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Media monitoring as tool to improve strategic planning

Does strategic planning has to be expensive?
Where should an investment be directed? When should a new branch be opened? How to choose the best place to build a new plant? These and other issues, associated with business expansion, require knowledge that is far broader than narrow industry.

Some of the aspects that should be taken into account before decisions on investment are the following:
- Future infrastructure projects;
- New legislation;
- Political situation (especially locally and regionally);
- Macro fundament;
- Financial markets;
- Market situation;
- Demographic development;
- Competitors’ plans.

To keep track on the 360’ framework requires a large and costly team of specialists (political science, sociology, economics, ecology, etc.). However, there are other, more cost efficient tools to analyze business critical information.

Media monitoring in strategic planning

Media monitoring means keeping track on business critical information extracted from public sources. This tool allows you to retrieve relevant information which may be paramount for the development of your business. The ultimate key is to have a professional structure of the input of information, in order to not drown in the media stream. Every day there are approximately 100,000 different news features only in Russian language. Among those are maybe 1-10 articles with potential impact in your business. The beauty of the game is to cherry pick these pieces of
information, and that can only be done successfully with a professionally structured system for media monitoring.

Media monitoring may not fully replace other analytical instruments but it is a cost efficient complement which provides current awareness. In order to get a lucid picture of your business environment, you should not only monitor print and internet media, but also databases, administration sites, and other alternative sources, i.e. social media sources. For instance, in social media you can find comments that, correctly extracted, can offer you insider information about your competitors’ plans, which would certainly not be revealed by their media relations department. Due to the informal, conversational and uncontrolled format of social media, you can in some cases find business critical information substantially earlier than in traditional media, and thereby giving you a crucial edge. Moreover, social media is an important scene for influencing public opinion as well as change consumer preferences. How much is this opportunity worth to your company in terms of money?

Accordingly, media monitoring unwraps the future by providing you with business critical information. All you have to do is to dare to find facts in alternative sources and use a structured approach in the data mining process of public information. Such approach will provide your organization with a broad basis for a successful and cost efficient strategic planning, and utilization of your corporate resources. Thereby you will have a great return on your capital deployed.