As a PR professional, I’m sure you are aware of the plentiful monitoring tools at your disposal, both free and paid-for options. Have you found that many of these tools are tilted toward frequently discussed companies, like JetBlue, Netflix or Whole Foods Market?
Monitoring tools become poor value for the money when you apply them to midsize technology companies that aren’t media darlings. We’re talking about middleware companies, midsize B2B companies, and the wide range of companies whose businesses aren’t conducive to constant chatter.
While these companies see less chatter than, say, Apple, they still gain tremendous value from sharing, listening,= and engaging with their core audiences. But this also means the same monitoring approach that works for Coca-Cola won’t work with them—and anybody who tries to tell them otherwise is probably taking them for a ride.
Instead, for these companies, who are the quiet majority, the need to go narrow and deep is much more beneficial than super wide and shallow.
There’s tremendous value in mining and visualizing various sources of information to get a holistic picture for your client. But it’s also important to assess how and when these tools are truly valuable, so that clients don’t spend a small fortune monitoring for monitoring’s sake, or worse, becoming embroiled in listening without actually acting on the information mined to the benefit of their communications and business goals.
Monitoring tools, no doubt, have value. But before you get swept up in the hype, take a step back and ask yourself what you’re trying to accomplish with these tools. Could that money be put to better use elsewhere?
Martin Jones is the co-founder of Boston-based tech PR agency March Communications and its newly launched analytics division March Insight.