By: Andrea Christianson, achristianson@hamiltonps.com 

Even in normal times, our news cycle is crowded. During a crisis — especially a global pandemic — it goes into overdrive. An effective media monitoring and analysis operation can equip organizations with relevant information in real time, empower them to act urgently, and provide unique insights for long-term planning.

Below are three ways media monitoring and analysis can help you better engage and plan during the current COVID-19 crisis and other crises down the line:

Filter The Noise: During a crisis, things change constantly. Today, the most recent news on COVID-19 cases, deaths, hotspots, research, and government actions is outdated almost immediately after it is reported. It’s impossible, and frankly unproductive, to stay abreast of every new report. However, it is essential that decision makers have a clear view of the big picture, as well as how the crisis is affecting their organization and industry. An effective media monitoring system can help in two ways:

  1. Macro-Level Alerts: A system that provides regular updates on the news that matters most, as well as breaking reports, will keep you and your team in the know while freeing up time and energy for other priorities. In practice, this could look like a compendium of the latest COVID-19 statistics in relevant geographies three times a day combined with select real-time alerts of major developments.
  2. Issue-Specific News: Although crises often suck the air out of an organization’s issue set, issue-specific alerts and analysis remain critical in this time period. These filters can help you answer important questions about your organization, your peers, and the broader industry in the moment and over time (more on that below).

Empower Action: COVID-19 has been a reminder that the old refrain “never let a crisis go to waste” does not always apply. However, many organizations have unique skills and resources that can be mustered as crises evolve — whether that is donating needed equipment, repurposing production facilities, contributing to research, or something else. A good media monitoring system empowers organizations to understand whether, how, and when they can lend support during a crisis; a single news alert can reveal an urgent need your organization is uniquely qualified to fulfill. Keep in mind that any ideas should always be closely vetted. If you’re looking for whether you should take a COVID-19-specific action, HPS partner Jim David recently shared a three-part test you can reference here.

Support Future Planning: Crises vary in length, but they eventually end, and when they do, the focus will shift to adjusting to the new normal. Although organizations must necessarily focus on dealing with the crisis, they should also dedicate energy to how they will surface on the other side. Media analysis offers insights into emerging trends, enabling organizations to stay ahead on planning and strategy adjustment.

HPS’ affiliate company, Flag Media Analytics, is currently engaged in media monitoring and analysis for clients on their specific issues, as well as the COVID-19 crisis. If you’re interested in learning more about our capabilities, reach out to Andrea Christianson at AChristianson@hamiltonps.com.