In expanding on my internship with maslansky + partners (m+p) from this past summer, I can definitively say that the firm understands the importance of monitoring both social media and the greater media in general. Founded on the principle—“It’s not what you say, it’s what they hear. ®”—maslansky + partners practices what they preach by making sure they are constantly in tune with the media. As m+p takes on a project, they make it their responsibility to help a client share their story with their audience. And part of this responsibility involves knowing what has been said in the past and what is being said in the present, so they can properly help the client tell their story for the future. This is extremely important, since m+p will only be able to appropriately recommend a strategy if they approach the situation with a complete understanding of the client’s identity, both perceived and defined.
There are several ways in which m+p filers through the media—through Google alerts, a collected ad database, in depth focus groups, and through an analysis process called WireTap™. Google alerts are one of the most underutilized services available to the public for free. Provided by the search engine Google, users are able to receive email alerts customizable by their interests, which can range from general news to specific keywords. The firm also maintains a collection of advertisements, which not only offer an in house resource for m+p staff, but also for the general public (http://ads.maslansky.com/).
The advertisements are entered with key information (context, industry, publication, etc.) that allows users to filter through them. Another way that m+p listens to the general public is through in depth focus group sessions. These focus group sessions are designed to understand how a particular client is perceived by its audience, which is done through exercises, question and answer sessions, and individual interviews. Depending on the client, these can be the most lucrative for comprehending an organization’s presence within society, due to the unfiltered nature of the sessions. The final aspect in which m+p works to understand a client’s target audience, specifically through social media, is through their WireTap™ Analysis. This is a social media report that helps identify and analyze target language sourced from social media interactions. In addition, this report allows m+p to understand and hear the specific opinions and conversations being communicated on the World Wide Web.
In a society full of distrust, it is valuable to understand the power of language. Monitoring and being aware of what is being said through public opinion allows one to harness this power. Lucky for us, we are fortunate to have many resources today that help aid us in this process. All that’s left is for us to take advantage of it.