Most PR agencies in Europe rely on specialist monitoring tools on top of regular Google searches to evaluate the influence of their media campaigns, according to new research. Press Index, a Kantar Media group company, published the first European survey on media monitoring practices in Public Relations agencies. This survey was conducted among more than [...]

Most PR agencies in Europe rely on specialist monitoring tools on top of regular Google searches to evaluate the influence of their media campaigns, according to new research. Press Index, a Kantar Media group company, published the first European survey on media monitoring practices in Public Relations agencies.


This survey was conducted among more than 240 press officers representing 116 agencies in four countries (France, Spain, Italy, UK).
Media monitoring perceived as partially effective
Most of those surveyed believe they have the necessary tools to effectively monitor the media. Among them, the Italians (82%) and French (69%) consider their agencies as "well-equipped." But in the UK only 53% of respondents share such confidence, reflecting a more advanced and demanding market.
However, the proliferation and fragmentation of media sources generates concerns, and even frustrations: 61% of Spaniards and 58% of French report not receiving complete media coverage. Other high expectations include a requirement of 45% of British agencies: comprehensive monitoring covering all media, both on- and offline.
Agencies are looking for information that is both comprehensive and relevant, informed by strong analysis and yet delivered at speed.
Uneven use of tools for monitoring and analysis
While they use Google, agencies find it necessary to rely on a specialist service for their media monitoring. Google appears more as a complement to - not a substitute for - the work done by monitoring specialists. The proliferation of media and data sources requires deeper monitoring, demanding the expertise of these essential providers. The third and fourth most popular methods of monitoring are Twitter and Facebook, social networks that make necessary the analysis and identification of strong signals.
For the analysis and evaluation of media impact, the French (44%) and Spanish (59%) also prefer to hire a specialised service provider. The reluctance of their British (32%) and Italian (18%) neighbours to do the same is explained by the persistence of a "do it yourself” approach.
But practices that make a distinction between monitoring and analysis may result in less satisfactory results than an integrated approach.
Towards an understanding of the role of social media
In social networks, agencies have identified a new source of intelligence not yet measurable by reliable indicators. In fact 80% of those surveyed were unsure that they have an effective monitoring solution for social media. Two countries were convinced that they do not have an effective solution: the UK (41%) and Spain (36%), respectively in first and second place in the ranking of European countries using Twitter, and more aware of the importance of social media in a communication strategy.
Uncertain about the effectiveness of their social intelligence strategy, agencies are now seeking a monitoring tool that also covers social media. A desire to capture comprehensive coverage motivates both the British (90%) and Spaniards (88%), who are calling for a single monitoring and analysis service for both mainstream and social media.
The full survey results are available via a downloadable report and video.
Note on Methodology: The survey was distributed via social networks and responses collected online and by telephone during the first and second quarters of 2012 in France, Spain, Italy and the UK. 240 responses were collected representing a sample of 116 different PR agencies.
Source: http://www.kantarmediauk.com/