Media monitoring is an essential part of reputation management, but it can be an overwhelming task for an already overwhelmed marketing department — especially if public relations and reputation management need to be handled by a small team or a single individual.
What makes digital reputation management even more burdensome is its tendency to invite distraction. Professionals have to monitor countless channels and interactions to keep their fingers on the pulse of developing news and opinions.
According to USA Today, thousands of different outlets are clamoring for attention: "Once you tally them all, we have over 3,000 outlets that call themselves newsrooms in America. That's before we add bloggers, podcasts, talk radio, and the deluge of user-generated content." Even if your team trims down that list of channels to the bare essentials, that's a constant stream of new information. Something will get ignored, get misunderstood, or generate distraction from your core initiatives and information-gathering processes.
Is digital distraction upending your reputation management processes? Use this guide to take a deeper look at the problem and see our four-step process for combating it.
Digital Distraction in the Media
Digital distraction in general can impact anyone in any profession. Professionals working from their computers or from mobile devices can constantly be pulled away from their tasks by push notifications, social media updates, alerts, and new emails. Broadly speaking, this challenge can reduce productivity and detract from workplace performance. However, the division between diversion and work is fairly clear; this problem can be solved by more productive habits and structured environments.
Digital distraction in the context of media monitoring is far more insidious. When your job is scrolling through news outlets to find stories that mention your brand or, even more nebulously, have implications for your brand, distraction is virtually guaranteed. Having too many news sources that pull you in too many directions can massively distract — and detract — from your efforts.
This distraction can happen no matter what channels you and your team are pulling information from, including digital sources like social media and online articles, news outlets across any medium, print sources like newspapers and magazines, and other forms of media.
Some of the biggest ramifications of digital distraction include:
- Workplace anxiety: Being pulled away, even momentarily, from a core task can make employees feel overwhelmed and unfocused.
- Reduced performance: Distracted employees often feel like they can't perform at their highest levels.
- Poor information quality: Filtering through too many information sources can worsen the average quality of the information sources. Employees might also skim too quickly through complex information, leading to incomplete or inaccurate conclusions and information presentation.
How Digital Distraction Can Affect Your Reliability
Ultimately, distraction and incomplete information will have downstream implication's for your brand's reliability. In an effort to present new, relevant information to your audiences or respond to developing stories, your company's messaging will be vague, unclear, and even incorrect.
This can quickly lead to your followers and customers developing mistrust toward your brand and turning to other sources of information. Look out for these four indications that digital distraction is impacting the quality of your company's reliability:
- Confusion: When your audiences are looking for clarification instead of engaging with your content more meaningfully, that's the first sign of a growing problem. Confusion can impede brand and reputation management, even if your information isn't wrong.
- Less Trust: Over time, audiences and customers will trust your information less. This can significantly impact your SEO, audience engagement, and ultimately, revenue.
- More Turnover: As distrust grows, your loyal audience members will leave. This weakens the community and reduces efforts such as referral programs and subscriptions. Employee turnover can also increase as employees feel less purpose-driven, less satisfied, and less in tune with the company's mission.
- Less Credibility: When your company first attempts to correct digital distraction, you may start cycling through different processes and leaders. This can further drop credibility and quality if each attempted solution doesn't address the core problem.
4 Steps to Take to Minimize Your Digital Distraction
Instead of experimenting with different methods of regulating digital distraction or relying on individuals to resolve the problem, we recommend taking a systematic approach to uncover sources of digital distraction and create actionable solutions. Follow these four steps to get started:
1. Understand bias and where your news is coming from.
While passively monitoring all channels for news about your brand can help you stay ahead of problems, not all news channels are equally valid. Dive deep into the news sources your company relies on to identify their biases and potential problems. Look for potential conflicts of interest, long-term assessments of their credibility, and even the sources that the news channel itself uses. You should be assessing each major channel to determine its legitimacy and adherence to credible facts.
2. Clean out your sources.
Once you've identified potentially problematic sources, you can start to clear away the noise. Remove untrustworthy sources and sources with biases that interfere with their utility. Eliminate them from your information-gathering processes. By removing these sources from your processes, you can both eliminate sources of problematic information and reduce the amount of work for your team.
Stopping at this step will already reap benefits for your company. Your employees will feel less overwhelmed, and your information is already stronger.
3. Minimize who is doing the searching.
Next, delineate who is responsible for what processes. Larger companies may have multiple individuals or whole teams responsible for reputation management and news coverage, while smaller companies may have just one or two people managing this role. Regardless of the size of the team, make it clear who is responsible for which sources or tasks. This prevents role confusion, cuts down on repetitive work, and minimizes workplace conflict.
4. Use a media monitoring tool.
Any tools you can put in place to automate information gathering and monitoring can drastically improve employee morale and reduce overwhelming workloads. A media monitoring tool can comb through digital sources to find mentions of your brand, your competitors, and industry-level news. In just a fraction of the time and manpower, you can:
- Constantly search all of your channels for specific brands, keywords, and businesses
- Stay on top of news stories or potentially harmful information
- Learn how competitors are responding to crises or industry developments
- Get top-level insights in real-time instead of waiting for manual monitoring efforts
Eliminate Digital Distraction Overload With Turbine Labs
At Turbine Labs, we specialize in creating media monitoring solutions so you and your team can learn about industry news and mentions of your brand in real-time. With our tool, you can reduce distraction, speed up response time, and give your employees time to focus on strategic responses and business crisis management processes instead of barely keeping up with the news cycle. Contact us today to learn more about our platform or to schedule a demo.