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Unlocking Opportunities in Media Intelligence: A Closer Look at Data Analysis Techniques

May 14, 2024 (6 min read)
Dive deep into data to get the most out of your media monitoring.

Developing strong media intelligence for PR and brand management truly depends on the methods you choose to analyze the data gathered through your media mining and monitoring efforts. What you look at and how you look at it are key to understanding how your brand, organization, or campaign is situated within the larger media landscape—and ultimately perceived by the public.


We explore basic and advanced measurement techniques and impactful ways to present your media intelligence insights in our latest ebook, Mastering Media Intelligence: Essential Skills for the Future of PR Read on for a preview!


Entry-level analysis

At its most basic level, your media intelligence should include the following four metrics. Most media monitoring tools, such as Nexis Newsdesk®, leverage AI to make it easy to capture and analyze these essential measurements:


  • Coverage—measures the number of stories/social media posts, the size of the audience or reach, mentions over a specific period, and reach over a specific period of time to determine the amount of exposure.


  • Influence—measures the number of readers, followers, or unique online visitors, engagement, and social media lift your coverage garners to determine how much impact a story/social media post has influenced your audience’s behavior, opinions, and decisions. Additionally, a website’s MozRank or a snapshot of its SEO health and credibility is another indicator of influence.


  • Location—measures the origin of the story (source city/state/region/country), and location(s) mentioned in it to determine where the content has been consumed.


  • Sentiment—is measured by assigning positive, negative, or neutral sentiment tags to a piece of content, and by measuring sentiment over time. Automated systems (including AI) assign sentiment to content, often based on the proximity of “negative” words to brand, organization, or campaign keywords. Human analysis, meanwhile, takes sentiment analysis beyond binaries. Both are useful metrics to understand.


Getting more detailed

Advanced media monitoring approaches may include how key messages are communicated, quote prominence, industries covered by your mentions, story subject, stock symbols, companies and organizations mentioned alongside yours, and people and personalities associated with the results.


For example, you can look at overall coverage in specific locations or how many stories deemed “positive” are getting high engagement on social media platforms. You can also compare your results against a main competitor to add another layer of context for determining your brand, organization, or campaign’s strength.

As with the “entry level” analysis outlined above, many advanced measurement techniques can be automated by AI—if your search foundation is strong. A simple search casts a wide net, finding mentions of a brand across print, digital, and social media sources. Meanwhile, a Boolean search uses operator words such as AND, OR, or NOT to refine, expand, or exclude results, making them more precise. Customized searches, on the other hand, are the shortcut to getting exactly what you want out of the data you’re searching for.

Most media mining and monitoring tools offer expert support to supplement automated searches, track and make sense of results, and even transform your data into actionable insights. For example, Nexis Newsdesk® Customer Success consultants support our customers with onboarding, tech support, personalized training, collaboration, and guidance.

MORE: How to use metadata in media intelligence

Oh, the humanity!

What are humans better at doing than machines? Understanding humans. Even the most powerful AI can’t always assign the correct meaning to metrics. Our Media Intelligence Research & Analytics experts—experienced media intelligence pros who provide concierge media intelligence services—are often asked by our customers to supplement their automated analyses with the following assessments:

  • Granular tone: This measurement goes beyond the overall sentiment an automated analysis might uncover, revealing how specific messages within the piece are framed and allowing for more accurate sentiment analysis. For example, an automated search might tag an article’s overall sentiment as negative, but a human assessment of the story could reveal a positive spin to the portion of the story in which your company is specifically mentioned. In this instance, the story would be reclassified as positive instead of negative.
  • Strategic corporate messaging: In a perfect PR world, the media picks up your carefully, thoughtfully written key messages verbatim, in every story… but, sadly, that’s almost never the case. Just because media coverage doesn’t include the exact strategic corporate messaging your brand, organization or campaign prefers, however, doesn’t mean this content should be ignored in analysis. This is where humans come in. Analysts can read the article and interpret its meaning, more specifically determining if a story should get credit for including the overall message of your brand.
  • Noise: Eliminating articles that are ambiguous is necessary to accurately understand the true prominence/performance of your brand, organization, or campaign. Humans can assess nuance in content that a search engine simply cannot, and then eliminate results that muddy the waters.

Hot Tip: Where does social media analysis fit in?

Understanding how your brand, organization, or campaign performs across social media platforms is table stakes for modern communicators. Luckily, AI solutions allow communications pros to go deeper than coverage over time, sentiment, hashtags, followers, and engagements.

Increasingly sophisticated tools analyze social media data in real-time with advanced text analytics; measure and compare your brand, organization, or campaign performance against industry peers; demonstrate direct business impact by combining PR data with Google Analytics, Facebook Insights, or other custom metrics; and more.

Data delivery matters

Media mining and monitoring tools allow you to cut through the clutter, streamlining information to meet your brand’s needs and putting the right data at your fingertips. But to make the most of your media monitoring results, you need to have the data delivered to you how you want it.

Data visualizations that present metrics in easy-to-digest charts and graphs are, of course, the industry standard. After all, a picture is worth 1,000 words! Most media monitoring and measurement tools will allow you to download embeddable, presentation-ready visuals to help illustrate your results and prove ROI.

You could also have results delivered as full, raw data sets that must be manipulated and interpreted on the back end. This is ideal for communications teams that have built their own data visualization tools or leverage data scientists to report results.

MORE: Media monitoring 101

Share your results

Finally, it’s important to share monitoring results across your organization and with relevant stakeholders so everyone understands the big picture. This is best accomplished through branded newsletters or RSS feeds that can be easily distributed internally. Meanwhile, mobile apps have improved significantly in recent years, enabling real-time media monitoring, seamless collaboration, and greater synergy with desktop applications so teams can better understand and share in-the-moment coverage while on the go.

Better media intelligence with expert insight

What about when you need go beyond the automated processes of collecting, mining, measuring, and analyzing your media data—say, for a major company announcement or a splashy new product launch? Lean on the experts! The Media Intelligence Research & Analytics team at LexisNexis can generate bespoke measurement, analysis and insights reports on an as needed or regular basis. For example, we offer Custom Analytics Reports in which our experts dig into your media coverage to determine how news and social media channels are portraying your brand, organization, or campaign, including revealing coverage sentiment, leading coverage drivers, and key messaging. We also include qualitative insight behind the results.

Insightful media intelligence helps businesses understand consumer preferences, manage their reputations, and gain competitor insights—and that’s just the beginning. You can learn more by downloading our latest ebook.