Article by Christina Crasto | esPResso Staff Writer
Public relations students at Marist were invited last week to a training workshop on the media monitoring software Critical Mention with the company’s Director of Marketing Dane Wiseman. Media monitoring is the process of monitoring the print, online and broadcast media of a particular company or industry for political, commercial and scientific reasons, often with the end goal of building a report or generating more coverage. Wiseman’s presentation featured other media monitoring services available for free online, including Google Trends and Topsy.
Student attendees learned how to use Google Trends to uncover patterns in a brand’s news coverage for a specified time period and compare competitors in the same industry. Wiseman described the goal of analyzing a brand’s media as not only to see the value of your work, but also to empower the brand’s communications goals. The program Topsy can be used to analyze all Twitter data since 2006 by calculating the total number of tweets, revealing the latest social trends and creating tables for the general sentiments of tweets.
The application Critical Mention offers a more in depth understanding of a brand’s media coverage based on the medium categories: television, radio, online and Twitter. After selecting which mediums to analyze, users then type in key words or phrases, like the company’s name to determine the number of times the brand was mentioned in the news over a set time period. As Wiseman stated, “When your scandal happens, it happens all day long,” reinforcing the necessity of monitoring a brand’s coverage 24-7.
A key role of public relations professionals is to monitor their client’s media coverage across all media platforms not only for image maintenance and crisis prevention, but also to find opportunities for improvement in communications. Users of Critical Mention can create tables and reports within the program based on the number of mentions, reach, audience region and publicity value. Aspiring public relations students should take advantage of practicing these programs as an extra credential for their resumes.