Measure

Goal setting and measurement are fundamental to communications and public relations. However, it is not always easy to measure the effect of PR initiatives and communication campaigns. Compiling relevant headlines is time-consuming to produce and interpreting those data for monthly meetings expend the entire work hours. Dropping this leaves many PR executives little discerning of what these news developments mean for their organization, or how to leverage this news to their advantage. If the media conversations are not identified and addressed, it could bring in potential disaster to brand reputation, or an opportunity miss to increase the brand loyalty.

“Collecting the data might be an easy task — but discarding the noise which demands more attention, discerning trends, scoring sentiments in the discussions, predicting where conversation related to the topic moves next, that is hard.”

As a result, several media monitoring firms assist PR executives to track mentions, monitor and measure their brand reputation and gain insights from the success or failure of their campaigns which highlight the areas to improve.

Human-based Monitoring vs Automated Tools

There are many online monitoring tools available in the market today. Tools using computational algorithms and statistical evaluations are quite familiar among PR executives. But despite their importance for data enhancement, machine learning tools can only take us so far. These tools interpret all available media information with limited attention. Without training and skills to analyze information through the right lens, these tools worth exactly what you paid for them, in most cases you end up paying more for the results, which only adds up to the abundance of noise and irrelevant information out there.

Measurement and evaluation should be always consistent and valid. While there are many companies continuously seeking for possibilities to advance the trackability and breakdown of traditional news articles and social media posts with their tools for curated newsletters, keyword alerts, and analytic charts, it can’t be denied that artificial intelligence (AI) isn’t yet capable of analyzing and refining useful media information by itself. This field still requires HUMAN INTELLIGENCE!

“Yes, analytical models intended to extract useful insights by decoding media information are imperfect and inefficient – and they must be largely supported by expert insights.”

When it comes to interpreting complex media information and finding connections between the discussions of identical topics, human intellect is the critical component. Experienced analysts are quite capable to interpret media data and offer insights that no artificial intelligence system can. There are numerous circumstances where human approach provided more accurate results by precisely explaining the principles of key trends derived from the media sources.

An Unexpected Revolution

Everybody should accept the factor that automated tools can possibly make life easier, but they can never replace the human decision-making and interpretation of data, which are crucial in media monitoring and measurement. The high-quality, more sensible, and enriched derivatives from human experts plays an increasingly important role in driving today’s PR strategy. That is why trained humans are increasingly filling the gaps and showing way to the future. Many companies and organizations are keenly aware of this fact, and hence we are investing deeply in training analysts for the purpose. Only by combining both humans and technology, it is possible to achieve the success everyone is looking for.

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