News monitoring is not a new phenomenon. In the mid-1800s, there were already companies offering press clippings to other organisations. Press clippings exist today, although almost everything is now handled online. With the emergence of the internet, the news industry has fundamentally shifted. The word ‘deadline’ is virtually abolished. Today, news sites update around the clock, seven days a week, 365 days per year.
The range of news sites is gigantic, and keeping track of them without an automated, computer driven process is impossible. There are several online services that scan the internet based on the criteria you set up. Keywords and boundaries are necessary in order to prevent data from growing excessive and irrelevant.
Best practice today is to subscribe to a news coverage solution, usually on a monthly basis. Keeping track of the outside world and how your own business is perceived is a basic factor in staying competitive and developing a product or service. An effective news monitoring tool allows you to stay on top of competitors and the latest trends in your industry and to prepare your team for a crisis.
Used properly, news monitoring is a powerful tool for business development. Which tool you choose is a matter of preference, but some basic criteria must be met:
Speed is a must. A surveillance tool must update all the time and be up to date. It's best to follow the news related to your company or organisation in real time.
Surplus information can quickly become unmanageable. If you are flushed with information it’s difficult to survey and draw conclusions based on the material. Furthermore, it steals precious time and resources from your company's core business.
Quality news monitoring tools do not need to cost a fortune. Often, the price depends on the amount of data to be collected. Global enterprises that make daily headlines around the world will likely have more dedicated budget, but a good service also accommodates the needs of the local pizzeria.
How can we use the results? This question is linked to the issue of relevance. What direct benefits can we gain from the information collected? The keywords and boundaries that are set up before tracking begins are critical to how you can use the information. If you choose the right criteria, the information can be valuable to both customer service and to improve what your brand offers. It can also be helpful for your staff who lead business development.
Your news monitoring must be compiled in simple, transparent reports, in order to help you to draw time-crucial conclusions and provide you with the direct commercial benefits of the information gathered. Fundamental analysis with improved understanding should also be included in what you get from the company providing your news monitoring solution.