Once upon a time, the lack of resources made communication difficult and often impossible between people. Today, the quantity and ease of technological communication tools, constantly go vice versa depending on the quality, substance and humanity communication.
However, having a quick look around us, we can see that communications these days are not without problems and here is when PR experts are called in to fill that gap. Public Relationships is more than a supporting service: they need to take center stage in any size of business, from small to global enterprises.
Coldwell Banker Chief Marketing Officer, Sean Blankenship said that their smart home strategy is a result of their challenge to their internal PR department and New York PR firm CooperKatz. They have worked together to craft a three-year plan that moves them beyond traditional public relations, and into the digital age and strategic partnerships.
The market needs PR professionals to work with them from the beginning contrary to how Public Relations used to work before. As a result, PR marketers help departments build the image of the company or product before it is realized in the market.
So in order to have efficient communication with potential clients, first you will need to get to know them. You have to know what they prefer, their opinions and their behavior.
Being constantly informed about what is going on in your target industry will provide you with the insights you need to take advantage of any opportunity and prevent unfortunate situations with dissatisfied customers.
Monitoring HUGE data in the Digital age
Press monitoring has been a standard PR service, for as long as PR has existed. You know the process, reading hundreds of papers and magazines, recording TV shows, extracting text from radio shows. But is this enough today?
The amount of information produced in year’s time from traditional media now can be produced on a single day in online resources.
- How can anyone be up-to-date with all this data?
- How many people do you need to monitor all this digital waves every minute ?
- How can all this data be recorded and indexed in a useful and meaningful manner?
Still, your potential customers are out there: in any blog post, in any conversation on social media, in any picture on Instagram & Pinterest, in any video on youtube. By being aware of where and when those actions take place will give you the ability to engage and make the most out of them.
But how you will know about all these if you do not listen?
Here is when the brand monitoring comes to assist you and your PR team. But, let’s see a real-world example that explains exactly how this can work for you.
A Real Word Example
We chose a well-known Brand to showcase an example use: Jamie Oliver, the British celebrity chef and restaurateur, is really familiar to everyone throughout the world. He is already well-known and has a very strong online presence. However, some of his main “competitors”, the likes of Gordon Ramsay and Anthony Bourdain are enjoying huge publicity as well.
In order for Jamie Oliver to maintain and stay in touch with press and fans, he has to monitor his brand, which can provide all the information that marketers and PR professionals need to create an advantage against his competitors. Also, it makes sure that they address any negative publicity for him or his related products, and continue the positive image of the famous chef.
In our examples, we use the functions of Mentionlytics, a powerful Web & Social Media Monitoring tool, to showcase how it can greatly assist your PR efforts.
With brand monitoring, the PR team can:
1. Automatically Monitor all that is being said about Jamie Oliver on the Web & Social Media
Forget about manually scanning the web & Social Media for hours and hours every day, and filling monstrous excel sheets with messy data. Avoid the nightmare of getting actual insights from this data chaos. With a Brand monitoring tool all this data will come to you, presented in convenient report. Even If you already have a pipeline based in Excel that you don’t want to loose, you can also export anything you like.
By doing that, you can be in touch with your client’s fans AND foes, what they write or what the press is writing for the famous Chef. Having a close and fast communication with the his base is will make your clients name stronger. Replying to Tweets from customers and experts will show that he actually cares.
2. Save the day, by identifying and resolving a crisis in its birth
Well, let’s be honest: It’s when a crisis actually hits that Brands will realize the need for a good PR expert. You might be called up to clean up the mess in the first place but you will need to make sure this will be avoided in the future. It could be a careless statement by Jamie, a new sauce product that people hated, a complain for one of his restaurants, or anything that we cannot even image it could happen. News spread fast on the Internet, and a sparkle can become a flame within minutes.
A brand monitoring tool, identifies the Negative comments and mentions being created on the Internet and reports the to you. Then, you can intervene in very short time after these have been created, before they reach flame proportions.
Then, it’s up to your PR skills, to deal with them and save the day!
(well, if you are not sure what to do, there are plently of stuff on the web to get ideas, check this guide on MarketingMag, or How to Manage o Social Media Crisis on Convince&Convert or How to Prapare and Execute a Plan on Hootsuite blog.)
3. Keep a close eye on your competitors
Chef celebrities pop-up like mushrooms these days. And the area is not short of long-time rivals either(… Gordon Ramsey) . These days competition is at the highest levels, knowing what your competitors are doing, it helps you re-build or fill the gaps that your Marketing or PR strategy might have.
Having a Brand Monitoring tool watching over them, will report to you every single move they do on the Web & Social Media, and everything that is being said about them as well. It might not be as good as knowing what they will do beforehand (industrial espionage is another thing…) but knowing what they do as soon as they do it will help you take action, immediatly!
4. Enrich your PR reports with Infographics
You can easily create beautiful Infographics that you can use to your Presentations and Reports. Include Social Media Metrics, Lists, Graphs, Tag Clouds and Maps to visualize your Mentions and present the evidence of your hard PR work in an understandable way to your clients.
5. Monitor your entire target Market for signals
Focusing on your client (and your client’s clients) is one thing. But having a look at the big picture can be of equal importance! So why limit yourself in keywords referring strictly to your client and not expand to the whole industry?
In our example, we used the keyword “Cooking Show” for monitoring what is going on in regards to TV shows for Cooking.
6. Keep your clients happily informed every day with a newsletter
All PR know the effort it takes to create reports. But hey, the customer needs to see something! How about keeping him informed EVERY DAY, without needing to do anything? You can just add an e-mail Notification, set your clients e-mail and set What you want him to receive and When.
And yes, you can set a specific time of the day for the report to be sent, so you will be able to have a quick look on the data (and a-hem, remove any “garbage”) before he actually receives it.
(your clients will love it… really!)
7. Looking for Something? Just Search
As you understand, all this data gathered from Mentionlytics is HUGE. It can be very simply presented however, and you can easily see how your Brand is going in a blink. But what happens when you are looking for something that happened in the past? You want to see how some publicity effort went a year ago, as you are about to launch something similar. Well, this is super easy here. You can just switch dates to the period you are interested or just use keywords related to what you are looking for. You will find everything you need within seconds. A precious archive or your Brand Image!
Just for large businesses? Not anymore…
Brand Monitoring used to cost thousands of $, since it should be done manually, taking loads of work-hours. Also, most automated solutions had also a pricing model that started quite high, while developing and maintaining such a system could cost much more. This is why many believe that it is only suitable strictly for large enterprises.
But this is no longer the case. A number of SaaS solutions are now readily available, that have much more flexible pricing models, starting as low as 29$ subscriptions. Some of these systems are: Mention.com , Brand24 and Mentionlytics. These will include subscriptions suitable for small businesses as well as larger plans for Enterprises. More expensive enterprise-only solutions include Meltwater and Brandwatch.
If a client is starting a new business then the PR expert should get to know as much as possible about the target market, what people are thinking, how competitors are acting and get prepared for any challenges. Your product could be great, but in contrast to the larger players that are already in your market, you probably lack the budget, people and experience to start your marketing efforts efficiently. It is an undisputed pain point of all new startups, how to ignite their communications with their potential clients.
This is why I strongly believe that a Social Media Monitoring tool is an absolutely required asset for your PR marketing strategy. Using a tool like that you will be able to discover what is behind the digital marketing strategy of the experienced market leaders you compete with. You won’t have to reinvent the wheel, it will be right in front of your eyes and you will just need to adapt it to your specific needs.
See it in Action!
If you want to actually see the Jamie Oliver example in action just click here.
You can also get results for your own company or your PR clients using the Free demo of Mentionlytics:
Are you gathering data about your brand from the Web and Social Media?
If not, you can do it instantly with Mentionlytics. Just head to https://www.mentionlytics.com/free-brand-monitoring/ and enter your brand's name to get started for free. You will be amazed by what you could find out about your brand that you never knew it existed.
Seeing this data is possible by performing simple search on Google or Social Media, but it's really hard to make sense of it, by looking it sparingly in this way. This is where Social Media Monitoring tools come into play. You can use a tool like this to automatically gather all this data for you everyday, analyze it, and give you useful insights that you can extremely helpful for your brand.
What's more, you can also get access to the same data for your competitors. Also, you can monitor keywords and phrases related to your industry, and this way you can get very useful consumer insights in real-time. These insights could cost hundreds of dollars to acquire from a research agency.