How A Leading Financial Services Firm Used Media Intelligence to Enhance Their Media Relations, Influence, And Reputation Management Strategies

Challenge: Lack of actionable insights to make data-driven decisions

Large publicly traded companies receive a tremendous amount of earned media coverage and it contains valuable information that communicators can use to inform their media relations, influencer, and reputation management strategies. But only if they can analyze the context of those articles.

A leading financial services company simply did not have the resources to measure its media coverage, especially in terms of an in-depth analysis to drive business decisions. The communications team frequently had the right hunch or intuition when making decisions, but they lacked the data to support these decisions. This deficit was highlighted when business leaders asked for data to back up their strategies, just like other departments were required to do so.

Unlocking Hidden Insights in Media Coverage

The team understood that each piece of earned media coverage contained valuable data points about their brand, competitors, authors, outlets, and their industry. This information would allow them to not only look back at how they were doing today, but also help them build more informed future plans. The ability to analyze concepts like “innovation” would enable them to focus on campaigns tied to broader business goals. The team chose PublicRelay’s human-assisted AI solution to help them uncover the insights that would make them a strategic partner to the business.

The daily clip reports are human curated and toned by PublicRelay so the communications team is able to spend time on more valuable tasks. In addition to the company’s own brand, PublicRelay also analyzes the coverage of their largest direct competitor. This enables the team to answer questions like, ‘what influencers are covering my competitor, but not me?’. They can then refer to specific topics and tone of articles as they build an informed outreach plan to target those influencers.

The team also utilizes analysis of the impact of social media on their earned media coverage to understand how different topics perform on the various social platforms. Do financial performance topics get shared more often on twitter or Facebook? What about workplace environment articles? Does it vary by sentiment? They also review how different authors and outlets are impacted by social media. Do certain authors write about them often but have low sharing numbers? How are the top tier outlets performing? Do they have larger audiences but lower engagement?

As in most publicly traded companies, the communications team is especially tuned in to their coverage during earnings season. PublicRelay supports their efforts with more frequent special reports during this time that enables the team to swiftly address negative coverage and amplify positive coverage. These special reports regarding earnings coverage are often shared directly with the executive team.

Event Strategy

The financial services company attends an annual conference where they speak and make announcements each year. PublicRelay provides analysis of the brand’s media coverage during this annual event. In particular, PublicRelay measures coverage for specific topics such as mortgage technology, innovation, and new product announcements. By monitoring these data points year over year, the communications team can be proactive in its event strategy and establish informed, realistic goals when preparing for the next conference.

For example, the positive sentiment and volume of coverage at a recent event significantly decreased from the previous year. The team dug into the data to uncover that a majority of their coverage from the previous year focused on a new product launch. They used this information to recommend that the company utilize this event to announce new products as that topic generates significant positive coverage for the brand.

Furthermore, by showing data from past performance, the communications team is able to present data to back up their plan and get executive buy in. They can demonstrate that if X spokesperson speaks at this conference and is quoted in Y outlet, then they could receive Z amount of positive coverage. This gives credibility to the communications team to show how they use data like other departments.

Whitespace Analysis - Boosting Thought Leadership

The financial services company is in a noisy and highly regulated industry with few key competitors. This makes it vital for the company to capitalize on topic whitespace and expand its messaging to start a new conversation. PublicRelay consistently tracks popular topics that are being talked about within the industry and examines how coverage of those topics change over time. This includes research about the company itself, its competitors, and the authors and outlets writing about them. By measuring industry conversation at the topic level, the communications team can quickly position itself to be the go to source on a fresh topic and increase thought leadership positioning, giving the company a significant competitive advantage.

Result: Executing Data-Driven Communications Plans

As a publicly traded company in a highly regulated industry, the team focuses on amplifying their positive coverage and consistently communicating with stakeholders. In addition, it is key for everyone to understand stakeholder and market sentiment about the brand. By consistently measuring its earned media coverage, the company can understand the impact of social media on their traditional coverage and discover key influencers in the process. Measuring coverage at the topic level for their brand and their competitors helps them uncover new messages they should be pitching.

Using accurate data to both understand the moment and inform the future is a game changer for the communications team. They can not only show why they are building and executing the plans as they are, but also adjust and refocus efforts as needed.