Where Media Monitoring Falls Short

Published on
April 9, 2024
Written by
Jason Grier
Read time
5 min

For anyone who’s ever wielded a screwdriver or tried to swing an Allen key around a piece of Ikea furniture, you’ll understand first-hand the importance of “having the right tools for the job.”  Using the wrong tools can be a source of frustration, adding to the time it takes to complete a task, if you’re able to complete it all. 

Such is the case for media monitoring, especially when used as a tool for monitoring policy, regulatory, political and stakeholder intelligence.  Now, don’t get me wrong, media monitoring does have its purpose for some professionals, but as a source of information for those professionals for monitoring government and stakeholder activity, it’s not very useful at all. 

Not only is working one’s way through a list of news items – including multiple copies of the same stories --not particularly user-friendly, but the reality is that the most important news to these professionals doesn’t even make the news! When was the last time you saw a draft regulatory proposal from Ontario’s Regulation’s Registry in your headlines or, for example, the fact that the head of an important stakeholder organization was heading out the door?  What about notice of an important committee hearing on a critical matter of importance to you? 

In short,if it’s not in the news it won’t be in your news clippings. 

The best government affairs professionals are simply obsessed with the need to stay on top of as much relevant information as possible.  Like me, they hated missing an important piece of information and were constantly on the hunt for useful intelligence.  This would, of course, include monitoring news coverage but, additionally, involve monitoring a wide array of information sources that the media aren’t covering.

The reality is that governments, regulatory bodies and agencies, as well as stakeholder organizations are putting out more and more information into the public domain and, but even less of that information is getting reported in the news.  The number of sources one should be keeping an eye on regularly are in the hundreds.

Naturally,this takes an incredible amount of time for us mere humans, time that could be spent acting on information rather than hunting for it. Indeed, in a recent U.S. survey of government affairs professionals, 80% of them claimed to spend at least 6-10 hours per week trying to stay on top of information relevant to their work.  In spite of the amount of time they spent tracking information, nearly all of them complained about still missing out on something.   

At its heart, this was what motivated me to found Delphic Research. I wanted to understand how technology and a “big data” approach could help monitor an almost unimaginable number of sources while ensuring we don’t simply drown in too much information.  The challenge was to figure out how to have someone or something else be able to monitor the information in the same way,delivering me only the actionable insights I cared about. More signal, less noise. 

Delphic’s core service, the Executive Daily Brief, was the result of the early work we did, working with our customers, to try to address the information problem we shared. Critical to our approach is active Full-Spectrum Monitoring: a process that involves tracking hundreds of sources where information of relevance may emerge. These are often the kinds of sources you we understand we should be watching but don’t because, most of the time, nothing ever happens there – until it does.  

In the never-ending quest for reliable and accurate information, full-spectrum monitoring is a game changer for government affairs. In short, we monitor all these sources of information, so you don’t have to. 

Research shows that fear of missing something important is the biggest source of anxiety for government affairs professionals, while a lack of budget, small team and high volume of issues to track are additional concerns. I can relate. Having someone who understands you and the way you use information keeping an eye out on the information environment for you represents a major step forward in helping our customers focus on what they are best at: turning information into insights and action.  This is our mission.




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