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The Evolution of Media Monitoring in Political Campaigns

March 14th 2019

Political campaigns have always relied on accurate data and up-to-date voter information, but the way those statistics are gathered has changed markedly in recent years. In the digital age, data collection is easier than ever before, but breaking through the noise to find a proper signal remains a challenge.

The professionals who sift through the reams of digital information to find the relevant information are known as media monitors, and the job they do is an indispensible one for those seeking political office.

From the smallest local races to the fight for the presidency, those media monitoring companies are hard at work. They may ply their trade behind the scenes, but you see their work every time you turn on your television or tune into your favorite radio station.

The Evolution of Media Monitoring

Media monitoring has been part of political campaigns for as long as anyone can remember, but how those monitors did their work was far different in the old days. Back then, media monitoring often meant sorting through stacks of newspapers, gathering clips and meeting with candidates to plot their campaign strategies.

These days media monitoring companies are much more likely to sort through stacks of web pages, but the basic concept remains the same. It should also be noted that media monitoring involves far more than Google searches and social media comments. In order to be effective, media monitoring companies must dive deeper, and they are increasingly relying on sophisticated tools to aid their clients.

Media monitoring companies assisting political candidates may rely on things like artificial intelligence and complex algorithms to separate signal from noise. Sifting through such vast amounts of data might be impossible for humans, but it is a breeze for those sophisticated machines.

The Elements of an Effective Media Monitoring Campaign

In order to be effective, a media monitoring campaign must include a number of different elements. Each of these elements is designed to work independently, but when combined their true power begins to emerge.

No media monitoring effort can turn an election on its own, but when applied properly, these strategies can help candidates connect with voters, and that could be enough to turn the tide. Here are the essential elements of effective media monitoring efforts in the age of digital politics.

• Comprehensive and cross platform outreach – Media monitoring scans a wealth of platforms, from social media outlets and broadcast television to newspapers and online news channels. These combined efforts create a realistic picture of the campaign and how it is doing.

• Automated and efficient – Efficiency is the key to effective media monitoring, and these efforts are increasingly automated. Sophisticated algorithms continually scan online resources, creating a comprehensive view of public and voter opinion.

• Guiding future decision making – Media monitoring is not just about what is happening now. The best media monitoring is designed to guide future campaign decisions by gauging the effectiveness of current advertising and voter outreach.

Politicians are increasingly relying on data to guide their decisions and aid their campaigns, and the importance of data is only expected to grow. No matter what the office, you can bet your favorite candidate is using media monitoring in some form. They know their political future may depend on it.

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