The Best Way to Evaluate Media Monitoring Tools

One of the best ways to evaluate media monitoring tools is to determine how much context is given when one examines a media mention.

Context gives perspective and perspective gives insight. In turn, insight makes for informed decision making and informed decision making leads to business objective success. Most people using free tools such as Google Alerts completely forget how much easier life would be with more context while people paying for tools are often bogged down in complexity that usually prevents them attaining the real benefits that context and perspective are meant to provide.

The real value of a media monitoring tool is not in locating a media mention. The real value of media monitoring lies in being able to provide valuable and actionable insights surrounding that mention. For example, say I have 50 media mentions in the past 24 hours. Now what? Do I have to read all the media mentions to see what is relevant? What bits of information can be extracted automatically from the mention to give me perspective? What would make it easier and faster for me to take decisive action, if any is needed?

With most media monitoring systems, all you get is a clipping of the article where the mention was found. Looking over the stream of notifications does nothing to truly inform you of the content of your mentions nor does it really pull out any context to inform your decisions. The reality of most media monitoring solutions is that all they provide the user is a different set of problems. Traditionally, all you are getting is just a dump of data. Now, your problem is how to gauge relevancy and build perspective. You are left to separate what is important and you have to read, read, read in order gain perspective. Either that, or you have to wait for your analyst to manually examine each mention, have breakfast, use the washroom, and then type and proofread the report before sending it off to you.

Let’s look at a couple of ways in which your media monitoring system can ensure that content is accompanied by both context and perspective:

Before Monitoring – Custom Sources

Ask yourself, how do you weed out irrelevant sources? Any solid media monitoring solution must provide you with custom source sets that can be constructed from user-defined websites and blogs. Using custom source sets means that media mentions have a higher degree of relevancy and context. In other words, you can rest assure that they are being mined from sites that produce content you care about. Searching for “RIM”? No more basketball sources will ever overwhelm your media mentions if your source set is restricted to technology focused websites and blogs. Having this key feature can provide context and perspective even before your mentions are found.


Monitoring – Alerts

For media mentions to truly give value, they should be accompanied with as much actionable metadata as possible. The metadata’s primary purpose is to give you context and perspective. Having some of the following metadata available could drastically increase the benefit you derive from your monitoring service:

– Skimmable Summary: getting summaries of articles and blog content saves you both time and effort. A good summary will often be all you need to read to determine if this article is relevant or interesting. Who want’s to spend time reading complete articles just to get the gist of them?

– Core Topics: having a means to view the core topics discussed in an article is another way to quickly gain perspective. With topic extraction, users can understand at a glance what core topics are being discussed in the article without ever reading it.

-Accurate Sentiment: give the user a sense of an article’s positive, neutral or negative focus. If properly derived, sentiment can add a layer of understanding that can make actionable decision making faster and more accurate.


After Monitoring – Custom Dashboard

Customers using free tools are often left with a user interface that is just a glorified search engine. When interfaces are not designed for the user in mind, they are often cumbersome and non-intuitive. Dashboards and

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interfaces are meant to impart additional value and context.

Just imaging having a word cloud that could highlight topics or even classify those topics according to sentiment? Having your media monitoring platform provide:

-Word-cloud visualizations that can immediately convey what topics are important.

-Graphical representations that can highlight what news concerning your mentions is trending.

-Sentiment visualizations of those topics and trends across all of your mentions.

Those elements are key to getting the most value out of your service as it examines aggregate date to see the real effect of the components that are shaping your media mentions. No longer are you left to imagine the context and thereby build your own perspective. A good media monitoring system gives it to you, plain and simple.

We at Gnowit are dedicated to ensuring that our system makes sure that context is king. We are so dedicated to this that goal that we have automated the process. Design, monitoring and analysis are all constructed in ways to provide more perspective and thus provide more value to our users. Try us out and let us know how we compare to other services that you use.

Feel free to register for our free media monitoring tool.

Context and perspective are critical to business success. A proverb states that if all you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail. If all you are getting is a “media mention”, then your response will always be the same no matter what you face. But, if what you are getting is context and perspective, your strategies will be fluid and successful in facing whatever environment is in front of you.

Always remember, for media monitoring, context is king.