Long before the Academy Award nominees are named in mid-January, the conversation about the film industry’s biggest celebration begins to percolate. While a noteworthy portion of this discussion happens in glossy magazines, the arts pages of major newspapers and in social media, television is the predominant medium for speculation about winners and the fashions they’ll wear.
Whether it’s Jennifer Lawrence joking with Jimmy Fallon on Late Night or musings about who will wear the best dresses on the red carpet, the ceremony gets a significant amount of airtime in the weeks leading up to the big night.
For this reason, broadcast monitoring must be an integral component of any communications strategy: an actor concerned about her image will need to track name mentions; an advertiser will want to report on earned coverage; and activist groups will need to know how their message plays across the media spectrum.
In watching the awards, we identified four takeaways about broadcast monitoring that brands should know when they plan for the biggest event in their industry.
1. How to deal with emerging issues
This year’s awards were marked by controversy, and both the host and the winners used their time on the stage to address activist issues. For example, when the nominations became public and no actors of color were nominated, #OscarsSoWhite became an emerging issue for the Academy, making a response necessary and almost certainly spurring changes to its communications plan.
When a challenging issue emerges, broadcast monitoring can help organizations develop a more effective crisis communications plan and fine tune messaging. By tracking and analyzing how the broadcast media are reporting on the issue in the days leading up to a big event, organizations can glean valuable information needed to mitigate risk to their brand.
2. Stay on top of brand mentions
It’s imperative for publicists and public relations professionals to stay on top of news coverage about their clients and brands to avoid being blindsided. Even well-seasoned actors can make off-the-cuff remarks that quickly spiral out of control.
When Best Actress nominee Charlotte Rampling offered her opinion about diversity in the Oscars on Europe 1 Radio, her words were shared by broadcast media around the world.
She quickly clarified her position, but this type of situation reinforces the need for timely notification of media mentions. Brands and publicists can set up alerts on broadcast monitoring tools like TVEyes to be alerted moments after search terms of interest are broadcast. This enables them to jump into action quickly and quell any media criticism.
3. Share clips internally
There were many moments during this year’s show that filmmakers, actors, nonprofits and advertisers were likely to find extremely valuable. Broadcast monitoring tools like TVEyes make it possible to quickly report coverage to employees and executives.
For example, the White House staff working on the administration’s ItsOnUs.org public awareness campaign was likely to be excited about reporting coverage of Joe Biden’s speech to both political leaders and internal staff.
4. Measure results
Like many events of its size and importance, the Oscars ceremony has an international reach and is a significant investment for any Hollywood player or advertiser. But filmmakers and brands need to know if their involvement has an impact on the specific audiences they’re trying to reach. Thus, being able to evaluate reach is essential for understanding return on investment.
Broadcast monitoring tools such as market share heat maps, which show the concentration of coverage in particular regions, can help brands better measure their impact. And trend charts can help advertisers evaluate how long they were able to sustain conversation in the media, while activists can track how quickly their emerging issue vanished from the news cycle.
These four lessons aren’t just Oscar-worthy. They can be applied to just about any event or communications campaign of any size. Keeping your finger on the pulse of news that affects your business, being able to address potential issues early, as well as analyze and report results immediately are essential components that are likely to increase a PR campaign’s success. Learn more about using broadcast monitoring to stay on top of emerging issues and controlling the story with our free playbook Broadcast Monitoring for PR Agencies.