media measurement dashboards

Monitoring and measuring news and social media has transitioned from a nice-to-have to a must-have in public relations, marketing, product management, competitive intelligence, customer service and other corporate functions. Besides gauging the effectiveness of PR efforts and marketing, media monitoring and measurement helps organizations conduct market research, improve customer service, manage corporate reputation, collect competitive intelligence and assess corporate strategy, among other benefits.

Most all companies and not-for-profits outsource monitoring and measurement and receive daily email alerts on new media mentions from their selected service. However, selecting the best media and monitoring vendor can be challenging. Media monitoring and social media monitoring services abound. Many perform adequate monitoring only for social media; others only for traditional media. Many offer little or no analytics services.

The media monitoring coverage and the services measurement dashboard are key features to examine. Without comprehensive, accurate coverage and a well-designed dashboard, analyzing the huge amount of media data can be overwhelming, especially for a well-covered public corporation or well-known not-for-profit organization. When evaluating a media monitoring and measurement service, you’ll want to be sure they offer these features:

Comprehensive monitoring. A quality dashboard displays data from owned media and a full range of news and social media. That includes print, television and radio broadcasts, blogs, message boards and forums and online news, in addition to social media networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube.

Integrated analytics. The best dashboards integrate analytics from all media and social networks, including the client’s Google Analytics. An integrated analytics approach provides a 360-degree view of how earned media, marketing or social media campaigns impact key business objectives.

Customizable. If a dashboard can be customized to the client’s needs, different divisions, departments, brand managers, or country managers can create different search and measurement profiles. They can generate charts and graphs for their particular needs. PR teams monitoring a crisis or a campaign can create specific views, filters, and dashboards. The service can create new custom metrics for clients.

Intuitive. An intuitive design makes it easy for users to master the dashboard and learn how to use it. Users can easily choose metrics they want to track, the charts and graphs to display those metrics, and other dashboard features.

Accuracy. Good keyword filters will eliminate irrelevant clips and ensure the most accurate search results possible. Advanced search capabilities include Boolean search commands, such as “And,” “Or,” and “Not,” and the ability to specify capitalization proximity, plurals and possessives and word repetition.

Sentiment analysis. The best dashboards provide sentiment analysis: They grade brand mentions on a positive-to-negative scale and assess the prominence, dominance, and other qualitative factors of brand mentions. They also identify predetermined corporate messages. Be sure to test its accuracy, as automated sentiment analyses are often inaccurate. The most advanced services combine automated sentiment analysis with human analysts.

Automated alerts. A first-class dashboard can send customized alerts to match the client’s specifications. It can send different email alerts to individuals in different departments or with different responsibilities in the organization daily or several times a day.

Language translation. A high-quality media monitoring service can translate foreign languages into your native language – or the native languages of other users around the world. Automated translation isn’t perfect by any means, but it usually does provide a real understanding of the content of the article or social media post.

Cost effective. Price is naturally always a major concern when selecting a media monitoring service. Be sure to seek a comprehensive, integrated and intuitive dashboard for a cost effective price. In addition, seek a media monitoring tool that offers monthly contracts to avoid being tied into a long-term contract with a service that turns out to be inadequate.

Human analysts. Although most organizations find automated monitoring and measurement sufficient, some desire the additional advantages of human analysts. Well-trained, experienced analysts can assess clips with greater depth and accuracy than any of today’s software. They provide clients more meaningful insights on the impact of their PR and marketing programs.

A free trail. A short free trial will reveal the dashboard’s abilities and the accuracy of its data better than a canned online demo. If the vendor doesn’t provide a free trial, insist on a 30-day cancellation clause.

Bottom Line: Finding a media monitoring and measurement tool that meets your organization’s needs can be challenging. These recommended features can help PR and marketing teams weed out the weaker players and find the most appropriate and cost-effective media monitoring and measurement service. By focusing on the vendor’s dashboard, organizations can hone in on the full range of its monitoring and measurement capabilities.

This article was originally published on the blog.