Everything You Need to Know about News Monitoring [Tools + Tips] 

17 min read

In 2017, Dove – a well-known cosmetic brand – released a controversial ad campaign. It featured a body wash bottle labeled “body soap for normal skin” next to a black woman and another labeled “glowing” next to a white woman. The ad was widely criticized for being racially insensitive and perpetuating stereotypes about skin color.

However, thanks to Dove’s effective news monitoring, the brand could promptly detect the issue, address it, and crush the crisis in the bud. That’s why you probably didn’t hear about this gaffe!

News monitoring means tracking and analyzing news sources to detect specific information. It helps organizations and individuals stay updated with relevant topics and brand mentions. News monitoring is essential for keeping up with trends, understanding public sentiment, protecting a brand’s reputation, and discovering potential brand crises.

The ultimate goal of this article is to answer three questions that have bothered philosophers since at least Socrates’s time: what news monitoring is, how to monitor news, and which tools to use.

It’s time to reveal these truths of humankind!

Table of contents:

What is news monitoring?

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News monitoring is the process of following the media coverage that aims to gather relevant information about specific topics.

It’s like listening to all the news sources to find out who, where, and how talks about the topic you’re interested in.

As the name suggests, news monitoring focuses on a specific source type – news media channels.

In a broad sense, news monitoring includes traditional media like printed newspapers and magazines, TV, and radio.

I imagine you might think: “Dude, we’re in 2024! Who cares about radio and TV news?!”.

Sure, the consumption of traditional media is declining.

However, the truth is that these sources still have a significant audience share and provide valuable insights, particularly for certain demographics and regions where traditional media consumption remains strong.

According to Statista, there over 120 million American households still have TVs. The average time spent with TV in the US is 3 hours 17 minutes a day.

In a narrower sense, news monitoring often focuses on tracking mentions from online news websites and blogs.

Because online platforms have major advantages over traditional media.

They offer real-time updates, a broader reach, and the ability to quickly disseminate information, making them crucial for timely and comprehensive news monitoring.

Try the best news monitoring tool!

How to monitor news?

One question down. It’s time for another philosophical puzzle – how to monitor the news?

Monitor mentions

There’s no better way to discover and analyze news coverage than monitoring mentions. Why?

Because simply put, tracking mentions is easy and efficient!

All you need to do is choose the appropriate news monitoring tool and create a project tracking your desired keyword.

News monitoring tools scan the web 24/7 to detect public mentions.

Once mention is found, the tool puts it into a magic box to analyze and categorize it based on various criteria, such as reach, sentiment, etc.

Such an automated process gives you real-time updates about your earned media coverage.

The keyword can be anything – a brand name, a hashtag, the name of your product, etc.

Okay, and how to choose the right news monitoring tool?

The top 3 factors you should consider are:

  1. Diverse and useful features – look for tools that offer a wide range of quantity and quality of your media coverage, like the volume of mentions, sentiment analysis, competitor analysis, and more;
  2. The number of tracked sources – the more sources a tool can track, the more complete & accurate data you get;
  3. Offering and developing AI solutions – because artificial intelligence features can save you a lot of time.

I strongly recommend you to give a try to Brand24.

It’s a comprehensive AI-powered news monitoring tool that accesses nearly all social and non-social news sources. If you’re interested only in news sites, you can easily filter results to those only.

Monitor news with Brand24!

It’s not the right place to describe this tool and its amazing usefulness for news monitoring in detail. I’ll discuss it in the “News monitoring tools” section below.

ai-powered brand24 mention detected
The example of a news mention detected by Brand24

Enough to say that Brand24 offers the help of a superhero that never sleeps. His name is AI Anomaly Detector. And – unlike Superman – he has no weakness for kryptonite.

In short, Anomaly Detector constantly watches your project and looks for any unusual pattern.

If it spots one, your personal superhero searches the web to discover what caused the anomaly.

Ultimately, it presents the conclusion in one or two essential sentences.

Check the following example of Qatar Airways.

It’s May 2024. Nothing special is going on, at least regarding Qatar Airways brand awareness.

Suddenly – beep-beep! Anomaly detected!

It turned out that Qatar Airways’ serious turbulence incident from May 26th caused massive news coverage.

news monitoring tools - brand24 ai anomaly detector
AI Anomaly Detector is your personal Superman

Thanks to using a news monitoring tool, you can:

  • Monitor news mentions across multiple media channels;
  • Save time with automated tracking and analysis;
  • Identify trends and topics in your niche.

Give a chance to your personal Superman!

Monitor the progress

Monitoring news is just the first step.

You should build your competitive advantage by tracking your progress to make the most of it!

Generally speaking, it’s up to you how to define success.

For instance, you might track the increase in positive mentions over time, monitor the impact of PR efforts, or measure your brand’s share of voice compared to competitors.

Setting clear goals and KPIs will help you measure progress effectively.

Okay, and how could you track your news coverage progress (regardless of your definition of “progress”)?

The most convenient way is – again – to use Brand24!

This tool offers a feature called – surprise, surprise – “Compare periods”.

To see your media coverage only, you can simply apply “Sources” filter and exclude social media channels.

Again, let’s do it in practice with Qatar Airways. I decided to compare the company’s performance in April and May 2024.

Look at the screen below. Has Qatar Airways progressed or not?

brand24 ai-boosted compare periods for news monitoring
Comparing Periods allows you to understand your progress (or regress)

Ha, the answer is: it depends on your definition of progress!

If you care more about the number of mentions, then yes, Qatar Airways’ news performance in May was definitely better than in April.

Non-social reach has grown by 47%, and Advertisement Value Equivalency (AVE) by 44%.

However, if you care more about quality (and that’s my personal approach) – it doesn’t look so colorful.

As you can see, despite the overall increase in mentions volume, there are far fewer positive ones. At the same time, the number of negative mentions nearly doubled – from 34 to 61!

Start monitoring your news mentions now!

News monitoring tools

Fine, we have answered our two major questions: what is news monitoring, and how to monitor news.

The third and most practical issue we will address right now is: which tool to use for news monitoring.

Without further ado, let’s go!

01 Brand24

You already know that Brand24 is a great media monitoring tool that uses the power of AI to discover and analyze news mentions across multiple channels.

I also described the power of the AI Anomaly Detector and Compare Periods feature. But that’s not all about Brand24’s capabilities regarding news monitoring!

Speaking about channels, Brand24 tracks and analyzes mentions coming from:

  • News sites, blogs, video platforms, podcasts, forums;
  • Social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, X, TikTok, YouTube, Reddit, LinkedIn, Twitch and Telegram);
  • Review sites (like TripAdvisor or Yelp) and newsletters.

Of course, Brand24 does much more than just collecting news mentions.

Thanks to over 12 years of experience in news monitoring, the tool’s algorithm is nearly perfect in assessing the reach of each news mention and the emotions behind them.

ai sentiment analysis brand24
The example of a negative news mention detected by Brand24

It’s worth to say that the Anomaly Detector is not the only AI-powered feature.

In the case of news monitoring, one of the most useful features is the AI Topic Analysis.

Thanks to artificial intelligence, Brand24 can automatically analyze thousands of online mentions to identify the most frequently discussed and emotional topics around your tracked keyword.

As you can see below, the Doha—Dublin turbulence incident was the most important topic of online discussions about Qatar Airways in May 2024.

ai topics analysis brand24
Thanks to Brand24, you will quickly discover what topics news media discuss when they mention you

Once you click “Show more”, you can discover top mentions regarding this topic and the most important phrases used in that context.

brand24 ai topics analysis in details
Click on the topic to get more detailed information

Additionally, Brand24 has a few convenient ways to keep you notified about the topics you monitor:

  • Daily and weekly reports on email
  • Storm Alerts on email are sent when sudden changes in metrics happen
  • Slack notifications arrive directly to one of your Slack channels
  • Push notifications from the mobile app
artificial intelligence storm alerts
Brand24’s Storm Alerts are sent immediately

Overall, Brand24 is one of the greatest news monitoring tools available. Armed with it, you’ll protect your brand reputation effortlessly.

Key features:

  • Advanced sources filters
  • Mentions volume & reach
  • Sentiment analysis
  • Advertising Value Equivalency
  • Share of Voice
  • AI Anomaly Detector
  • Compare Periods
  • Influential authors & sources
  • Most active sites
  • Context of discussion
  • Hashtag performance analysis
  • AI Topics Analysis
  • Presence Score
  • Reputation Score
  • Daily & weekly reports
  • Storm Alerts
  • Push notifications

Try the best news monitoring tool – Brand24!

02 Brandwatch

Brandwatch is a comprehensive and enterprise-sized consumer intelligence & social media monitoring platform.

It focuses on helping large companies monitor and analyze conversations and their online presence.

Brandwatch offers insights into data coming from many sources: social media platforms, forums, blogs, and news websites.

This platform is a goddamn monster when it comes to analytics! It uses AI and machine learning to uncover deep insights and make data-driven decisions.

Downsides? Access to Brandwatch is generally expensive, especially if you’re focusing on news monitoring.

Key features:

03 Hootsuite

Hootsuite is one of the most popular social media management tools offering social listening services.

Because, contrary to popular belief, Hootsuite is not just about social media scheduling.

The tool enables you to track various news sources, monitor your online activity, analyze results, and manage ads.

Additionally, Hootsuite supports team collaboration, making it easy for multiple users to collaborate on social media strategies and campaigns.

Another cool feature is its ability to integrate with numerous other tools, boosting its functionality and providing a pleasant workflow for users.

Key features:

Try the best news monitoring tool!

04 Sprout Social

Sprout Social is one of these news tracking tools that is a good fit for small businesses, agencies, and enterprises alike.

The tool is mostly a social media performance tool, but some features make it great for online news monitoring as well.

Sprout Social’s social listening platform is rich in features that go beyond news monitoring and into in-depth analytics:

Key features:

05 CisionOne

CisionOne is a well-known media monitoring and public relations software that covers both digital and traditional media sources.

As for media coverage, CisionOne tracks media mentions from news articles, radio broadcasts & online media.

Its’ PR capabilities include tracking press releases, measuring their performance, finding contacts, and evaluating PR efforts.

The tool offers an extensive database of media contacts, including journalists, bloggers, and social media influencers.

In addition to basic contact details, CisionOne includes social media profiles, allowing you to choose the most effective way to reach your contacts.

Moreover, you can directly target specific journalists and influencers through PR Newswire.

Key features:

  • Relationship Management
  • Audiences & Attribution
  • Influencer identification
  • Analysis and reporting

Beep-beep! Media outlets talk about you!

06 Meltwater

Meltwater is another news monitoring tool that covers traditional and digital media.

The tool tracks and analyzes multiple sources, such as online news, social media platforms, print media, broadcasts, and podcasts.

As for its news monitoring capabilities, Meltwater offers sentiment analysis, real-time alerts boosted with Spike Detection, AI-boosted reporting, comprehensive media analysis, and the possibility of tracking your competitors’ activities.

Nevertheless, Meltwater is quite an expensive tool dedicated mostly to large companies.

Key features:

07 SentiOne

It’s a social listening and customer service automation tool that allows news monitoring across social channels, portals, forums, and blogs.

SentiOne also offers AI-supported insights into various metrics connected to the online performance of the keywords you monitor: conversation volume, engagement, share of voice, sentiment analysis, influencer identification, and more.

Key features:

  • Sentiment analysis
  • Customizable alerts
  • Competitive analysis
  • Share of voice

Try the best news monitoring tool!

08 TVEyes

If you are looking for a tool to monitor news from a traditional media landscape, you might want to try TVEeyes.

The platform allows users to monitor, report, analyze, and archive data from TV, radio, and podcast metrics.

The United States Department of Defence highly appreciates TVEyes, which it uses as its sole provider of news monitoring.

While TVEyes does offer online content monitoring solutions, these capabilities are very basic. Therefore, it should be treated as a complement to an online news monitoring tool.

Key features:

  • Access to broadcast, print, and online media
  • Edit and download clips
  • Transcripts
  • Real-time email alerts

09 Critical Mention

Critical Mention is another news monitoring tool which covers diverse media channels: TV, radio, social media, news sites, and the Internet.

The monitoring service supports broadcast monitoring, online news monitoring, and social platform monitoring, too.

It has been praised for quick and easy access to monitored news.

Critical Mention makes it easy to share the most critical online news with your team.

Key features:

  • Real-time news monitoring
  • Critical metrics analysis
  • Customizable reports

Monitor your media mentions with Brand24 effortlessly!

10 Mention

Mention is a social listening tool that tracks online conversations about your brand, competitors, or any topic of interest.

As with most tools of that kind, Mention scans the web for mentions across social media, news sites, blogs, and forums.

Then, the tool analyzes the data to provide insights like brand sentiment, reach, and influencer identification. Additionally, you can set up keyword alerts or use their social media planner.

Key features:

  • Keyword alerts
  • Reporting & analytics
  • Multiple integrations

11 Agility PR Solutions

With its slogan “Media relations streamlined”, Agility PR Solutions is a complete suite for PR professionals seeking a news monitoring tool that does more than just media monitoring.

Apart from monitoring news sites, the tool includes a media database that helps to identify influencers in your niche and keep contacts in one place.

Additionally, Agility PR Solutions offers exclusive daily media briefs, hand-made PR measurements, in-depth insights, and much more.

Overall, it’s an interesting option for people looking for an all-in-one public relations platform with news monitoring.

Key features:

  • Real-time news monitoring
  • Media database
  • Daily media briefs
  • Basic social listening

Try the best news monitoring tool!

12 Dataminr

Dataminr is an AI-powered PR tool for real-time monitoring and risk detection.

The tool uses web monitoring to detect high-impact events and emerging risks that may negatively influence corporate reputation management.

This feature is useful for all PR professionals who want to stay alert and immediately respond to any negative feedback to avoid PR crises.

Dataminr is mostly recommended for big publishers like CNN, Al Jazeera, and AccuWeather.

Key features:

  • Response management
  • Risk alerts, assessment & analysis
  • PR reports

13 Google Trends

Yes, Google Trends can also be used as a successful news monitoring tool.

Unlike other apps mentioned in this article, Google Trends relies on manual browsing.

This solution might seem inconvenient at first, but it gives you a free opportunity to browse through thousands of new and emerging trends in your area of interest.

Google Trends is useful for journalists, content editors, researchers, and other creative minds looking for inspiration.

It will NOT be useful for companies looking for brand mentions – for this purpose, you should try Google Alerts.

Key features:

  • Geographical insights
  • Related Queries and Topics
  • Comparative Analysis

Never miss a news mention!

14 Prowly

Prowly is another popular PR tool with news and social media monitoring features. Prowly’s main concern is boosting the PR performance by streamlining communications.

But in addition to typically PR-related features like media databases or press release creators, Prowly offers basic news monitoring services that allow you to keep an eye on defined keywords.

In fact, Prowly would be a good choice for PR teams looking for a tool to manage media relations and slightly support them with news monitoring features.

Key features:

  • Online newsroom
  • Media database with over 1 million journalists
  • Basic news monitoring

15 Buzzsumo

Essentialy, Buzzsumo is a tool that helps users find and analyze popular content across social media platforms.

It shows which topics and headlines are gaining the most buzz and allows marketers to tailor their communication strategy.

Buzzsumo also offers features that allow you to track your brand mentions and news.

Key features:

  • Content discovery
  • Headline optimization
  • Competitive research
  • Limited brand monitoring
BuzzSumo dashboard

Try the best news monitoring tool!

Conclusion

News monitoring is a crucial process for staying updated on relevant topics and brand mentions.

It can protect a brand’s reputation and prevent crises from escalating, as seen with Dove’s quick response to a controversial ad campaign.

By using appropriate news monitoring tools, you can effortlessly track media coverage, analyze trends, and spot potential threats. With many tools now incorporating AI, the process is more effective than ever. 

So, whether you’re focused on traditional media or online platforms, make news monitoring an integral part of your PR strategy to stay ahead and in control.

Final thoughts:

  • Effective news monitoring should involve tracking mentions across various media channels.
  • AI-powered tools like Brand24 enhance the efficiency and accuracy of news monitoring.
  • Monitoring helps identify trends and potential crises, protecting brand reputation.
  • You should benchmark the quality & quantity of your news coverage.

Ready to implement news monitoring? Let Brand24 help you – sign up for a free trial!

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