#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.

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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 Do you receive media mentions based on out of date keywords which no longer reflect the interests and priorities of your business?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?

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.

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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.

 


The Rise and Rise of Satirical News

Aside from a slew of tragic celebrity deaths, 2016’s legacy may well lie in the booming satirical news industry, much to the chagrin of the public figures who unwittingly find themselves under its spotlight. Masquerading as genuine mainstream news websites, satirical news platforms have become a fixture in the ever-evolving online news landscape and promise to reshape the way we conceptualise the relationship between news and political attitudes. 

Characterised by authentic headlines, caustic body text and satirical barbs, websites such as the Betoota Advocate, the Onion, the Shovel and the Chaser are dominating Australian Facebook and Instagram feeds and are increasingly finding their way into mainstream news bulletins.

The booming market for biting satirical news and social commentary represents more than a fleeting trend driven by cynical, keyboard savvy millennials. These platforms are well-organised, clearly branded and attract large followings of engaged readers.

Analysis by Streem realtime news intelligence found that the Betoota Advocate produced an average of three stories per day in January 2016. At their peak they published 10 stories in a single day, each one attracting substantial social engagement.

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Online news volumes of the Betoota Advocate, January 2017. Analysis via Streem.

In recent months the mainstream media establishment has been forced to acknowledge the influence and popularity of these disruptive news sources. In November 2016, the Betoota Advocate attended Australian journalism’s prestigious night of nights – the Walkley Awards.

So is it likely that satire will be incorporated into the mainstream media establishment anytime soon? We can safely establish that satirical news is only likely to increase, but what does it mean for media monitors and their clients? Many are grappling with the challenge of identifying and deconstructing satirical news.

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Photo: The Betoota Advocate

Satirical articles provide an insightful gauge into public sentiment. It’s vital for PR professionals and communications teams to monitor and manage these stories as they develop, because of their ability to generate intense interest and widespread repetitional damage for the politicians and public figures that come under their scrutiny.

The recent media storm triggered by Susan Ley’s political expenses scandal was peppered with biting headlines from satirical sources. “Ley Pauses Briefly During apology to buy must-have Canberra apartment”, proclaimed the Shovel.  The Betoota Advocate joined in with the headline: “‘Shhh’ Susan Ley says to party member who asks how she stays so tanned in Canberra”

Aside from obvious value in tracking crises, scandals and unrest within the political establishment, satire can also help media monitors to take stock of ongoing themes, social issues and trends in the media.

A study published in the Journal of Communication found that people select satirical news which aligns with their pre-existing attitudes, and that consuming satirical news reinforced these attitudes as much as watching mainstream news. 

“Satirical news has the same impact as serious news – it reinforces your political attitudes,” said Silvia Knobloch-Westerwick, author of the study and professor of communication at The Ohio State University. “It may be funny, but it has serious effects.”

The power of satirical news lies in its ability to subtly influence audiences and generate vast amounts of engagement. Media monitors can no longer afford to brush off satire as low-brow, trivial and insignificant, but must instead learn to read past the headlines and tap into the wider social relevance of these stories.

How long does it take for news to spread?

Analysis of Australian news reports shows a story spreads from one source to another in less than 4 minutes*. When a news story can spread across Online, TV or Radio in a matter of minutes, monitoring the media in realtime is more than convenient – it’s critical to the long-term success of a business or the reputation of a public figure.

Australia’s two 24-hour news channels and hundreds of large-scale online news sources mean that communications teams cannot afford to miss a beat when tracking media coverage. A misleading report that’s biased or missing key facts can leave the public misinformed and unreceptive; making it harder to control your message and correct the record.social_network_analysis_visualization

Analysis* of over 1 million Online and TV news reports in 2016 found a decreasing gap between the publication of a unique news story and the time taken for a competitor to repeat it. When it takes a matter of minutes for breaking news to spread, the public is being influenced with every passing minute.

But because the majority of media monitoring is delayed, delivered by email or omits stories, the job of responding becomes harder. Add to this the lack of a Mobile App to access media on the go, or Audience Trend Data to help you understand the impact an issue is having with the public, and you’re already behind the story. In a truly 24/7 news landscape it is impossible to ignore the spread of news, and potentially damaging to rely on anything other than realtime, keyword driven monitoring.

*Based on analysis conducted by Streem on 1,087,524 Online & TV reports between 2/2015-01/2016. Analysis measured the time taken for one media outlet to repeat a unique news story.