The Eyes Have It: Media Monitoring Tips

Monitoring media in today’s environment can be overwhelming to say the least. Despite countless news research tools, there still is no holy grail that covers every need. The truth is that your best bet is a combination of trusted resources and … your own eyes and analysis.

Twitter’s CEO recently revealed that Twitter is now inspiring over 400 million tweets per day. How do we make the most of all the various monitoring resource offerings while providing clients with spot-on analysis that shows human eyeballs – and brains – were at work? A few tips to keep in mind when navigating today’s media mayhem.

Don’t get too googly-eyed with Google searches

I love Google but would warn users not to over-rely on it as a monitoring resource via Google alerts.   Remember that time is of the essence. If you’re not on your toes, your client may have already seen your hard-earned coverage without the benefit of your added value analysis or “heads-up.” When searching Google, don’t forget to use the search tools on your left hand side. These tools will make your life a lot easier. If you are monitoring for a news story, use the news filter. If you are monitoring for a blog post, use the blog filter, and so forth. The date range option is key when you are looking for something that ran on a particular date or if you have to conduct a quick media audit on a specific issue. This will weed out unnecessary search results. These tips may seem obvious, but in the frenzy of time sensitive issues, efficiency is important. RSS feeds are also a big time saver and help you keep tabs on reporters of interest.

Go directly to the news source for timely posting. When looking for expected coverage from a specific news outlet, run frequent keyword searches on that site’s specific search bar to ensure that you are catching the story as soon as it appears.


Personally, I like TweetDeck for monitoring Twitter for any specific client mentions or to monitor specific topics of interest to any of our clients. While some people can’t handle the nonstop popup feed in the top right-hand corner, I think it’s the best way to catch a Twitter mention in real-time (and  I don’t mind the periodic sports updates from ESPN analyst Adam Schefter, the Oakland Raiders and the San Francisco Giants).

The tube

Capturing radio and broadcast segments in real-time is sometimes difficult. One of the best tools for monitoring broadcast media that I have come across to date is Critical Mention. This platform allows you to conduct keyword searches of TV and radio text captions and allows you to edit a segment yourself for download, all within a few minutes of the news airing.

Give your monitoring vendors, especially for TV and radio, advanced notice of your anticipated coverage.

Take a close look

The first thing I do every morning when I get into the office is research the latest in industry news and client mentions using the methods outlined above, among others. This is a vital part of account management and often determines the rest of my team’s activities for the next few hours. Good monitoring will allow for delivering higher value, in-tune client service, helping track competitor activities, and assessing new trends or evolving issues in each client’s industry.

While there are media monitoring platforms out there that aggregate and actively monitor all of these mediums, I prefer to use those to provide campaign metrics, audit specific issues and gain industry insights that I can then analyze and pull findings from, versus as daily monitoring tools. Client media monitoring requires a pair of eyeballs to sift through mentions and determine what is of interest and value and what could be of concern. Platforms are helpful, but they can’t match the customized analysis and training of a real person.


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