PR ON THE GO December 27, 2023

PR Pulse: How Entrepreneurs Can Leverage Media Monitoring for Strategic Insights

Everyone talks about data-driven decision making as a goal. For startups and creative entrepreneurs, an often overlooked treasure is media monitoring, which has evolved from simple reporting to real-time insights that can provide a competitive advantage.

We asked PR and growth experts, as well as media intelligence specialists, to provide insight into the power of media monitoring. As careful media monitoring can lead to strategic insights, our experts reveal how to approach it, the importance of social listening, what data to collect and how, and provide an overview of the tools available.

  • Done right, media monitoring enables data-driven decision making.
  • Set up Google Alerts for both your company name and your own name.
  • Set up Google Alerts for your keywords.
  • Leverage social listening, one of the most critical aspects of media monitoring.
  • Track mentions, comments, and discussions.
  • Regularly analyze to discover trends and patterns
  • Keep an eye on industry terms, competitor names, and relevant hashtags.
  • Monitor niche groups where people are passionate about what they do.
  • Look at common issues, new trends, and major pain points.
  • Gain competitive intelligence for useful details on how to differentiate and create advantage.
  • Track coverage, analyze prominence, and determine your share of voice.

1) Done right, media monitoring enables data-driven decision making

Tan Sukhera, Founder & CEO at Piar

"As a former employee of Cision and Meltwater, I'm an expert in all things Media Monitoring & Social Listening related. As the founder of Piar, I've made it mission to fight reporting for reporting's sake.

Here's my take on media monitoring: Media monitoring provides startups strategic insights to navigate industry landscapes. Begin tracking brand mentions, key projects, and influencers. As you expand, analyze competitors and broader trends, looking beyond vanity metrics to various media. Social listening offers perception and sentiment data. Collect information on where and how your brand is discussed, including emotional tone. Respond to positive mentions, address concerns promptly, and cultivate relationships. Track industry trends and competitors for valuable insights to stay ahead. Understand your target audience by analyzing preferences, pain points and behavior to refine marketing approaches. Explore free tools like Google Alerts and social listening first. As you scale, consider advanced options like Brandwatch, Meltwater, or services like Piar for more comprehensive monitoring & analysis. Refine your brand narrative by adjusting messaging based on perception data. Identify influential industry voices to build partnerships and amplify reach and credibility. Use trends and interests to drive targeted content creation.

Done right, monitoring goes beyond vanity metrics to inform audience understanding, industry navigation and data-driven decisions for brand growth."

2) Set up Google Alerts for both your company name and your own name

Paige Arnof-Fenn, Owner at Mavens & Moguls

"Most of my work comes by referral and word of mouth. I think having a good online reputation is incredibly important to building a strong professional service business like mine. To monitor your online reputation I recommend you set up a Google Alert for both your company’s name and your own name to notify you any time one of your press releases post, when your name is mentioned on another website, or whenever you are indexed by Google. As a business leader, you’ll want to monitor and track everything that reflects on your business and you personally as well. It is best to know what digital dirt exists on you so you do not get blindsided or surprised when people check you out online.

Monitoring is about searching and collecting the data (when you are being tagged or mentioned), it is the first step to making connections with your target audience whereas social listening is about canvasing the various social media channels for any mentions, discussions or customer feedback about your brand. It is about analyzing the data to gain insights into your market, competitors, key words, etc. so you can better understand your audience to target your strategy and take action. Listening takes it further by analyzing the conversations around your brand as well as trends in the industry, it tells you what people think and why so your campaigns can be more effective and impactful."

3) Set up Google Alerts for your keywords

Emily Reynolds-Bergh, Owner at R Public Relations

"Beginners to media monitoring should start by setting up Google Alerts. You’ll receive emails every time Google detects a new article with your selected keywords. Be as specific as possible to ensure the media hits included in the alert are relevant to your business! Media monitoring is a valuable tool because it allows business owners to keep a pulse on the industry and their specific niche, spurring ideas for new promotions and helping direct business decisions down the line."

PR ON THE GO Media Lists: Carefully curated journalist contacts and verified email addresses.

4) Leverage social listening, one of the most critical aspects of media monitoring

Diana Zheng, Head of Marketing at Stallion Express

"Media tracking is a must-have for startups and entrepreneurs. Social listening, one of the most critical aspects of media monitoring, involves monitoring online conversations to gain insight into sentiment, trends and brand mentions.

Begin by outlining your objectives. Identify the keywords you want to use, the hashtags you want to include, and the industry influencers you want to target. Utilize advanced tools such as Brandwatch and Mention to simplify the process. If you're a startup, you can start with free or inexpensive tools like Google Alerts and Hootsuite.

Data collection includes brand mentions, brand sentiment analysis, competitor activity, engagement metrics, customer feedback, and industry trends. Data is essential for developing marketing plans and staying up-to-date.

If you're looking for more in-depth media monitoring, check out tools like Talkwalker, Socialbakers or Sprout Social. These tools provide real-time data, sentiment analysis and competitive benchmarking.

As a result, media monitoring reveals new trends, customer behaviour, and competitive dynamics. By analyzing this information, startups can better strategize, improve messaging, and exploit market opportunities. Media monitoring is a compass for strategic thinking and agile change."

5) Track mentions, comments, and discussions.

Kevin Miller, SEO Expert at

"Social listening is a powerful tool, offering a nuanced understanding of audience sentiment and market dynamics. The critical argument revolves around harnessing social listening to inform strategic decisions, providing brands with actionable insights for enhanced engagement, competitive positioning, and overall success. Social listening empowers brands to tap into the real-time pulse of audience sentiment.

By tracking mentions, comments, and discussions across social media platforms, brands gain immediate insights into how they are perceived. This real-time understanding enables swift responses to positive interactions and proactive crisis management in the face of negative sentiment. Social listening serves as a radar for emerging market trends. By monitoring industry-related conversations, brands can identify evolving trends and changing consumer preferences. This insight empowers strategic adaptation, allowing brands to align their offerings with current market demands, staying ahead of the curve and maintaining relevance."

6) Regularly analyze to discover trends and patterns

James Smith, Founder at Travel-Lingual

"Media monitoring is the process of monitoring what people say about your brand and industry across different channels. It’s a revolutionary tool for startups, as it provides real-time insights and helps you stay on top of the latest trends.

The first step is to identify keywords relevant to your niche and set them up as alerts on platforms such as Google Alerts and social media listening tools. Social listening isn’t just about counting mentions; it’s about knowing their sentiment. Social listening tools like HootSuite and Mention allow you to measure the idea behind your brand’s or industry’s awards. Emotional intelligence is the gold standard for any communication strategy and is the key to resonating with your audience.

It’s important to collect the right data. Monitor metrics such as brand mentions / sentiment / share of voice. Regularly analyze this data to discover trends and patterns. It’s not about the number of conversations but the quality. Are people engaged? Are there issues you can solve? Here’s where you find the gold that shapes your business decisions.

When it comes to tools, there’s no shortage of them. From Google Analytics to Brandwatch to Social Mention, you’re sure to find one right for you. Pick the ones that match your objectives and your budget. These tools allow you to transform raw data into valuable insights, giving you the competitive advantage you need in today’s marketplace.

Monitoring media closely is like having a magnifying glass on your business. It reveals new trends, consumer trends, and even crises before they happen. With this information, you can adjust your strategies, personalize your messaging, and present your brand as an agile and innovative player in the marketplace."

7) Keep an eye on industry terms, competitor names, and relevant hashtags.

Draven McConville, CEO & Founder at Klipboard

"To effectively handle the constantly changing landscape of how people think about your brand, you need to do more than just keep track of mentions. Finding new trends, digging into the subtleties of how people feel, and doing mood analysis are all important steps in understanding the "why" behind mentions, not just the "what."

Just counting the number of times a brand is mentioned isn't enough to get the whole picture. Social listening, on the other hand, looks at how people feel when they're talking about things. It can show you how people feel about your brand, products, or business, whether they feel positively, neutrally, or negatively. This nuanced method gives you a lot of useful information about what customers want, what worries them, and how satisfied they are overall.

Keep an eye on when your company, industry terms, rival names, and relevant hashtags are mentioned to get useful information.

Specialized social listening tools, like Brandwatch, Sprout Social, and Mentionlytics, can help you keep up with conversations happening in real-time across many platforms.

By carefully watching what the media says, you can find very useful strategy information. This method not only shows what buyers are saying but also what they want, need, and are having trouble with. This kind of discernment is the basis for improving products and coming up with new ideas, which makes sure that you are proactive about meeting customer standards."

8) Monitor niche groups where people are passionate about what they do.

Adam Young, CEO at Event Tickets Center

"To stay in touch with your audience, you need to try new ways to listen to them on social media. Instead of only paying attention to the noise of the mainstream, look into niche groups where people are passionate about what they do. By connecting with these smaller groups that are important to your brand, you can find out things you didn't know before and make deeper connections.

At its core, social listening is about finding trends and taking advantage of chances. You can learn about new trends, changes in your business, and changing customer needs by carefully keeping track of online conversations. This proactive method gives you the power to change your plans, stay ahead of the curve, and see growth and innovation opportunities.

To get through the huge amount of data, it's important to be very careful when collecting it. Figure out how people are feeling by noticing the difference between normal, positive, and negative tones. Looking into demographics can help you figure out the age, location, and hobbies of people who are talking about your brand.

When you need to collect data, you can use automated tools and methods like web scraping to get information from certain websites and groups. This careful method makes sure that you have a full picture of the digital world around your brand.

As a strategic tool, careful media tracking can reveal a lot of useful information. It's more than just observation; it lets you improve marketing efforts. Change your channels, material, and messages based on the interests, demographics, and feelings of your audience.

This method also lets you find people who like and dislike your brand. Engaging with your loudest fans and addressing the concerns of your most vocal critics not only improves the image of your brand but also creates new ways to make it even better. In the complex web of social listening, all of its parts work together to form a complete plan for navigating and reacting to the constantly changing digital world."

9) Look at common issues, new trends, and major pain points.

Michael Wall, Founder at Codefixer

"Businesses that want to improve their online visibility and customer relationships need to use different approaches to social listening.

Real-Time Monitoring should be something that everyone does. Set up alerts for keywords, industry trends, and possible crises instead of depending on reports every three months. This proactive method lets you respond and change your strategies right away, making it easier to move quickly through the constantly changing digital world.

If you want to build better relationships with your audience, you need to know what social listening is. Take part in online communities, react to feedback, and address customer concerns to build trust and loyalty, which will turn customers into loyal brand advocates.

When you're thinking about what data to gather and how to gather it, look for themes and trends. To stay ahead in your industry, look at common issues, new trends, and major pain points regularly.

For good Data Collection Methods, connect the APIs of social media sites straight to your data analysis systems. This smooth merging gives you a complete and up-to-date picture of how your audience feels and what they like.

It is very important to understand how careful media monitoring can lead to strategic insights. Take charge of your image and crises by responding quickly to negative feedback. Keeping an eye on things in real-time protects your image and gives you strategic information for constant improvement."

10) Gain competitive intelligence for useful details on how to differentiate and create advantage.

Jason Wise, Editor at EarthWeb

"Using different types of information from different sources without any problems is part of exploring new ways to listen to people online. When you combine data from social listening with data from website analytics, customer polls, and internal sales data, you get a full picture of what customers want and how they feel about your brand.

Social listening is a strategic technique that includes many different parts. Competitive intelligence is very important because it looks at what your rivals are doing online to learn about their strategies, successes, and weak spots. The information you get from this sets a standard for success and helps you find ways to stand out and create real competitive advantages.

It is very important to know what data to gather and how to gather it. A key part is figuring out who the key influencers are who are starting talks and getting people involved. One way is through manual monitoring, which includes taking part in important online communities and conversations.

Careful monitoring of the media is the key to getting strategic information. To stress again how important competitive intelligence is, it gives us useful details for comparing, setting ourselves apart, and creating benefits over our competitors."

11) Track coverage, analyze prominence, and determine your share of voice.

Lucas Ochoa, Founder and CEO at Automat

"Startups and entrepreneurs should have clear expectations before immersing into media monitoring as the duty requires consistency and diligence.

Media monitoring involves tracking of coverage pick-ups, analyzing the prominence, and determining your share of voice and messaging among your competitors and across the industry, among other metrics that may be set based on your objectives. And you must run-through traditional and digital media channels for a more comprehensive analysis of your publicity.

Social listening is a subset of media monitoring, particularly on social media conversations. This gives you the opportunity for a more in-depth understanding of your customers, give a timely response and engage with your audience. Data may range from the simple likes, shares, comments and mentions to rather complex ones that require further analysis like demographics, sentiment analysis, and the impact of campaigns to its community and the general audience. There are also a wide array of tools available and knowing whom to partner with all depends on your specific needs and even budget.

Media monitoring is an essential and powerful tool to gather strategic insights and can help you make informed decisions for your brand's improved performance. In addition, monitoring your competitors is imperative to help you identify gaps that your brand and business can actually fill."


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