How can NGOs Apply Media Monitoring

  • Author

    Klara Gavran

  • Published

    Mar, 01, 2019

  • Reading time

    4 min

Whether your area of interest is that of humanitarian, educational, environmental or other character, there are a few common touchpoints in media monitoring for non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

💡 Read Media Monitoring: The Ultimate Guide

In fact, there are six useful ways NGOs can apply media monitoring in their everyday business practice.

#1 Monitoring the NGO itself

By tracking their brand and brand-related keywords, NGOs can get insight into the public opinion of the work they do. They can see how the public perceives them and how they are positioned in the public’s consciousness. Generally, they’ll be able to know who talks about them, what they talk about, where and how they talk about them. Is the prevailing sentiment towards their initiatives positive or negative? If negative, why so and what can they do to change that kind of perception? With all that data backing them up, they can adjust their strategy and communication accordingly.

Say you are an environmental organization using Determ to constantly have insight into your organization’s reputation. After all, you don’t want to be an environmental organization accused of contributing to pollution. By tracking your own organization, you can discover these potentially reputation-damaging opinions in time. Then you can issue an official statement or address the issue on social media – again, in time.

#2 Discovering social issues

Each NGO has its specific goals and interests – initiatives it cares about and wants to realize. Once the NGOs identify these objectives, they can use media monitoring to track what people are saying about issues of their interest, but also to track other NGOs of similar interests. This way they can catch all the newest, trending hashtags and topics and act accordingly. By discovering new issues they weren’t aware of before, they can join the discussion. Either by inserting themselves into social media conversations or even by running a whole campaign to raise awareness. Showing they care about current issues and reacting immediately can also get them the attention and support from the rising number of their followers.

Read Everything You Wanted to Know About Cause Marketing

#3 Monitoring campaigns

I’ve very briefly touched upon campaigns in the point above. Whether planned in advance or as a response to trending issues, monitoring campaigns is especially important.

Using media monitoring tools, NGOs can track their performance. They can see how big of a reach they had and how well they were received. If the reach wasn’t as planned, they can look for alternatives to make sure they reach their objectives. Having insight into the campaign sentiment, mentions by source and similarly relevant data can help them in that endeavor. Of particular interest, in this case, is the influencer scoreboard. NGOs can get insight into top influencers by reach, a number of mentions or source. Finding and using influencers more prominently in campaigns can help immeasurably in spreading the word. These are the bloggers, influencers or sites that are interested in your initiative and have influence and reach over a certain amount of people.

#4 Geo-mapping

Geo-mapping is especially important for regional NGOs that operate across a number of different countries. This way, NGOs can cover news from several markets at once as well as stay in touch with recent events in each specific country. One such organization that uses Determ for this reason is WWF Adria which collaborates on and leads projects in more than 12 countries, both on policy issues and communication.

This way, they can have all the necessary information in one place. They’ll be able to track and compare the performance of their campaigns across each country in which they operate. Regional NGOs can also have insight into the prevailing sentiment surrounding their brand in a specific region.

#5 Time management

One common factor of all the above-mentioned points is time management. This is also something a few of our NGO clients have highlighted as well. All of these media monitoring features are specific in their ability to save time. Especially if you’re using a mobile app that allows you to monitor and react on the go. All of these features have made NGOs’ processes faster and more advanced, thus enabling them to focus on their strategic efforts.

What now

Now that we’ve established that media monitoring makes it worth your while, what’s next?

Your first step can be trying out Determ during a free 14-days trial. This way you can give media monitoring a real chance by testing it out.

Setting up

Set up folders for your organization, organizations similar to yours, your current campaigns and for topics and/or hashtags of your interest. Each of your folders can have multiple queries, so don’t hold out. Start tracking queries and keywords relevant to your cause.

For instance, if you are an environmental organization, you can track WWF, Greenpeace and other similar organizations. Additionally, you can track topics such as “pollution”, “sustainability” or even “how to help save the environment” to find people interested in what you are offering. It’s all about thinking outside of your own needs and starting to figure out what might the public need and be interested in.


You might find people on social media enraged with current environmental issues and engage them in conversation, thus raising awareness of your organization. Some of them might even be influencers that’ll help spread the word even more with the right initiative.

You won’t only find new followers by tracking these kind of queries, though, but also any potential environmental crises you might not have been aware of before. Then you can react immediately by raising awareness of that issue through a campaign or simply by helping out and offering your services. You can even set up alerts for specific queries that you deem truly important, for instance “wildfire”. If you’ve set up a spike alert, you’ll immediately be notified when there’s a spike in mentions of wildfire. That most likely means it’s happening right now, and so you can react right away by offering your help in containing it.

The possibilities are endless and the only way you can truly discover the full scope of everything media monitoring tools have to offer is by using them.

What are you waiting for then? Hop on the media monitoring bandwagon!