14 Ways Broadcast Monitoring Will Win You New Business and Help You Wow Clients – from PRWeek
As a public relations agency executive, your agency’s success is shaped by the amount of new business you win and the excellent results you consistently deliver to your clients.
But how do you find and win new business that your competitors don’t know about? How do you regularly exceed client expectations? What will make your teams more effective and your agency more competitive?
You already know about the three success factors that set your agency apart from all the others: the quality of your team, your expertise in your niche, and the amazing results you deliver.
But there’s a fourth success factor: tools that give you a competitive advantage at each stage of the client life cycle.
Set Your Agency Apart With Broadcast Monitoring
Like other agencies, you’ve invested in operational tools to help your agency run smoothly. A streamlined workflow, a powerful customer relationship management system, and a comprehensive media relations database will meet the basic needs of all agencies. But if you want a competitive edge, you’ll need a tool that helps you gain a deep understanding of the media landscape, identify the top influencers, recognize the nuances of competitors’ posturing, and quickly grasp public opinion about developing stories. No service accomplishes this as well as broadcast monitoring.
Television is still the most influential medium, reaching millions of viewers every day. It plays a critical role in shaping public opinion. More than 97% of U.S. households have a television, and 69% of Americans say they rely on broadcast TV as their main source of news, according to Pew Research.
With television exerting this much influence, can you afford to be without broadcast monitoring in your agency? Without it, you’ll miss new business opportunities and underserve your clients. Even worse, you may put them at risk of a crisis.
Broadcast Monitoring and the Client Life Cycle
To maintain a competitive edge, you and your team must demonstrate over and over that an investment in public relations will return strong results – from the first contact with a prospective client to daily relationship building and campaign execution.
Unlike any other tool, broadcast monitoring will set your agency apart during every stage of the client life cycle: attract, acquire, develop, retain, and build loyalty.
In the attract phase, broadcast monitoring will help you find and connect with clients who are a good fit for the agency’s expertise. During new business pitches, it can be used to surprise prospective customers with fresh views of their media landscape. As you develop the relationship, broadcast monitoring will help you bring new ideas to the table and to create the kinds of campaigns that exceed expectations. Broadcast monitoring will not only help you retain business, but also motivate clients to refer new business to you again and again.
Let’s take a closer look at each of these stages to understand just how broadcast monitoring can set your PR agency apart from the competition.
Attract New Clients
1. Market your agency with thought leadership. Broadcast monitoring can help you attract potential clients by identifying and developing topics for content marketing. When you provide your perspective on news events in target industries in blog posts or interviews, you’ll put your expertise on display, not only for your prospects, but for your existing clients too. In its 2015 survey on content marketing trends, the Content Marketing Institute found 69% of marketers use this tactic to strengthen customer relationships, while 57% use content marketing as a tool for building customer evangelism.
2. Track news events to identify potential clients. Emerging trends in target industries or regions will alert you to potential clients who may have an urgent need for strategic advice or simply, additional arms and legs.
For example, the new Apple Watch has the potential to impact not only technology companies, such as app developers and hardware manufacturers, but also health, fitness, and diet companies, fashion designers, and credit card companies. Monitoring the discussion around the product’s launch could uncover new or existing companies that may make ideal new clients. When Apple announced its new smartwatch, Motorola used the occasion to announce an expansion of its own smartwatch, but its news garnered a limited reception. This is an opportunity for a creative firm to pitch fresh campaign ideas to the company and win its business.
Acquire New Clients
3. Learn everything about the client and its market. The first rule of pitching to a potential client: Do your homework. Prospective clients must feel confident you know and understand their business, industry, and competitive situation thoroughly.
To be believable in your pitch, your homework must be comprehensive, including a review not only of your prospective client’s previous broadcast coverage, but of their competition’s too. This analysis yields insights and creative ideas, leading to recommendations that will give your team a competitive edge in the pitching process. For example, you can emphasize the need for media training by including an assessment of a CEO’s lackluster performance on a Monday morning talk show.
Your research should also include a review of how the issues are being covered, the bias of media personalities toward the client, and an assessment of how the competition is marketing itself. These are valuable data points that demonstrate how well you know both the media and business landscape.
4. Bring the new business pitch to life. When video clips are incorporated into the presentation, you will stand out among your competitors. These clips can elevate client understanding of specific challenges, differences in public opinion, and media bias. They can illustrate differences in audience demographics. For example, an agency pitching Jeb Bush’s political campaign can share the Hispanic communities’ reaction to Marco Rubio’s presidential bid announcement by showing a clip from a Spanish-language broadcast.
Develop Strong Relationships
5. Develop strategic campaigns. As agency teams develop strategic plans for clients, research is the foundation of all recommendations. A review of broadcast clips uncovers critical information to guide the campaign, including media bias (both friendly and adversarial), competitor strategy, activist photo ops, and more. This type of information isn’t readily apparent in traditional searches of publications and websites because most broadcast content isn’t available on the Web.
6. Create more effective messaging. Broadcast monitoring aids in the development of messages for specific campaigns during the planning process. Message development requires a strong understanding of competitive positioning and talking points, which is gleaned from clips. But another valuable input is the perspective of the consumer. For companies facing large socio-political issues, interviews with the man on the street are invaluable in shaping messages that resonate. Only television helps a business understand the tone of a comment accurately.
7. Deliver more insightful media training. In training sessions with your client’s executives, your media trainers can use broadcast monitoring to show before and after clips to help hone the skills of the client’s executives in media interviews.
Video clips can help your client quickly eliminate bad interview habits. Your client may not be aware that he doesn’t smile during interviews or has a habit of leaning back. The clips can also have the effect of increasing spokesperson confidence, especially if you archive clips and use them as a resource to demonstrate improvement over time. (Learn more by downloading our free Media Training Kit featuring TJ Walker)
8. Enhance the briefing book. Likewise, incorporating clips of a journalist’s previous interviews into the interview briefing book will help executives better understand format and style, and anticipate potential lines of inquiry. For example, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow has a very different approach to conducting an interview than CNN’s Anderson Cooper.
Video clips can illuminate the difference between a good interview and a bad one. Your client can better prepare for a broadcast appearance when she understands just how aggressive or friendly the journalist may be. Reviewing video clips will build confidence and help the client take control of the interview, resulting in a better outcome.
Retain Client Business
9. Become your client’s early warning system. As the client relationship solidifies, you become your client’s trusted partner to retain his business. Again, broadcast monitoring proves to your client that you have his best interests at heart, 24/7. It is an early warning system, alerting you via email to issues that may impact your client. This instant notification of search terms makes you as proactive as possible, giving you and your client enough lead time to respond appropriately before damage has been done or the opportunity has disappeared.
10. Provide competitive intelligence. With broadcast monitoring, you can track the top competitors to your client’s business. If a competitor releases a new product that is an alternative to your client’s, you can recommend a new PR outreach program, new messaging, or an increase in advertising. If a competitor experiences trouble – they’re fined by a regulatory body or experience a power outage, for example – you can advise the client on how best to take advantage of the opportunity.
11. Track issues and trends. Broader socio-political issues and industry trends regularly impact a client’s communications strategy. Broadcast monitoring enables you to stay on top of issues, allowing you and your team to identify a trend or opportunity early – long before the client and any of its competitors. You can then create a first-mover advantage for your client, with adequate time to influence opinion in its favor.
12. Better crisis management. As a crisis erupts, broadcast monitoring provides near realtime insights into the events, organizations, and people involved, making it easier to manage. But it’s also invaluable in managing post-crisis communications. With broadcast monitoring, you can evaluate the lasting impact of a tragedy or disaster, track the success of recovery or rebuilding messaging, and identify news outlets and reporters who are keeping the issue alive longer than your client would like. With this information, you can be more successful at adapting your client’s crisis management plan to create better outcomes.
13. Ongoing campaign evaluation. As an ongoing evaluation tactic, reviewing how the media covers your client is also valuable in making course corrections during a campaign. News clips will reveal nuances not found in a transcript. The adversarial tone of a journalist or the perceived insincerity of a corporate spokesperson can only be determined from a review of the clip.
14. Reporting. Perhaps most critically, broadcast monitoring demonstrates how your efforts are working for your client. You may already be tracking print or social media coverage. But if you aren’t measuring your impact in television, you’re likely painting an incomplete picture at best and an erroneous one at worst.
Broadcast monitoring provides additional metrics not available in other types of media. One quantitative metric is the size of audience viewership of a particular clip, provided by Nielsen. You can provide your client with audience size by clip, campaign, local, or national market.
Tips for Choosing a Broadcast Monitoring Service
To achieve all the benefits listed above that can help you better serve your agency clients at every stage of the client life cycle, make sure the broadcast monitoring service you choose has these five features and capabilities. They are essential to helping you find and win new business and provide exceptional service to all of your clients.
- Sophisticated search capabilities that enable you to enter complex search terms or narrow search to specific dates or markets
- Comprehensive market coverage should include broadcast outlets in all 210 US media markets plus international coverage
- Search archives of 30 days of archived clips and transcripts
- Immediate email alerts to stay ahead of emerging issues and crises
- The ability to edit broadcast media clips
Broadcast monitoring underpins every stage of the client life cycle and is a competitive differentiator for your agency.
When you understand the trends in the news coverage in the industries in which they specialize, when you are actively on the lookout for organizations you can help, you will find and reach potential clients.
When you prove you’re knowledgeable about your prospective client, its business, and the media environment in which it operates, you’ll win the business. When you develop smart campaigns, provide well-thought-out advice, and develop communications programs that help your client stand out among the competition, you create strong and trusting relationships.
When you bring new ideas to the table, are proactive in warning about potential hot spots, and help clients avert crises, you’re likely to be viewed as a valuable partner and thus indispensable.
When you consistently produce exceptional results, clients will recommend you to others – over and over again.
Broadcast monitoring enriches your relationship with your client by providing the qualitative and quantitative data that informs strategy, improves performance, and enables quick thinking and quick action. With it, you’ll set your agency apart from the competition and achieve your goals: to find and win new business, and to deliver exceptional results that turn clients into evangelists.