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    Monitoring News and Trends About Clients and Competitors

    Keeping a finger on the pulse of news and relevant trends across your clients and their competitors may seem like a simple skill to have in your PR toolkit, but it’s an essential one that not only provides value but shows you know your stuff. Particularly in the age of near-ubiquitous AI applications, there’s never been a better time to sharpen up your monitoring chops. 


    Today, we’ll walk through what you need to know about monitoring news and trends for your clients and competitors with tips on tools to use and ideas on how you can take monitoring one step further. 


    Let’s get into it!


    Keeping Your Clients at Center Stage


    We’ll start with your clients - how you can keep abreast of the news they’re featured in, trends they should be aware of, and how to show them that you are thinking one step ahead in service of their goals. 


    In terms of news they’re featured in, as the PRo, you’ve probably secured a lot of their media opportunities, nice work! This means that you’ll likely be the first one to know when coverage of your client goes live. More often than not, however, journalists don’t have time to email you once coverage is live (but may provide you with an estimated date), so keep an eye out on their author page or their outlet’s social media to know once it hits. 


    Once the coverage is live, add it to your internal tracking document (we love Google Sheets for a collaborative tool option for this) and flag it over via email or Slack or whatever your preferred method of comms with your client is. 


    Rather than just saying that the piece is live and adding a link, you can take it one step further by calling out spokesperson quotes used, key message pull through, and by drafting some sample social copy for the exec or brand. 


    BONUS TIP: Here’s some sample language you can lift for this effort.  




    Hope you are well today! Reaching out to let you know that [REPORTER]’s article, [LINK HEADLINE], is now live in [OUTLET]. This piece features commentary from [EXECUTIVE], leveraging their quotes on [TOPIC]. You can see the full quotes pulled out for your reference below. 




    In addition, [REPORTER]’s coverage supports our messaging goal of [TOPIC] and helps advance us toward our larger goal of [INSERT COMMS GOAL]. Below, please find sample social copy for [EXECUTIVE] and [BRAND] to leverage to publicize and extend the reach of this coverage. If you or [EXECUTIVE] have any questions as you’re looking through this coverage, please let me know. 








    If you’re monitoring for client news in general, there are great free tools that you can use to know when coverage hits. We’re big fans of Google Alerts over here! Just plug in your client name and any target keywords, and you’ll get a digest sent to you of any coverage that’s hit. Our community agrees, just ask Susan von Seggern, principal at Susan von Seggern Public Relations. 



    Add any additional articles (read: that you didn’t secure) to your tracking sheet so you can have a holistic, running list of where and when they’ve been mentioned that you can continually refer to. 


    As well as monitoring coverage of your client, you can also provide value by keeping an eye on relevant trends that they should be aware of. Google Alerts is great for this as well, as well as trusty ol’ Google! Simply searching for keywords that are relevant to your client can pull up a host of articles that they should be aware of. From here, you can grab and send over as a weekly or daily task to keep them on top of what’s happening in their space. 


    Don’t discount the value of social media here either - searching keywords and phrases on X/Twitter or even LinkedIn can bring up relevant updates that your client should know. Plus, at least in the case of X/Twitter, it’s a great way to get familiar with journalists that you should know. 


    BONUS TIP: In the vein of social, we recommend posting a reporter's article to your own accounts and tagging them, taking a moment to call out what you liked about the piece! Journalists appreciate the reach, and it helps you stand out to them.


    How You Can Leverage Competitor Monitoring to Stay Ahead of the Curve


    Now that we’ve walked through monitoring for your clients, let’s discuss how keeping an eye on competitors can give your client an advantage. 


    It’s a good idea to incorporate competitors into the general monitoring you’re already doing, to flag over any important corporate developments that clients should be aware of as players in their industry. 


    This can look like a merger, acquisition, strategic hiring and firing, layoffs, significant product launches, changes in market positioning, financial performance updates, or shifts in regulatory landscape. 


    In addition, keeping an eye on competitors is a great way to take advantage of newsjacking, which refers to capitalizing on current events or topics to amplify your brand's message and engage with your audience. 


    By monitoring competitors, you can identify opportunities for newsjacking, where clients can align their marketing or PR efforts with relevant industry developments or trending news stories. This allows your client to ride the wave of public interest and attention surrounding a particular topic (such as a competitor M&A), increasing the visibility and impact of their message. 


    Newsjacking helps you stay nimble and responsive, positioning your client as a thought leader that stays top-of-mind with their target audience.


    BONUS TIP: Doing this successfully looks like reaching out to reporters that might be covering the competitor news and offering your client’s POV or a relevant quote. 


    Putting it All Together


    Now that you understand the value of monitoring and how to do it successfully, you can enhance your competitive intelligence strategy. By implementing robust monitoring that encompasses clients, competitors, and trends, you can stay ahead of the curve and make informed decisions that drive success.  



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