Established companies need to track news to retain their competitive advantage and manage brand reputation. Unsurprisingly, the market for news monitoring services is well crowded with most of the leading tools providing comparable features.
Apart from the core functionality of a news tracking platform, you need a few specific functionalities that are businesscritical yet not widely promoted.
Those include specific real-time features, functionality to export data, follow-up on particular news story, and functionality to collaborate with teammates and external teams.
Virtually all decent media monitoring platforms provide real-time news tracking. You cannot cope with the news flow in an interconnected online world without having this feature. Platforms differ in the number of sources they can monitor in real time as well as the source languages covered but nonetheless this a must have feature to enter the news tracking market.
From ones’ business point of view, however, equally important is the functionality to generate alerts and insights in real time. Without reliable real-time alerting a media monitoring platform is just a tool to collect information and pile unstructured data. Without the ability to get insights in real time, a business cannot plan and implement a strategic approach how to react to news and social mentions about their brand or product.
Selected media platforms are able to generate useful alerts and insights in real time using advanced algorithms to filter spam and trigger alerts based on comprehensive set of rules. This is great but not enough for a business to implement its strategic response strategy, which usually cannot be performed within the respective media monitoring tool.
So you need to export data, right. A business-critical feature of news tracking tool is ability to export readable data to third-party apps, which in turn should be able to process the information and transform it into structured data you can use to respond to media mentions. Such external systems may include content management and customer relationships management systems (CMS and CRM), email marketing tools, or any enterprise software you are using to communicate with your existing and prospect customer or the general audience.
You can cope without such a functionality if you are a very small business with a few dozen customers. Once you grow beyond that stage, you need more tools to manage your brand reputation and you need them connected to your news tracking service.
Getting alerts about brand mentions or specific industry news in real time is great. What about following a specific news or conversation on social media? Imagine you have released a message to the press or have published an article on your blog that is of utmost importance. You need it tracked, right?
So, tracking all the news, all the time is just the broad functionality you need to run successful campaigns and manage brand reputation.
Another business-critical news tracking feature will allow you to monitor how the online world is responding to a very specific piece of content and how this coverage is developing over time. The same applies to specific discussions on social media or community forums where you promote your product or where important industry conversations
Having all of the above in mind, you can rarely deal with all the tasks pertaining to brand reputation management and brand promotion even when utilizing the best available news tracking tool. Even a small or a medium sized business, a good number of which already operate regionally or globally, needs hours of work to track the relevant news alerts, plan an adequate response, and implement a comprehensive branding strategy depending on the specific media mention.