Use this button to switch between dark and light mode.

Media Intelligence 101: The Power of Data Analysis

May 02, 2024 (5 min read)
Media intelligence is the difference between tracking your media mentions to getting clear insight on what the data is telling you.

As any communications pro can attest, shaping the media narrative of a brand, campaign, or organization has grown increasingly difficult. The media landscape is vast, runs deep, and permeates our lives via television, print, the internet, and even art and experiences. The sheer volume of data to parse—estimated to reach 180 zetabytes by 2025—is mindboggling. Furthermore, mass media content specifically is continuously threatened by the fake news phenomenon. Consider these facts, and it’s no wonder that monitoring the media for brand mentions, customer sentiment, and reputation risks is no easy task.

In this blog, we explore why media intelligence brings more insight than media monitoring alone, why data makes a difference in your media monitoring strategy, and how media intelligence insights can power your path forward.

Why is media intelligence better than media monitoring?

Media intelligence is an antidote to help businesses protect their reputations and control their stories. It is a way to wade through the muck and understand how a brand, organization, or campaign is situated within the media landscape and perceived by the public. It is about going deeper to learn what the data means and how to leverage it in the future. It’s about transforming data and observations into actionable insights.

So, when it comes to deeply understanding the impact of media messages, it is important to move beyond simple media monitoring, and adopt a data-first mentality. Data analysis improves media intelligence by adding important context to a brand, organization, or campaign’s media results and offers powerful, actionable insights that will drive future communications strategy. This can even help communications pros uncover trends and take advantage of opportunities to drive their business forward. In other words, media intelligence can guide communication decisions that inform or impact future business decisions.

MORE: Turning data into decisions

Where do you start with media intelligence?

Media intelligence starts with asking every question you can think of to ensure the data you collect will lead to the right insights. This is the foundation for building media intelligence about a brand, organization, campaign—or even people, competitors, industry trends, and vendors or third-party suppliers. Think about the following questions to help guide your data collection approach:

  • Do you understand who your target audience is and how best to reach them?
  • Do you know how well your brand is performing in the media in general? And, against your competitors?
  • Are messages about your brand consistent across digital platforms and in other forms of media?
  • What nuances and context can you learn from how your brand is portrayed?
  • What has caused peaks and valleys in coverage of your brand?
  • What “white space” exists within industry topics and talking points? How do these align with your corporate initiatives?

From this point, you can start mining and monitoring raw media content. A media mining and monitoring tool like Nexis Newsdesk® can comprehensively capture media mentions from reliable data and licensed content from vetted media outlets. Most media mining and monitoring tools also offer expert support to supplement automated ongoing searches.

MORE: When to call in the media analysis experts

Surveying the data

Surveying the data being collected is the next step in building solid media intelligence. Most media monitoring platforms, Nexis Newsdesk included, provide built-in analysis of basic metrics such as media coverage, influence, location, and sentiment.

But advanced metrics of success—think key messages, quote prominence, industries covered by your mentions, story subject, stock symbols, and people, personalities, companies, and organizations mentioned alongside yours—will take your data analysis to the next level. To accurately report these more meaningful measurements, you may need to apply the human touch to your results.

While it can be time-consuming, the human element allows for more granular tone assessment (considering framing in addition to overall sentiment), strategic corporate messaging (interpretation of meaning), and can eliminate noise (assessing nuance) in a way AI cannot.

Hot Tip: If your media monitoring tool(s) doesn’t offer deeper analysis, or if you’re running low on resources to run the data yourself, our Media Intelligence Research & Analytics experts team can help. Their Custom Analytics Reports compile and analyze automated performance data from Nexis Newsdesk® and/or Nexis® Social Media Analytics based on your individual specifications and needs. The team can also summarize non-English articles and prepare executive summaries of the content. Custom Analytics Reports provide a 30,000-foot view of your brand’s performance that can be easily shared with an entire organization and even with stakeholders.

MORE: How to prove the value of communication

Unlocking powerful media insights

Once you’ve collected, measured, and objectively analyzed media data about your brand, organization, or campaign, it’s time to start making sense of it. This is when powerful insights usually emerge about your brand’s reputation and bottom line. Here are three common analyses to consider:

  • Brand Health Analysis measures overall performance of a brand, organization, or campaign across the media landscape.
  • Competitive Landscape Analysis measures competitors' trends, strengths and weaknesses, and communications strategies.
  • Industry Pulse Analysis measures the attractiveness and performance of a business sector, trade, or profession.

Taken together, these three steps lead to valuable media intelligence that paints a more accurate picture of the media landscape—and can help communications pros uncover trends and take advantage of opportunities to drive their business forward.

MORE: Tell the story behind the numbers for better media monitoring

Taking action with media intelligence

Media intelligence doesn’t end with insightful analysis of brand, competitive and industry performance; it ends with actionable recommendations to improve for the future. Use the media intelligence gained through your analysis to adjust tactics, and, if necessary, try a new approach. You may consider taking the following actions to strengthen the health of your brand, campaign, or organization:

  • Verify that PR efforts were effective
  • Demonstrate ROI
  • Provide opportunities to assess and refine
  • Develop the research phase of your next campaign

Developing powerful media intelligence requires casting a wide net for data collection, tracking your brand’s digital footprint, keeping up with social media, collaborating across company departments (i.e. with market research), real-time media monitoring, creative keyword queries, and documenting all findings. Nexis® Media Intelligence provides a blueprint to follow to do just that for your brand, organization, or campaign. Learn more and download our ebook, Mastering Media Intelligence: Essential Skills for the Future of PR.