#3. Accuracy

This is the 3rd article in our series of ‘Reasons why you should abandon old world media monitoring for digital-first media intelligence’. Missed the others? Check out #1. Speed and #2. Flexibility.

Last week on the blog we argued in favour of the importance of speed in media monitoring. In a 24/7 digital media environment lead time can often be the difference between a crisis and good publicity, BUT only if the information at hand is reliable, accurate and comprehensive.

Aesop’s classic fable, the tortoise and hare illustrates what can happen when consistency is sacrificed in favour of speed: despite the hare’s obvious speed advantage, the tortoise wins the race because of its consistent, reliable approach. The same principle applies to media monitoring: there is no point delivering news at a lightning fast pace if it means you have to sacrifice accuracy, consistency, relevancy and analysis to achieve this.



Speed should be paired with relevancy – and this means ensuring that your organisation isn’t cluttered with mountains of irrelevant or erroneous media, but rather a collection of relevant, actionable information.

Signs that your media monitor might not be providing you with accurate service?

  1. If you pay for your media monitoring service on a ‘per-clip’ basis, there may be a tendency for your provider to push you as much media as possible – regardless of its relevancy. Consider the volume of media you receive each month and the percentage of this which is accurate and relevant to your needs.
  2. Consider the scope of their source base: if you are an Australian company and your provider has an internationally oriented source base, you may be missing out on a tranche of influential local and regional content.
  3. Do you receive media mentions based on out of date keywords which no longer reflect the interests and priorities of your business?
  4. Is it difficult for you to flag irrelevant or erroneous material that is delivered to your business?

#2. Flexibility


Have you ever been at the centre of an unfolding crisis only to find yourself limited by static keywords which include irrelevant media and omit key stories? Spending hours liaising with your media monitoring service trying to update keywords is more than frustrating, it’s wasted time which could be better spent analysing and responding to an evolving story. News changes on  a minute-by-minute basis, so why should your keywords remain fixed?

Unlimited keyword flexibility means that you can add, modify and delete keywords instantly – keeping your news relevant and making it easier to prioritise and respond to it. Having the flexibility to add and remove keywords for key spokespeople, stakeholders, product names, competitors and emerging issues is the best way to keep on top of your media and is the most comprehensive way to approach issues management.

blog arrowsFlexibility shouldn’t just end at keywords, it should extend to your source base. Different organisations generate attention in different publications, so it’s important that your media monitoring service is capable of adding new sources to ensure your coverage is comprehensive. Streem constantly updates our source base based on the individual needs of our customers, ensuring that niche or industry specific publications are included. 

5 Reasons why you should abandon old-world media monitoring for digital-first media intelligence


We recently featured a story which discussed the importance of speed in media monitoring, and revealed that it takes less than 4 minutes for a news story to spread from one source to another in the Australian news market. For listed and price sensitive companies, the speed of news distribution and consumption can become an all to familiar source of frustration and stress, especially for those working in issues and crisis management. Key stakeholders and spokespeople can’t respond effectively to an unfolding crisis if coverage of the issue isn’t available for hours or even days.

Old-world media monitoring services are unable to deliver relevant material in a timely manner. In a media landscape where minutes can make or break audience perception of a public figure, product or company, it is unacceptable for any media monitoring service to deliver “breaking news” hours or days after it first reaches the public.

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The delivery speed of old-world services is impaired by a dependence on human labour to collect, transcribe, sort and distribute information, all of which are tasks which can now be technology driven to ensure relevant, accurate news is delivered in realtime. 

Streem delivers all forms of media within minutes of publication or broadcast – the fastest delivery of news and alerts in the Australian market. Streem is highly accurate and not human-summarised, meaning that we can pass the news straight on to you without waiting hours for a human to transcribe it word by word. Plus, relying on tested, powerful filtering infrastructure means that your news coverage is less likely to fall prey to human error or omission.

A 24/7 media environment requires an elite level of visibility across live media issues, and this means settling for nothing less than a realtime platform capable of delivering news within minutes of publication or broadcast.

Australia’s media monitoring sector disrupted with entry of Streem

After 3 years of R&D and 18 months of customer commercialisation, Streem officially announced its entry into the media monitoring sector on Wednesday night with an event at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney. Promising to re-invent media intelligence, the event featured significant attendance from over 150 key figures within media and communications. Representatives from large corporates across consumer electronics, FMCG, major sporting codes, transport/logistics, State and Federal government departments and NGOs came to witness the debut of Streem’s disruptive, full-service monitoring platform.

Streem co-founders Antoine Sabourin and Elgar Welch

Streem leverages industry-first technology to monitor Online, Print, TV, Radio and Social Media and delivers customers realtime news alerts and media within minutes of publication or broadcast, direct to their Desktop, Tablet or Mobile.

The evening kicked off with an address from Tony Davis, chair of the Woolworths backed data analytics firm Quantium. “We are witnessing the emergence of another powerful data and technology-enabled disruptor in the Australian business landscape” Davis said. “With its fast and accurate platform, impossible to match with human processes alone, Streem will allow organisations to manage their media and audiences with far greater effect and resonance”.

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Streem’s co-founder and Lead Elgar Welch reinforced the importance of speed and flexibility in his keynote address. “Customers want speed, flexibility to monitor and transparent pricing” Welch said. Streem’s realtime media intelligence infrastructure makes it the fastest, most accurate in the industry and sets it apart from slow, clunky, old-world monitoring providers.

“We’ve been delivering Streem to customers for 18 months and have chosen to officially launch now with the backing of not only a great board, but some key clients including Australia’s biggest sports league, major government departments, household consumer brands and top 100 ASX corporates. We’re thrilled about the growth we’ve experienced and the organisations preparing to shift to Streem.”

Welch also used the launch as an opportunity to unveil Streem’s industry-first partnership with Australia’s largest content producers. Access to realtime audience data enables Streem to measure actual engagement in news and issues drawn from the online behaviour of millions of Australians, enabling decision makers to make informed responses. Combining audience data with realtime news is a game-changer for the industry.


Boolean Basics: Curating powerful queries which do the work for you

Media monitoring can often feel like pulling needles from a haystack: thousands of new stories emerge daily, making it difficult to quickly and accurately sort irrelevant mentions from breaking news. Boolean operators like AND, OR, NOT are perfect for building precise, complex queries to make sure you get exactly what you’re searching for.

Putting together complex queries may seem like a headache but it’s surprisingly easy to reap the benefits that come hand-in-hand with specific, targeted queries. A well-written query will produce accurate, relevant data, which gives you better insights, helps you to make smarter decisions and will ultimately strengthen your business.

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At Streem we are focused on enhancing flexibility, and this flexibility begins with your search terms. Creating personalised Boolean queries means you can get the exact data you want whilst having the flexibility to change these as the news agenda evolves. So let’s get started:

1. AND

“AND” requires the media item to contain both sets of terms that AND refers to e.g. Chocolate AND Milk will find news that mentions both Chocolate and Milk. An article that says ‘I love Chocolate and Milk’ will be found with this query. Remember that AND must be capitalised.

2. OR

“OR” requires the media item to contain either of two terms e.g. Chocolate OR Milk will find web sites that mention either Chocolate or Milk (a much broader search than the “AND” operator). A media item that says ‘I just went shopping and bought some Milk, bananas, etc’ will be found with this query.

You can also use OR to include variations in the way that brands can be referred to or any common spelling mistakes for brand names e.g (Macdonalds OR Macdonald’s OR MacDonalds OR Maccas or Maccy D’s or MacDs).

3. NOT

You can easily remove unwanted keywords from your search by typing in “NOT”. “Chocolate Milk” NOT Strawberry will find web sites that mention “Chocolate Milk” but not strawberry. As with AND and OR, NOT has to be capitalised.

Most Queries will require some form of exclusions, whether these be irrelevant authors or mentions, or if there are certain types of mentions about the brand you’re just not interested in.

Boolean_Generic_20151028-014. ( Parentheses )

Parentheses are used to group terms together, so that operators like AND and OR can be applied to all the terms in the brackets, e.g., “Chocolate Milk” AND (Icecream OR “ice cream” OR confectionary) will find results with phrases like “Chocolate Milk flavoured icecream” or “Chocolate milk flavoured confectionary”.

5. “Double quotes”

Double quotes finds media items where the text in the quotation marks appears in that order without any other words in the middle. For example, searching for “chocolate milk” will find a site that says ‘I love chocolate milk’ and ignore sites that mention just chocolate or just milk.

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Common mistakes to avoid

Curating queries for frequently mentioned brands or ambiguous issues can be a difficult undertaking – misuse of operators or improper testing can lead to irrelevant results, or worse, may exclude relevant results. So we’ve included some common mistakes to avoid when writing queries:

  1. Not capitalising ‘NOT’, ‘AND’, ‘OR’, etc.
  2. Forgetting to use include quotation marks for phrases, e.g. ‘Chocolate Milk” OR Choc Milk should be “Chocolate Milk” OR “Choc Milk”
  3. Forgetting to close brackets
  4. Avoid syntax errors: Even when the query is complicated, it is usually best to work off a simple structure made up of 3 parts:

[Main term] AND [context terms] NOT [excluded terms]

Happy Booleaning! Remember, if you run into any trouble, your dedicated Streem Account manager can curate bespoke boolean queries for you.

The Front Page Story

Is the front page story a reliable indicator of influence?

Landing the front page story of a daily metropolitan newspaper used to represent the pinnacle of earned media. But in an environment where digital editions are updated hourly and social media can turn a niche story viral within minutes, can the ‘front page story’ remain a reliable indicator of influence ? 

Timing is key

Back in the golden age of the print edition newspaper, a front page story would remain in position for 24 hours until the next morning’s edition replaced it. The new online news realm operates at an entirely different pace where online editions are subject to change on a minute-by-minute basis. This constant process of curation and replacement means that some stories remain for hours at the top of online editions, whereas others are knocked off and replaced within minutes.

Editor vs. People Powered front page. Image courtesy of NewsWhip. 

Would front pages look different if readers selected the top stories?

Web-editions would look very different if they were curated by the general public rather than a collection of editors sitting in a news conference. An experiment conducted by social signals platform NewsWhip found that stories that the general public choose to share differ greatly from the selection of news stories editors place on the front pages of their digital editions. 

Are front page mention synonymous with high social media engagement?

Not necessarily. A correlation exists between front page position and social media exposure, however it is difficult to ascertain whether social media engagement drives a front page story or a front page position drives social media engagement. To further complicate matters, a front page article is not necessarily synonymous with huge social media engagement. Articles which generate thousands of audience engagements may never make it to the front page position of an online edition, whereas ‘newsworthy’ content placed in pole position by editors may generate relatively small engagement. 

Why monitor front pages?

Streem’s front page chart helps visualise how salient a particular story was in relation to other coverage of your organisation. For example, knowing that a story about your product spent an average of 58m on the front page, or that your organisation was mentioned on 43 front pages in month would suggest high engagement, strong message cut-through or a crisis.

Streem’s ranking categorisation also helps to determine the impact of particular articles. For example, a front page story in #1 position that only fleetingly mentions your company is likely to be less salient than a feature story in #5 position which focuses entirely on your product.

Analysis via Streem.

Social Media Monitoring vs. Social Media Listening

Back in 2010 Dan Neely proclaimed: “Monitoring finds symptoms; listening finds causes” and it appears his advice remains as relevant now as ever. The buzzword “social listening” has steadily risen in use over the last 5 years, but what does it mean and how can it change the way businesses engage with their customers?

Social media listening (blue) vs. social media monitoring (red) between 2012-17. Data from Google Trends.

‘Social media listening’ is the more sophisticated, subtle and time consuming hybrid of regular ‘social media monitoring’. ‘Listening’ is about more than replying to complaints or queries when prompted. It’s more than watching your mentions and engaging superficially with your customers and key stakeholders.

If you’re only responding notifications as they filter into your inbox then you’re probably selling your business short- you’re likely to miss out on a huge group of people taking about you, discussing your product or dissecting your brand.

Image courtesy of Pixabay.

Social listening requires tracking conversations around specific phrases, words or brands, and then leveraging them to discover opportunities or create content for those audiences. In its most basic form, social listening is realtime, actionable data which can be used to inform and tweak campaigns and form a broad-spectrum understanding of your business’ strengths and weaknesses. 

Its about applying a much broader lens to your monitoring: rather than just monitoring your product and customers, social listening can provide a wider snapshot of your industry, your competitors and emerging events.