Media monitoring is the activity of monitoring the output of the print, online and broadcast media. It can be conducted for a variety of reasons, including political, commercial, scientific, and so on.
In the commercial sphere, this activity is usually carried out in house or by a media monitoring service, a private company that provides such services to other companies, organisations and individuals on a subscription basis.
The services that media monitoring companies provide typically include the systematic recording of radio and television broadcasts, the collection of press clippings from print media publications, the collection of data from online information sources. The material collected usually consists of any media output that makes reference to the client, its activities and/or its designated topics of interests. The monitoring of online consumer sources such as blogs, forums and social networks is more specifically known as buzz monitoring which informs the company of how its service or product is perceived by users.
While monitoring social media it can be beneficial for a company to respond to as many posts as possible. Not all comments will be positive ones, but it is good for the customers to know they are being heard. It is also important to keep in mind to avoid deleting any unfavorable content from a social media page you control. You should assume that something on the Internet was seen by at least one person, no matter how quickly you delete it. Deleting the comment can make the company look even worse and give the idea of a cover-up which implies guilt on the company’s part.
Most media monitoring is done within private public relations agencies or businesses in house public relations sectors. Publicists will track the number of times the company was mentioned within different platforms. Some of the main platforms include magazines, newspaper, blogs, and social media. These entries are referred to as “clippings” and are compiled into monthly reports by the Public Relations firm. These clippings are then presented to the client along with the circulation and impressions from these platforms. Circulation is how many subscribers or viewers the platform has, and impressions are calculated by multiplying the circulation by three. Impressions are only calculated for print media because it is assumed print media will be circulated past the original subscribers. These figures are calculated to show the client approximately how many people their message has reached. Media monitoring is a beneficial tool to evaluate the efforts and progress of a PR firm.
In academia media monitoring is deployed by social scientists in an attempt to discover e.g. biases in the way the same event is presented in different media, among the media of different countries etc. The use of large scale monitoring techniques by computer scientists enabled the exploration of different aspects of the media system such as the visualisation of the media-sphere, the sentimental and objectivity analysis of news content etc.
Media monitoring is practically achieved by a combination of technologies—including audio and video recording, high speed text scanners and text recognition software—and human readers and analysts. The automation of the process is highly desirable and can be partially achieved by deploying data mining and machine learning techniques.
- I. Flaounas, M. Turchi, T. De Bie, and N. Cristianini, "Inference and Validation of Networks", ECML/PKDD, Bled, Slovenia, Springer, pp. 344-358, 2009.
- N. Godbole,M. Srinivasaiah, S. Skiena, "Large-Scale Sentiment Analysis for News and Blogs", Int. Conf. on Weblogs and Social Media (ICWSM 2007), Denver CO, March 26–28, 2007