January 9th 2019
The 24-hour news cycle, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media outlets have put social activists on duty around the clock. An early-morning presidential tweet, a humanitarian disaster on the other side of the globe, or an evening high-profile event all require an instant reaction that advances your message. Just this week, President Trump addressed the nation regarding his belief that we need to build a wall on our southern border. Groups that support more open immigration policies, border security, and government accountability were all poised to react to the President’s speech within minutes of his bidding the country good night. It’s worth considering, however, the effort that went into having all that commentary flood the airwaves and internet so soon after the President’s speech.
Being prepared to react to a news event is becoming more and more challenging. Gone are the days when an advocacy group had a few days to put together a TV ad or could wait until the next day to issue a press release. Now if advocates want to be relevant, they have to come up with multiple versions of digital content quickly so if the first tweet does not go viral, a second, third, or fourth post can be produced until one takes off. What is the key to turning out effective social media cheaply and quickly? Some organizations, such a MoveOn.org, provide opportunities for their followers to upload videos which can be used in other content. This generates a ready source of content to deploy when events warrant it.
If you want to take your advocacy organization to the next level, consider adding media monitoring to your development and communications work. Media monitoring involves tracking and analyzing the other media in a particular space to inform your organization’s communication strategy. Staying on top of all the messaging from both collaborative organizations and opponents will transform your work. You will be able to identify emerging issues and adjust your research and strategic planning accordingly. If you know what your opponents have been saying, it’s much easier to develop relevant blog posts or videos to comment on a specific event or prepare talking points or a fact sheet. It’s also a good idea to monitor one’s own communications as well to see what messages are effective and make sure that there are no logical weaknesses in the organization’s position on issues.
Of course the amount of media available on any given issue is vast and cannot be collected and analyzed manually. Luckily, technology exists that can identify and aggregate the thousands of videos, news reports, and other information that is produced each day. At CivicFeed, we have state-of-the-art tools that monitor all communications and identify information that is valuable for you while screening out anything that is less relevant. Of course, this information must be integrated into your communications strategy with software that delivers this latest media to the key decision-makers in your organization who can then decide how to act upon it.
With a compilation of all the news that is available at any given moment, your organization will be able to leverage the 24-hour news cycle by tailoring your content to make sure that it is contributing to the global discussion at any given moment. By adding value to the conversation, you are positioning your organization as a thought leader. In turn, journalists and commentators will seek out your perspectives when covering your area of expertise, giving your organization greater exposure through earned media.
By incorporating media monitoring into your organization’s strategic plan, you’ll have the systems and procedures you need to provide cutting edge insight whenever there is breaking news.
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