Long before storytelling became the cool buzzword in business, it was – and still is – the heart of the public relations professional’s craft. The most successful media relations professionals are consummate storytellers, and the best PR strategists are those who have honed their ability to identify and shape vivid, emotionally driven stories about a brand, product or client.

A story or brand narrative offers an organization several benefits, as storytelling expert Thaler Pekar wrote in Stanford Social Innovation Review.  “When an organization embraces narrative and applies it throughout its work, brand identity is clear and appealing; audiences are quickly and sustainably engaged; leaders appreciate and strategically share stories; and knowledge is easily gathered and shared.”

When crafting a narrative, PR pros commonly turn to two tried-and-true methods for uncovering an organization’s story: interviews of leaders and employees; and customer surveys. Both of these approaches produce shareable stories and contribute to the overarching brand narrative. But are PR pros missing an important perspective if they focus exclusively on these two research methods?

They may be missing out on one source that is highly influential: broadcast media. When crafting a brand’s story, it’s important to keep in mind that nearly all U.S. homes have a television, and broadcast TV is still the dominant way people get their news, according to Pew Research Center. In fact, the audience for evening network and local TV news increased in 2014.

Broadcast media, then, offers an important perspective that should be wrapped into the brand narrative. Its inclusion ensures the company’s story will resonate – and travel – across all audiences and all media platforms.

PR professionals can use their broadcast monitoring tool to conduct a content analysis of relevant TV and radio segments. For example, they should review clips for mention of the brand and its key messages. But they should also conduct an intense content analysis, which will produce valuable information beyond these basic findings.

Start by researching key issues and topics, competitors, partners, vendors, NGOs and other stakeholders. Here are just a few of the questions you can use to evaluate the clips.

  • What are the hosts or news anchors saying about your company and issues relevant to the narrative you’re crafting?
  • What facts are accurately reported? Which are inaccurate?
  • Does the show or segment demonstrate any preconceptions about your company or relevant issues?
  • What are the various angles they are presenting?
  • Who do the media outlets believe are the heroes in the story? Who are the villains?
  • What are the stories your competitors, partners, NGOs and other stakeholders are telling?
  • What visual elements are being used to tell these stories?

In addition, your broadcast monitoring tool can help you understand and compare the impact of various narratives. Data visualizations – such as trend charts and heat maps – can help you identify which story threads are worth pursuing.

This kind of third-party analysis and feedback provides a 360-degree view of the brand and the stories it would like to tell.  With it, PR professionals will be able to shape a brand narrative that not only fits the company and aligns with its key stakeholders, but also is more likely to be credible and widely shared. 


Learn more about using broadcast media monitoring to enhance your PR playbook with our free eBook  “14 Ways Broadcast Monitoring Can Help You Grow and Improve Client Service”.


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While business executives long have asked their marketing teams to provide quantifiable results of campaigns, they’ve demanded considerably less proof from their PR teams. Often, this is because PR is viewed as a “soft” discipline. Executives know intuitively that media coverage of a launch or announcement provides much-needed “air cover” that helps marketing efforts score higher.

But with data driving more and more business decisions, PR is getting greater scrutiny. Thus, executives are demanding that PR professionals show how their campaigns contribute to the business’s success.

Because broadcast coverage is highly influential – more than 95% of U.S. homes have a television and 71% of Americans watch local TV news – capturing and sharing metrics about PR placements on radio and TV is essential to providing a complete picture of PR efforts. 

With TVEyes, PR teams can assemble reports featuring commonly used metrics, such as number of clips and the number of impressions. But PR pros can also use broadcast monitoring to provide C-suite executives with additional metrics and insight. Here are a few tips for using TVEyes to communicate the value of your broadcast coverage to your clients and executives.

Link your broadcast coverage to the company’s business objectives.

Broadcast monitoring can be used to show that PR is helping to achieve your business objectives. When the CEO appears on a talk show, a qualitative measurement of the talking points can demonstrate how well your message is being delivered and what improvements might be needed. While it’s tempting to simply supply viewership numbers, it’s far more valuable to provide an analysis of the messages that were delivered during the broadcast and how they align with business objectives. You can also provide an assessment of the reporter’s reaction to the message, providing an indication of whether it was positively received. 

Tie broadcast coverage results to the company’s key performance indicators

When every PR team member understands how the company measures its success, it is easier to make the connection between broadcast coverage and business outcomes. For example, all businesses use revenue as a measure of success. While it’s challenging to concretely tie news coverage to an increase in sales, it’s not impossible. PR pros must become adept at asking for and analyzing sales data. If you’ve placed a product on a morning show, for example, you can review the sales data for an uptick in the days after the clip appeared.

Benchmark against the competition.

How a business is faring against its competition is a key metric for the C-suite. TVEyes makes it easy for PR teams to measure competitor coverage – a task that could take weeks if done manually. For example, with TVEyes, you can quickly create heatmaps that show the reach of every competitor’s coverage in each market and region. Viewership and publicity value metrics also help determine if your message is reaching more customers than your competitors.

Manage risk by tracking trends.

PR professionals can help the C-suite manage risk more effectively. Corporate reputation is often considered a leading indicator, and broadcast monitoring is an effective early warning system. With real-time alerting of your company’s mentions in local markets, TVEyes can help PR teams alert executives to emerging issues. Heatmaps enable you to track the spread of issues, enabling the organization to shift strategy as needed.

The number of segments and the quality of the placements will always form the basis of your PR metrics. But the PR teams that stand out are those that can provide the C-suite with metrics that align closely with company objectives and provide insights to guide strategic decisions. Using broadcast monitoring will help you move beyond the standard metrics and prove the value of your efforts.


Discover more ways your organization can benefit from broadcast media monitoring by downloading our free playbook Building the Case for Broadcast Media Monitoring.

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My headline is a bit over the top, I’ll admit. But for police chiefs, sheriffs and law enforcement PIOs who have tuned into the Netflix documentary, “Making a Murderer,” it may have particular resonance. Many may be following the backlash against the Manitowoc County (Wisc.) Sheriff’s Department with some dismay – along with a sigh of relief that it’s not them in the hot seat.

And that seat is only bound to get hotter for the local sheriff’s department. Although the conversation started in social media, it has quickly spread to the mainstream media. Many of the major news outlets continue to cover the documentary, and eOnline reports that Investigation Discovery will air its own show focusing on what the producers omitted later this month.

If you haven’t seen the 10-part series yet, the story centers on the wrongful conviction of Steven Avery, who spent 18 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. Upon his release, he filed a $36 million suit against the Manitowoc County, as well as the former sheriff, Thomas Kocourek, and the former district attorney, Denis Vogel. Then, Avery was arrested, charged and convicted in the murder of another woman.

The documentary, released over the holidays, raises the possibility that Avery was framed by the Manitowoc County Sheriff’s Department for the 2005 murder of Teresa Halbach – in retribution for his civil lawsuit.

An overwhelming number of viewers have reacted with outrage. Fans started online petitions seeking a pardon for Steven Avery, collecting more than 360,000 signatures before both governor Scott Walker and President Obama weighed in.

But perhaps more troublesome for the Manitowoc County Sheriff is the backlash against the department, which says it has received “hundreds of voice-mails and dozens of emails from around the world.”

It’s an interesting case study in crisis and reputation management for law enforcement officials, government leaders and PIOs. How do you respond when the Internet, investigative journalists and Hollywood come knocking on your door?

Manitowoc Sheriff Robert Hermann told local Milwaukee station WTMJ: “We’re not happy about it, but I don’t know how we can change that. Social media is very powerful. People are drawing conclusions after watching a few hours on a trial that lasted six weeks.”

Of course, every PIO should have a crisis management plan in place long before a crisis emerges. But the Internet moves fast, making it hard to plan for every scenario. And given the overwhelming response, it’s easy to see how the department might be stumped about how to get their part of the story out.

However, there are proven best practices for managing a crisis. With the right tools and the right strategy, the hit to reputation can be minimized. 

Engage a public information expert

It’s not unusual for local law enforcement to be without a full-time public information officer, but this case makes a compelling argument for investing in expert help. A PIO can help the department develop a crisis strategy and provide media training for the chief or sheriff, enabling them to control the conversation and avoid missteps.

Monitor the media

Once a crisis hits, it’s imperative to start tracking the conversation and capturing what is being said about your organization. Broadcast monitoring is especially important when your story hits the national news. Television reaches nearly every household in America, and it’s highly influential, which means you need to dispel false information as soon as it hits the airwaves. Tools like TVEyes can alert you by email each time you’re mentioned in broadcast, allowing you to respond quickly and share your side of the story.

Correct the problem

When an organization is accused of wrongdoing, it’s imperative to conduct an internal investigation to understand if there has been any wrongdoing. Reputation management experts say it’s impossible to correct public perception unless underlying problems have been fixed.

Analyze Coverage

Evaluate the coverage you’ve been getting by conducting a content analysis. Are the facts presented accurately? What points are misleading? Which stations, anchors and reporters are friendly? Which ones show a clear bias – either for our against you? This analysis will enable you to craft your story more effectively. Just as importantly, it will provide intelligence about which reporters you should pitch – and which you should avoid.

Correct Misinformation

Prioritize the media outlets in order of size and influence. Systematically reach out to each tier one media outlet to tell your side of the story. Be sure to emphasize message points that correct inaccuracies and set the fact straight.

Correct the problem

When an organization is accused of wrongdoing, it’s imperative to conduct an internal investigation to understand if errors have been made or there has been any misconduct. Reputation management experts say it’s impossible to correct public perception unless underlying problems are fixed.

Apologize If Warranted

If your internal research has uncovered wrongdoing, your best option is to issue a public apology. Though you may have qualms about admitting guilt (and your lawyers might object on legal grounds), an apology can go a long way toward minimizing the damage to your reputation.

No police chief, sheriff or PIO wants to be in the center of a media storm, but a systematic and diligent approach to managing a crisis can minimize the harm to your reputation. This requires a great deal of patience and work, but with your credibility on the line, it’s imperative to shift public perception in your favor. 

Learn how broadcast media monitoring changed the way one county government keeps informed by reading the Sussex County Case study.  Then,  find out how to prepare for and manage a crisis by downloading our free playbook: How to Build the Crisis-ready Organization.



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Putting together a pitch for a new business client? To walk away the winner, you need to do everything you can to stand out from the competition. After all, the prospective client has probably seen a half dozen pitches in his search to hire a new agency. There’s a good chance every pitch is starting to look alike.

But before you polish your PowerPoint slides, have you used your broadcast monitoring tool to perfect the pitch? Broadcast monitoring can help you add perspective and insight. Researching the client’s past coverage will help you understand business and competitive issues, identify opportunities, calculate risks and brainstorm potential approaches. This process will pay big dividends on bake-off day.

To create the perfect client pitch, use broadcast monitoring to answer these six questions. 

1.    What problem is the client trying to solve? 

Play close attention to the details in the RFP and plan your research strategy based on the client’s requirements. You’ll need to prove to the client during the pitch that you fully understand the problem it’s facing. This information will define what type of information you need to gather and what you should present.

2.    What are the client’s business issues?

Use broadcast monitoring to research the latest news about the client’s industry. While you’ll want to have a sense of the bigger picture, be sure to spend most of your efforts researching the specific problem as outlined in the RFP.

3.    What does the media landscape look like for this client? Is it friendly or adversarial? Global or local?

Identify the radio and TV outlets that have covered the client in the past, and review the clips to understand how they’re being covered. Get a feel for the type of bias each reporter holds. Also take note of media outlets that haven’t covered the client – but probably should.

4.    What type of creative approach might solve this problem?

Although the pitch isn’t a PR plan, you’ll still want to brainstorm a few creative approaches to solving the problem outlined in the RFP.

5.    Have we solved similar problems in the same way?

With a few ideas in hand, you’ll want to share your creative approach. Rather than create specific ideas for this client (remember – this isn’t a PR Plan!), you can share stories that illustrate the approaches you’ve used with other clients. Use this portion of the pitch to show of coverage you’ve secured on similar campaigns. This is an excellent way to impress the client!

6.    How will we prove our value?

New clients want proof that your idea will work. A key component of any pitch is measurement. Be sure to share details about how you’ll track results and report on the success of the campaign. With TVEyes, you can capture viewership data, and help the client visualize reach and impact with heatmaps and charts.

By incorporating broadcast monitoring data into your PowerPoint slides, you’ll have a pitch that is memorable and persuasive. The other pitches might blend together at the end of the day for the client’s team, but yours will stand out.


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As 2015 comes to a close, C-suite executives are busy planning how to make the most of 2016. If you’re in the midst of strategy sessions, you’re no doubt contemplating how to gain market share and create more revenue in the coming year. 

As part of this process, you’ll have to determine how best to steer your product and marketing strategies. Will you expand into new markets? Develop new product lines? Fund new initiatives?

As you evaluate various scenarios, you’ll certainly rely on several sources of important input to make strategic decisions. There are the expert opinions of your team, the customer data your company has collected, and several independent sources of market research. 

But have you also factored in the unique insights that can be gathered from broadcast media monitoring?

If you think broadcast monitoring is only useful in measuring PR results, think again. It can be a powerful force for helping you shape business strategy now, as well as providing the markers that will enable you to adjust to changing conditions in real-time. Broadcast monitoring has great value in the strategic planning process by helping you assess the macro and micro forces and trends that impact your success.

Here are six ways to incorporate broadcast media monitoring insights into your planning process.

  • Spot tech innovations early

The rapid innovation we’ve experienced over the last several decades shows no sign of abating. Every decision you make will be influenced by technology. While it’s hard to foresee future developments, there are often signposts. Broadcast monitoring can help you minimize threats and plan to take advantage of emerging technologies. Before committing to a specific direction, search the 30-day archive to identify relevant, early stage technologies by partners, suppliers or competitors. 

  • Find new geographic markets

 Technology has made the world a smaller place. Globalization means greater opportunity for businesses of all sizes, as both geographic borders and time barriers fade. TVEyes provides comprehensive insight into all 210 US DMAs and major international markets, so you can understand what’s happening in marketplaces as close as the local Des Moines, Iowa, market or across the pond in London. 

  • Identify consumer trends

Is there a market for your product? The numbers may say no, but consumer tastes can change rapidly. Keep your finger on the pulse of purchasing trends by using broadcast monitoring to track the morning talk shows.

  • Stay ahead of competitors

The forecast for a proposed new initiative may seem promising – until you learn a competitor has similar plans. Before you set any plan into play, understand what each of your competitors is saying to both national and local broadcast media. Local interviews on hometown stations often reveal important competitive intelligence.

  • Avoid risky moves

Executives need to assess risks before embarking on any new strategy. For example, if you’re considering expanding into international markets, you’ll first need to consider the potential risk of economic downturns or political instability. A review of broadcast coverage can provide valuable intelligence into a region’s issues, allowing you to make smart decisions about whether or not to move forward. 

  • Avoid the blindside

Even brands that have owned their markets for years can be suddenly toppled by unforeseen competitors. This is what happened to BlackBerry after Apple launched the first smartphone. That’s why it’s essential to scan the media environment to pick up clues about potential disruptive forces.

Keep in mind that in today’s fast-moving world, strategy planning isn’t a one-time event. Your business plan should be constantly evolving and adapting to changing conditions. Keeping track of developing and emerging changes will help you stay competitive and be more agile.

 Don’t have a broadcast monitoring service? Read our eBook, Making the Case for Broadcast Media Monitoring, and download the checklist, Helping you Choose the Right Broadcast Intelligence Provider.






As IBM’s chief innovation officer Bernie Meyerson describes innovation, it is made of two kinds of activity; original ideas that are realized as discontinuous inventions and then subsequently made more useful through continuous improvement. The spinning disk drive (first commercialized in the 1950’s) started out as something completely new and game changing. These early drives started out holding less than four megabytes (about one song download) and were larger than refrigerators. Today’s drives hold terabytes and fit in your jacket pocket. Without continuous innovation many breakthroughs would find limited utility in the real world (according to Meyerson, the storage in your smartphone would take up the space of two cruise ships using those original drives).

Creating new utility from broadcast monitoring is the focus of continuous innovation at TVEyes. The traditional use for our service – indexing, alerting and search of broadcast for keywords and phrases remains a powerful application, but there is so much more that can be done once you have a searchable database of everything broadcast. The patent we were awarded on September 29, 2015, patent 9,148,675 SYSTEM FOR SOCIAL MEDIA TAG EXTRACTION, is a powerful demonstration of what might be termed “continuous innovation,” as described by IBM’s Meyerson. You can read the full text of the patent at the USPTO Website.

Increases in computing power and storage (thanks to continuous innovation) made it possible for us to invent a system to capture, store and extract text from every frame of video captured using enhanced OCR. Building on that foundation, we created a system to enable search and alerts for social media tags and handles, and a variety of other elements including logos, brands and other text of interest. The patent also covers analysis of social media activity resulting from the broadcast of the content in question – for the first time linking these important media in a cause and effect scenario.

Before this invention it was impossible to monitor or search broadcast media for the vast majority of tag and handle mentions, nor analyze and report on their appearance. Yet the impact of social media incorporated within broadcast is widely understood to be important to connect news, entertainment and advertising with Internet-resident resources and social media platforms.

The potential users for this new functionality extend through and beyond the PR, corporate communications and public information departments, enabling new functional areas of the organization including marketing, research and strategic planning. Imagine being able to report on national, regional or local coverage of TV graphics carrying a new hash tag that your social media marketing team dreams up and also tracking and analyzing the resulting use of this hash tag across social media including Twitter and Facebook. Likewise, advertisers and researchers will find utility in tracking their own and competitor brands in both paid and earned media in ways that were previously impossible. Like many highly useful and broadly applicable innovations, it ultimately will be our users and partner-developers of third-party software who will imagine and create new ways of using this capability.

Want to learn more about the patent and how it might apply to something you’re building? Please write us at patents@tveyes.com and let’s start a conversation.






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Every new hire wants to make a good impression in the first 100 days. But for the new head of public relations, the stakes may be higher than just about any other executive position, except for the CEO. As the new “face” of the company, you need to work quickly to earn your spot as a trusted advisor and top communicator.

Smart executives won’t leave the first few weeks to chance. Instead, they’ll walk through the door knowing exactly how they will spend their first 100 days – and what they want to achieve.

In fact, creating a 100-day plan is the surest path to success. Such a roadmap will be especially helpful to a new PR executive, who will certainly have a much shorter ramp-up time for becoming the company expert. It’s not unusual for the new head of PR to be fielding media questions within hours of stepping into a new role. 

Every new head of PR should develop a plan that helps them meet early challenges and achieve top objectives. That’s why we’re pleased to offer a free eBook  (hyperlink to landing page) that will guide you in developing a roadmap for your first 100 days.

In the eBook, we cover how you can: 

  • Create internal influence. On the inside – just as you do with the media – you need to move fast to establish influence with your peers and earn the trust of your boss and CEO.
  • Establish processes. Because the news cycle isn’t going to wait for you to come up to speed, you have to get a handle on processes and tools immediately.
  • Partner with peers. To move initiatives forward, you must establish a network of internal partners who can help you overcome obstacles and move initiatives forward. 
  • Secure quick wins. You’ll want to prove your value early, so we provide tips and ideas for winning over the CEO with your media savvy.
  • Create the right impression. Your reputation among colleagues is built on your early actions. Our eBook explains how you can avoid the pitfalls. And for women, who often face additional hurdles, we share tips to navigate the path to a secure power base.

Download this free eBook today and learn how to build an effective roadmap to success in your first 100 days! 

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In early November, after months of campaigning, Democratic political candidate Bernie Sanders dropped $2 million on his first TV ad buy. The one-minute biography spot will run over 10 days this month in Iowa and New Hampshire.

It’s now less than a year to the 2016 U.S. presidential elections, and many of the campaigns are locking their television advertising strategies in place. According to Kantar Media’s Campaign Media Analysis, TV spending in this election cycle will reach $4.4 billion, of which $3.3 billion will be spent advertising on local broadcast TV stations. 

The emphasis on local isn’t surprising. With such a large field, candidates will have to spend heavily in these smaller markets to stand out. And that’s exactly what’s happening. As of the end of September, three of the candidates already had spent $22.5 million for more than 35,000 commercial spots on Iowa TV stations through Feb. 2.

With all the buzz around social media, it may seem puzzling that campaigns drop so much money on television. But while these channels certainly play a role in building support, television is still the most pervasive platform. According to Nielsen, not only does television reach 87% of adults 18 and older, but adults of all ages spend more time – about 7.5 hours a day – with television than any other platform.

So TV ads clearly help candidates get their message in front of voters. But, this year, campaign managers face a significant challenge: How can they get their candidates noticed on the overcrowded airwaves? 

There is one way for them to get a competitive edge: Use broadcast monitoring to help develop better messaging, and to create and measure media strategy. Here’s how that can work. 

  • More Effective Messaging

 Campaigns can craft stronger, more memorable messages when they know what they’re up against. Broadcast monitoring enables them to evaluate an opponent’s advertising message in real time and to react quickly. Campaign managers can use this intelligence to craft counter-messaging and shift their media strategy accordingly.

Broadcast monitoring can also help campaigns track shifts in the opposition’s platform statements. Candidates often align themselves to new polling data, but in doing so, they may contradict statements made early in a campaign. By monitoring opponents from the start of the cycle, campaign managers are able to store clips of positions opponents have taken previously. Once platforms are formalized, these clips can be reviewed and if discrepancies are noticed, they can be used to powerful effect in advertisements. 

  • Evaluate and Measure

With so much money riding on TV advertising, campaign managers must take advantage of every opportunity to assess the effectiveness of their media strategy. Broadcast monitoring provides important metrics such as local publicity value and viewership. In addition, campaigns can capture and store clips, including the segments that bookend the ad.

  • Keep an Eye on Every Market 

With most advertising budgets being invested in local markets, campaign managers can’t afford to have less-than comprehensive access to TV advertising clips. Without full coverage, campaigns would have an incomplete picture of the media landscape – and they risk missing important clips. Thus, it’s essential to invest in broadcast monitoring that covers all local, regional, state and national markets. That’s why TVEyes, for example, covers all 210 US DMAs, as well as all of the major and national markets. 

  • Gain Insight into Opposition Strategy

In addition to measuring their own TV ads, campaign managers must constantly evaluate the opposition’s campaign. Broadcast monitoring can provide useful insights into another campaign’s media strategy. For example, campaign managers can estimate spend by station and the local market reach for each ad.

Given the heavy spend on TV advertising, especially on the local level, campaigns need to have tools that enable them to manage and evaluate their media strategy. With broadcast monitoring in place, campaign managers will find it easier to react to opponents’ moves and to adjust course in real-time.

For more tips, be sure to download our ebook, “Broadcast Media Monitoring Can Help Your Candidate Win an Election.”

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When Jon Stewart retired in early August, many guests, fans and even critics showered him with accolades and farewells. But among those who said they’d miss him, there was one surprise: Arby’s.

Stewart had made lampooning the fast food chain a running joke on the show, yet the publicity was good for the company. Most of the resulting chatter was positive, served to increase awareness and contributed to a growth in sales, the brand told the Wall Street Journal. And that was before it seized the pop culture moment.

But grasping such a moment isn’t easy to do, and it’s even more difficult to spin it into a positive result. For organizations to cash in on pop culture moments, they need to be constantly monitoring the media landscape for news that is both topical and relevant to their brand. Then, they need to be prepared to seize the opportunity and quickly turn it into a campaign that can drive consumer conversations about their brand.

Without the right marketing infrastructure in place, however, it can be difficult to jump into a dynamic moment with effective advertising and marketing campaigns. With a bit of planning, though, brands can build upon emerging news stories and orchestrate iconic moments of their own. There are three essential pieces that need to be in place to make it happen.

Broadcast monitoring

Only by keeping a close watch on mentions of your brand and industry can you hope to identify and seize the moment in time to enter the conversation. That’s why setting up alerts should be your first step toward finding relevant pop culture opportunities. Our Watchlist feature can do the work for you. With just a few clicks, you can set up several alerts to monitor broadcasts and automatically alert you to mentions of your brand as well as relevant cultural topics. When you identify a potential moment, you can analyze the coverage to determine which journalists and media outlets are covering the news, so you’ll know who is the right producer to pitch.

A Creative Marketing Team

You’ll need your most creative advertising and marketing professionals to be ready to leap into action. Rarely will you have a long lead time – like Arby’s did – to react. In the era of the 24-hour news cycle, you can’t follow the typical creative process, and it’s smart to have the team brainstorm and prepare for likely scenarios. Even if the ideas aren’t quite right, they often can be adapted on the fly. It’s always easier than starting from scratch.

Approval Process

For most brands, the approval process tends to be lengthy and time-consuming. But a pop culture moment is just that: a moment. Be prepared with a streamlined timeline created just for this type of opportunity. Don’t overlook the importance of vetting ideas for legal or reputational issues, but do recognize that timing is pivotal to the success of this type of campaign.

Although the Arby’s/Jon Stewart pop culture moment may seem an aberration or a lucky shot, there’s always something on the horizon. I’ll go out on a limb and say the New York Mets may provide a pop culture moment for Marvel and DC Comics or perhaps a men’s shampoo brand as fans and the media rally around their long haired pitching staff that goes by superhero inspired nicknames.

It’s fun to imagine how brands might seize a Mets Series win and turn it into a memorable moment of their own.

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The Banana Index illustrates three types of crises. In addition to “Yellow,” a crisis can also be “Green” or “Brown.” Each category represents a different degree of intensity and state of immediacy. In each of these scenarios, broadcast monitoring can help you more effectively plan, manage and respond to a high-risk situation.

In crisis communications, the “Banana Index” is a useful assessment and planning tool for risk and crisis management. Knowing which type of crisis is at your door can help you prepare and focus on the right steps to resolve the issue quickly.

Yellow Banana

The “Yellow” banana. Of the three types of crises, this is the one that every public relations professional dreads the most. On the index, a “Yellow” represents a crisis that moves quickly, leaving no time for planning or preparation. Think natural disasters like earthquakes or tragedies such as plane crashes.

In a fast-moving situation, it’s critical to understand both what is being reporting and how far and fast the news is traveling. Thus, in a “Yellow” crisis, access to real-time broadcast coverage is essential for reducing damage to your organization.

Broadcast monitoring plays many critical roles as an immediate crisis unfolds. Most importantly, it allows the crisis specialist to:

  1. Track all mentions to understand how your organization is being portrayed by the news media. Using video clips and transcripts, you can determine how best to respond and adjust talking points in real-time.
  2. Assess the scope of the crisis. With a line of sight into local, regional and international markets, you can better analyze the reach of the crisis and act quickly to minimize the spread of reputation-damaging news.


Green Banana

A “Green” crisis is one that is emerging, giving you plenty of time to plan. However, there’s always a risk that it can erupt quickly, making an ongoing broadcast monitoring program a necessity. Examples of “green” crises include activist opposition, product defects or financial troubles. Volkswagen’s current troubles likely began as a “Green” crisis, but evolved into a “Yellow.”

With the luxury of time, public relations professionals can use broadcast monitoring as part of the planning process. With it, they can:

  1. Review broadcast segments to identify friendly and adversarial media outlets and develop a plan to cultivate relationships with these journalists long before the crisis erupts.
  2. Analyze the style of questioning and use clips to help train spokespeople effectively for interviews.

Brown Banana

A “Brown” crisis is one that persists, potentially for years, despite the best efforts of management. Examples are rumors that spread about a company and never seem to be dispelled. 

With broadcast monitoring in place, crisis specialists can work continuously to manage the crisis. It enables them to:

  1. Flag misinformation and reach out to the reporter to correct it quickly.
  2. Keep executives updated by preparing daily or weekly reports that include samples of coverage from various markets. The capability to conduct keyword searches is required, because often companies won’t know if or where something has aired.

Regardless of the color of the crisis, comprehensive television coverage is critical for evaluating the scope, identifying hot spots and keeping track of issues that are very specific to a town or area.

And access to real-time coverage will help executives and crisis specialists stay more informed and provide the ability to address crises before things get out of hand. 

For more tips about how to use broadcast media monitoring to manage a crisis, download our free playbook.