How to Monitor Media Coverage


Having succeeded in getting news stones into print or onto film, the next step is to ensure that your organization is being publicized consistently in a positive light. Keep notes of any media contact, track media coverage, and evaluate your work.

Logging Media Galls

The harder you work at raising your company’s profile, the more likely it is that you will attract an increased number of calls from the media. Aim to log these calls so that you have a reliable record of reactive media responses. Take a note of who calls, the publication or programme they represent, and the nature of their enquiry. Also record your response or any statement issued. Ask when the piece is being run and when it appears, check that you have been represented fairly.

Media Coverage

Tracking Coverage

Every time you issue a news release or photocall notice, keep a copy for your files. Attach to it a distribution list and compare actual media coverage against this list to work out your “hit” rate. If most of your releases are being used, you are probably being highly effective. If only a small percentage of releases are being published or aired, investigate why. Are you missing deadlines, issuing weak releases, or targeting the wrong media? Call some names on your distribution list and see if you can find out.

Using a Bureau

Consider outsourcing media monitoring to a specialist bureau. These bureaux will issue press cuttings, audio tapes of radio coverage, video tapes of television coverage, and transcripts of broadcast coverage. Many also offer an evaluation service. You may need one bureau for press and another for broadcast monitoring, as not all bureaux handle both. Press cuttings bureaux often charge a monthly retainer or reading fee, and an amount per cutting. Broadcast monitoring firms do not usually charge a retainer.

Evaluating Coverage

Organizations once used quantitative rather than qualitative measures for assessing their media effectiveness. A thick bundle of press cuttings represented success. Today, this measure is seen as one-dimensional since it fails to distinguish between positive and negative coverage. Your evaluation should assess each piece of media coverage to ascertain whether the messages conveyed are positive, negative, or neutral. Also take into account the value of successfully keeping potentially damaging stories out of the media. Effective evaluation relies on the analysis of a combination of factors, namely: frequency; circulation; and readership.

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About the Author: Marie Mayle is a contributor to the MegaHowTo team, writer, and entrepreneur based in California USA. She holds a degree in Business Administration. She loves to write about business and finance issues and how to tackle them.

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