Day 7: Cross-team communications and media monitoring

Cross-team communications… Aside from learning more about integrated communication systems for internal communications efforts (+ Intranet, communication and file sharing) – I got a glimpse of how Harley-Davidson Motor Co. teams work across the aisle (so to speak) – sharing knowledge and announcements with individuals that have a dotted line connection to the business communications side. At the table were representatives not only from communications (organizational, integrated, regional, leadership, reputation management) – but also their support team in GIS (Global Information Systems [or IT as I know it], human resources, event, dealer communicators and global public relations. Together they discussed outcomes for past product reveals, upcoming announcements and products for 2015, the upcoming dealer meeting and mutual challenges faced in daily operations or activities. It was great to see the exchange and witness their interaction and willingness to share information and keep each other informed and on the same page.

Media monitoring services in reputation management… I closed out the day with a productive session with Melanie from the reputation management and investor relations group. Tony and Melanie have been working on an active research project seeking out the best media monitoring tools available – be it from an agency or off the shelf tool — what programs can generate the narrative map of coverage for day to day activities, post quarterly reports, product reveals or other major company news. I, too, was asked to weigh in on creating a narrative map for recent coverage + provide input on media monitoring tools I am familiar with.

The research was informative as there really is no existing “catch all” product or service out there that can truly cut through the clutter of daily news and provide an ongoing media monitoring platform that meets the needs of corporate communication, leadership communication, board of directors and employees.

The goal of a media monitoring tools is to keep the communication team and leadership informed of how the company brand and messaging is portrayed in the media on an ongoing basis. It is a chance for early detection on potential issues and it identifies new opportunities to tell a company story in a public forum.

Sources to monitor include:

  • Newswire and syndicated services
  • Internet forums, message boards
  • Blogs – citizen and expert
  • Social networks
  • Video sharing
  • Broadcast
  • Daily and weekly newspapers
  • Regional publications
  • Consumer magazines
  • Trade journals

Common available tools include Google Alerts, Cision and Vocus + agencies like BurrellesLuce, Waggoner Edstrom and Weber Shandwick all have products and services related to media monitoring. Prices, capabilities and accessibility are all over the map – not to mention a series of open source tools that also provide valuable coverage data. There are top-ranked industry-based blogs with search capability, LexisNexis, Twitter search, Backtweets and — all providing some level of service in media monitoring.

Because there is so much “noise” for Harley-Davidson in the news and social sphere – deciding what solution will work best is not easy. Melanie and I combined our research and created a more collaborative recommendation document. It will be interesting to see what route they go. Reputation management is a critical aspect of business and as practitioners, we must get on board with the best way to track and illustrate the narrative generated by traditional and digital mediums.

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