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What are the Best PR Coverage Trackers and How to Use them?

By Team Onclusive

Tracking earned media and PR coverage is crucial for PR and communications professionals to demonstrate the impact and reach of campaigns. But this task comes with an array of challenges that call for extensive media tracking tools. In this guide, we’ll dive into the challenges and shed light on the best PR coverage trackers you can employ for effective media tracking and media monitoring.

The challenges stopping effective media tracking 

Volume of Coverage:

Tracking earned media coverage can be a formidable task, primarily due to the sheer volume of coverage generated in our fast-paced digital world. With large volumes of content being produced across various platforms such as social media, news articles, and more, it can be overwhelming to sift through all the info. 

Seeing all Relevant Mentions:

Surrounded by so much noise, it’s not always simple to zero in on the mentions or even themes that are relevant to your PR activities. Respondents of the 2022 JOTW Communications Survey identified “cutting through the noise,” as the top strategic comms challenge. 

Multichannel Presence:

“Too many priorities” was the second-highest strategic comms challenge in the 2022 JOTW Communications Survey. This is understandable considering PR efforts are spread across various channels like social media, traditional media, online forums, and more. Each channel provides its own large sets of metrics, making it difficult to collect and connect data consistently. 

Real-Time Monitoring:

According to a recent study, an estimated, 328.77 million terabytes of data is created each day. As we mentioned above, sifting through these large volumes of media output is overwhelming. And needing to track it all in real-time adds a big extra layer of complexity. But, this is a crucial aspect of effectively managing PR coverage. It enables reputation monitoring, crisis management, and time-dependent comms. Tackling this challenge requires a systematic approach that can efficiently process real-time data in bulk. 

Measurement of Impact:

Some impacts of PR coverage are qualitative, such as brand sentiment, perception, and reputation. Quantifying these concepts as metrics can be difficult and subjective. 

Accuracy of Automated Tools:

Automated tools are a necessity. But ensuring you’re using the best ones for you that are reliable and meet your needs is another question. We’ll explore the best PR and comms tool capabilities that you should look for below. You can also read more about the 11 PR tools to boost your activity here. 

Language and Context:

Understanding nuances in language and context adds an extra layer of complexity to the evaluation process. An inability to properly interpret language and context could result in inaccurate assessments of sentiment, potentially leading to misinformed decisions in PR strategies. 

Attribution Challenges:

It can be challenging to attribute specific outcomes directly to PR activities. Especially in an environment where multiple factors contribute to overall performance. Without clear attribution, it becomes more complicated to demonstrate the direct value and ROI of PR activities, which is a crucial aspect of assessing their effectiveness. 

Top PR coverage trackers 

Now that we understand the challenges, we can move on to the solutions! More specifically, the exact tools that will be your golden ticket to track and measure earned media coverage effectively. This will be a combination of AI-powered media tracking and monitoring, robust analytics and seamless manual capabilities. 

Automated monitoring tools: 

As we mentioned above, one of the main barriers to tracking your earned media coverage is the high volume of media produced. What you need is the capability to easily sift through the noise to monitor your media mentions. And you need to do this in real-time so you don’t miss anything. However, monitoring and analysing hefty amounts of data quickly and at scale is incredibly difficult – This is why you need to integrate automated monitoring tools into your strategies. And also why you need to harness the power of AI better. 

Media monitoring tools recognise the news that’s most important and relevant to you as it emerges. They leverage advanced AI technology to collect real-time data and insights based on your criteria. 

Onclusive’s Media API is a digital news crawler that captures millions of content items from earned, owned, and newswire sources spanning every corner of the globe and every language. It delivers real-time enriched data metrics straight to you and in the customizable format of your choice. 

Tools with these capabilities will keep you agile and proactive in the PR and comms space. By staying alert to relevant media at the time that it lands, you gain the ability to better track your earned media coverage. 

Beyond digital media, a solution such as Onclusive’s media monitoring tool will track your brand across social channels. You’ll gain a complete view of all platforms, from LinkedIn to Reddit to TikTok, so you can monitor conversations, mentions, and engagements. With this info, you can: 

  • see the impacts of your output 
  • gain a comprehensive understanding of public sentiment 
  • and make more informed decisions for improved comms 
Media databases: 

Media databases will provide access to a wealth of relevant contacts, facilitate efficient and targeted outreach, and offer valuable insights to enhance comms strategies. By leveraging media databases, you can navigate the challenges of effective media and PR coverage tracking with greater efficiency and precision. 

All of your team’s interactions with the media will be stored in one place – so you can easily track your efforts. You can then link any resulting coverage to your outreach activity! This allows you to track and measure the performance of your team’s press and media relations work with ease. 

Manual review capabilities: 

You’ll need manual review capabilities in whatever tools you integrate as it’ll allow your human intelligence, critical thinking, and quality assurance that your automated processes alone can’t replicate.  

Additionally, automated tools may struggle with understanding context, especially in nuanced or sensitive situations. Human reviewers can grasp the subtleties, implications, and sentiments that may not be immediately evident from data alone. 

And in some cases where content may be emotionally charged or sensitive, human reviewers can apply empathy and judgment to assess the impact accurately. This will be especially important when potentially damaging situations arise and you need to know when to act quickly to protect your brand

Top Tip: More than 80% of users do not tag a brand’s handle or hashtag when posting on social so you won’t be alerted to mentions. But media monitoring tools like Onclusive’s can analyse comments about your brand even when you’re not @ mentioned. Which means you won’t miss any insights! 

Analytics for PR tracking and measurement: 

For effective media tracking and measurement of earned PR, you need robust analytics.  

AI algorithms in Onclusive’s media monitoring tool, collect and analyse large volumes of data from various sources, such as social media platforms, news articles, and customer feedback. You can cut through the noise with this capability and zero in on what’s most relevant to you. With topic extraction, you can filter through data to uncover media coverage such as brand or organization mentions.  

For a more complete level of analysis, media monitoring tools can identify themes and concepts such as public sentiment. This helps you to analyse the impacts of related outreach. 

These insights ultimately give you the ability to track what works best for your organisation so you can fine-tune activities and drive the most successful PR campaigns possible. And with this level of effective media tracking, you can demonstrate clear proof of value. So, you’re not just tracking coverage, you’re showing the impact! 

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