Media Monitoring & Tracking: The Benefits & Tools (2024 Update)

Media Monitoring & Tracking: The Benefits & Tools (2024 Update)

Someone has to do some press monitoring, it might as well be you.

If you're in the communications space, you may have heard people talk about "media monitoring" or "media tracking". This guide will break down the basics of media monitoring, why monitoring is important to your overall comms strategy, and our recommendations for the best tools to use in your PR evaluation efforts. Plus, there may be some gifs from The Office.

Because this guide was written by a millennial.

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What is media/press monitoring?

Before we get too deep into it, let's talk about what media monitoring actually is. Media and press monitoring is essentially scouring the nooks and crannies of the internet and the media at large for mentions of your brand or product.

While it sounds like a relatively simple concept, it's pretty intense and can get complicated fast. Why is this? Well, the internet is massive. And growing. And an unstoppable force. And terrifying.

I mean, have you SEEN Twitter?

There are an estimated 50 billion devices with internet access currently in use worldwide. There are 200,000,000 emails and 480,000 tweets sent every minute. The amount of data uploaded to the internet is absolutely and utterly mind-blowing. And tracking all of that? Yeah, it's not simple.

Better still, media monitoring isn't limited to just the internet. We've been told there are rumors of things existing offline as well. While that idea sounds positively terrifying, apparently it's worth tracking those things, too. Offline media includes newspapers, broadcast television, and analogue books printed on honest-to-god pieces of paper.

This is where media monitoring comes in. If you want to figure out what people are saying about your brand or company, you will want to use a reliable software or service to do the tracking for you.

Most companies these days don't want to just measure press mentions. They want to track social media, print media, video media, podcasts, etc. Keeping track of all of these online and offline sources can be a big task, which is why there are plenty of tools to make it a bit easier. These tools are a vast improvement from how media monitoring used to be done: one harried, underpaid, sad intern.

What are the benefits of media monitoring?

Media monitoring is helpful for gauging how your brand is doing with critics, fans, customers, and the general public. Monitoring used to be a lot more straightforward when we were just checking press coverage, like a newspaper running a story on a new branch opening.

With the explosion of different types of media in the last two decades as well as the current ubiquity of social media and online discourse, "media monitoring" is no longer such a simple task.

But why even bother doing media or press monitoring at all? Here are five key benefits.

1. Monitor how your brand is doing

Wait, with monitoring you can monitor how your brand is doing?! Whoever could have guessed! Yeah, it's a little obvious. But, with media tracking, you can:

  • Get ahead of any potential scandals or PR crises
  • Identify influencers and thought leaders for potential collaborations
  • See how the narrative around your brand is changing over time
  • Track the efficacy of marketing campaigns
  • Find favorable company mentions for use in marketing and publicity

2. Track the competition

To tip: You can also monitor your competitors. Knowing how others in your field are doing is a great way to stay innovative and competitive.

3. Keep "in the know" for your industry

Similar to tracking the competition, knowing what's going on in your field is crucial to staying relevant, and gives you the opportunity to weigh in on current affairs (and, dare I say, newsjack). Often we can get stuck in our lanes as far as working on our own products and projects, but what if the industry has shifted massively without you knowing? What if a scandal breaks out, and you didn't plan for it?

Staying on top of the industry means that you can sidestep a potentially embarrassing or even catastrophic situation, not to mention avoid appearing tone-deaf or unaware.

For example (not at all based on real-life whatsoever): Imagine you are getting ready to collaborate with an influencer who gets caught up in some heinous scandal right before your collaboration launches. If you're not actively monitoring the landscape of your industry, you could entirely miss this development, move forward with the partnership, and be implicated in supporting whatever behavior is being criticized by association.

Twitter would be sooo mad.

4. Gather feedback to improve products & services

You and I both know that your product is literally perfect. That's not even a question. However, there's always room for improvement on perfection. And that's where media monitoring can be an effective way to do some real-time quality improvement.

Is somebody on Twitter complaining about some part of your product or service? Did some beauty YouTuber trash your new launch? That's free feedback right there. Some companies spend thousands on market research to get the same calibre of feedback that consumers now give away pro bono on social media. Keeping an eye on how consumers are interacting with your product is a great way to continuously improve and develop.

The inverse is also true. If people are constantly complaining about some element of your product and you continue to ignore it, over time you're likely going to get overtaken by the competitors who are actually listening to the feedback and improving on their services.

Active, non-sarcastic listening.

There are numerous examples of companies that failed to innovate and who were overtaken by competitors. The moral of the story is: if your customers or fans care enough to say something about your brand, listen to them.

5. Stay relevant & engaged with your audience

People love it when brands manage to toe the line of being cheeky and engaged on social media. You can certainly do this badly and run the risk of offending and alienating people, but good social media listening and engagement can provide tons of free publicity.

Let's look at this example: a woman on TikTok recently shared a wild recipe for macaroni and cheese. In it, she added raisins and everyone in the comments was not having it. Famed raisin brand Sunmaid got into the mix to condemn the travesty. And the result? 86,400+ "likes" and countless profile views for, and I cannot stress this enough, raisins. Tons of exposure and publicity, just for watching the community and staying engaged.


Is press monitoring necessary?

When thinking about whether or not press monitoring is necessary, you have to consider your overall goals as a company. Assuming you would like a good reputation and good publicity, you absolutely want to have media monitoring as part of your overall communication strategy.

Imagine that your product goes viral for unfortunate reasons. Maybe somebody posts your product failing on TikTok, and thousands upon thousands of people see it before you can address the issue. Or maybe, a complaint about your service has gone viral on Twitter, but your PR team isn't aware of it until after countless consumers have already canceled their subscriptions.

The Internet moves fast, as does public opinion. Knowing what people are saying about your brand is crucial to managing public perception, staying ahead of crises, and maintaining a great relationship with your audience and customers.

Can you get away with not monitoring your press and social media mentions? Sure, absolutely. However, it would be unfortunate to find out the hard way that a major blogger in your niche or an industry leader on social media has damaged your credibility and you weren't even aware. Or there was a phenomenal influencer partnership opportunity that passed by without you even knowing about it. This is why media monitoring isn't just a good idea for people that want their business to grow. It's essential.

Our top recommendations for media tracking tools

We've previously written about some of our favorite PR tools, but this list is specific to media tracking and monitoring. You can always check out that list for even more fun recommendations to make your digital life a little bit easier.

Google Alerts


Not only is this service free (our favorite price), it's a great way to get updates and alerts about mentions from numerous sources through Google's incredibly powerful search index. You can add whatever alerts you want, not strictly limited to just your brand or company name. You could add:

  • Your CEOs and other faces of the company
  • Product lines
  • Song, book or movie titles
  • Event names & hashtags
  • Competitors
  • Industry leaders
  • Influencers
  • Puppies
  • Pretty much anything

Any time your selected keywords pop up on Google's index, you'll get a handy email about the mention, which lets you stay current and informed about what the people are saying all around the internet.

Google has over 270 products and services, many of which are free and a great addition to your PR tech stack. See this guide for how to use Google Trends to inform your data management efforts.



Hey, that's us!

Prezly allows you to easily log and track media mentions straight from the software. This can be great for both tracking your media mentions and maintaining relationships with outlets and journalists who have previously featured your company. You can add them to a carefully curated media list, or reach out to them later for future coverage since they have already indicated an interest in your brand.

Plus, the fact that this service is manual instead of automated means you can selectively tailor which coverage you plan to track and engage with over time. This is great when you don't want to track 4,000 random spam and subtweets, and only want to focus on the coverage that can lead to relationships and opportunities. It's a much more intentional approach to media monitoring, and it can become a massive resource for your PR.


In addition to PR measurement tools, CARMA has some robust media monitoring features. Their service not only tracks online presence, like social media and podcasting, but also offline broadcast coverage and print media. How did they do it? Nobody knows! Probably science, or magic. And you just can't argue with science (or magic).

But what we do know is that they've been around for a long time, so they really know their stuff. Richard Bagnall, CARMA's CEO, stopped by the Prezly (virtual) office to share more insights into how measurement (like media monitoring) can and should inform PR strategy.



If SEO is part of your overall marketing strategy, Ahrefs is a must. And if SEO isn't part of your strategy, we need to have a talk.

A nice, civil talk.

Ahrefs is an industry standard for a reason. They have a ton of tools to track website mentions and backlinks and a bunch of other features around SEO strategy and content planning. You can also use it to track competitors, if that's your thing.

SEO isn't just for the digital marketing people anymore. PR, comms people, and storytellers are all in a position to benefit from a solid, intentional SEO strategy. Tracking backlinks, domain authority, and search rankings is a way to get more eyes on your brand.



A lot of media monitoring software can be downright crazy expensive. Relative to its competitors, Brand24 is a budget-friendly, feature-rich option for media monitoring. You can track blogs, forums, social media, news outlets, and even video for brand mentions. It even gives you a nifty timeline, a summary of the mention (with links), and tells you if the mention is positive, neutral, or negative.


We've talked a lot about monitoring your brand on the Internet, and for many monitoring strategies, online monitoring will be enough. But what about those more off-line media mentions? Things like broadcast television, news, radio, and other platforms can be tracked through TVEyes.

This service is great when you anticipate your brand being featured on broadcast television and want to stay aware of your offline mentions. TVEyes can also be an essential part of your crisis management plan.

See this article for even more PR measurement tools we'd recommend.


If media and press monitoring aren't a part of your public relations strategy, they should be.

Looking for more inspiration? Watch this awesome interview with our friend Christopher Penn for more data-informed strategic inspiration while crafting your media monitoring plan. Or just go ahead and subscribe to the whole livestream series for your monthly dose of company comms inspiration.

Ready to take the guesswork out of your PR strategy?

Get insights into your PR performance and where to focus next with Prezly's analytics. Track campaign engagement, newsroom activity, earned coverage, and more.

Published April 2022; updated January 2024

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