When is the right time to start a political campaign?

The only correct answer to this question is probably as soon as possible.

Running a political campaign is challenging in any of its phases. Be it when you’re preparing, during the campaign or when the moment comes to analyze the results. But there is one thing that none of these phases can work without – it’s data. 

💡 Read Media Monitoring: The Ultimate Guide

Every step and every decision along the way usually relies on data. Be it through market research, analysis of social media, research on your competitors, etc. You can get this data though a multitude of different tools and processes. Or you can use just one to cover it all – a media monitoring tool, like Determ.

In this blog we’ll go through a couple of essential types of data you can get through a media monitoring. Additionaly, you”l find out how to run your political campaign with this data towards a desired result. 

Media Monitoring: Essential Ally in Political Monitoring

With its abundance of data that it provides, a media monitoring tool is a powerful team member in every phase of your campaign.

  • Before the campaign – you can make a through analysis of the problems that your voters have through social media and forums. You can sort them by location and prepare your campaigns and speeches to target relevant problems in a specific community. Additionally, you can find out more about the reputation of a specific candidate or party. Also, you can find out what voters are bothered with or what they liked and tweak your campaign accordingly. And last, but not less important – you can get this information about your competitors as well. If you know what the voters don’t like about your competitors, you can easily use it in your strategy.
  • During the campaign – you can track the effect of your marketing efforts in real-time. This means that you will get immediate feedback on every step of your campaign. As a result, this will give you enough time to change your course if necessary. In addition, you can react immediately to a crisis brewing on specific channel, or upon the publication of news that aren’t beneficial for you.
  • After the campaign – the multitude of data that you get through tracking the course of the campaign can be used later on for a through analysis. Also, you can use it as a preparation for the next campaign. Finally, you can decide to maintain the presence in the media and use the tool to ensure that the presence remains positive.

Read How to Create a Political Campaign Checklist with Media Monitoring

PR in Politics ebook

How to use Media Monitoring Data to Run a Political Campaign

Analyze the social media through one dashboard

With more than 4.62 million social media users worldwide it is necessary to include these channels into your political campaign. Just like forums a couple of years ago, social media are the place where people tend to discuss current events. They share their thoughts and express their opinions very openly, which you can use to push your campaign in a specific direction. A media monitoring tool is in this sense your go-to place to gather everything in a single dashboard. Consider it your incognito ally, eavesdropping the people talking about you and giving you the juicy bits in the form of a report.

You can use respective analytics of all social media channels to get a certain image of what your audience thinks about your content and your campaign (by comments, shares, interactions, views, etc.). But these analytics don’t go further from your owned channels and the mentions you’re tagged in. With a media monitoring tool like Determ, you can divide the tracking immediately in owned and earned channels. Owned are your controlled ones and earned all other ones mentioning your candidate or party.

Joe Biden on social media

Let’s take a look at Joe Biden’s mentions.

ln the last 3 months, Biden’s owned channels gathered much less impressions that the earned channels. This can probably be attributed to the fact that the number of mentions on earned channels was much much bigger. But if we take a closer look at the specific channels, we can already see where it makes sense to direct their PR efforts.

Read Tracking Political Campaigns: Analysis of American Midterms

joe biden - owned vs earned channels by impressions
Joe Biden’s owned vs earned channels by impressions; source: Determ

As it seems, the channels that Joe Biden’s most talked about are Twitter, websites and Facebook. On the other hand, he’s not mentioned at all on Instagram. This can be a signal to his PR team to shut down this channel completely. Or maybe to look to increase their efforts to work with websites that tend to mention him more. 

You can take it a step further and analyze what people say on each of these channels. This can give you ideas for topics to discuss on owned channels or in some of the candidate’s next speeches.

Read 5 Political PR Metrics to Monitor During a Campaign

negative mentions of Joe Bide
Negative mentions of Joe Biden; source: Determ

Understand your target audience better

There is an additional layer of understanding you can get from a media monitoring tool – demographics. At the moment, within Determ this info only includes gender, on the basis of Twitter mentions. But if your primary target audience is on Twitter, this will definitely change the picture. 

Let’s take a look at the mentions of Emmanuel Macron, the French president. 

gender distribution - macron mentions
Gender distribution within mentions of Macron; source: Determ

Judging by the mentions online, he’s mostly commented by men, to be more precise in 70.3% of cases. If we take a look at the sentiment of mentions by gender, this opens up an additional layer:

sentiment per gender
Sentiment per gender; source: Determ

It looks that the female gender, though mentioning Macron less, also mentions him in a worse context. This is a piece of information that can signify that women are more dissatisfied with some of his decisions or actions. And it can be a further encouragement for his PR team to approach them differently.

Track what your competitors are doing

Tracking the competitors’ stand in the run in essential. But apart from looking for their successes and failures and building upon them in your own campaign, you can delve deeper. This means that you can observe where they’re mentioned the most and how (and if) they’re using this opportunity. Let’s go to the UK and take a look at their current Prime Minister Rishi Sunak (the Conservatives) and his main opponent, Keir Starmer (Labour).

Mentions per channel, owned and earned channels
Mentions per channel, owned and earned channels; source: Determ

If we do a simple competitive analysis of their respective owned and earned channels, we can see that they’re both mentioned on Twitter the most. An opportunity they’re both using to a certain extent through their channels as well. But they’re both also present on Facebook, a channel where their business isn’t discussed almost at all. Also, they aren’t using the opportunity to engage in discussions on Reddit, which may be beneficial for their PR. Especially for Keir Starmer who is mentioned a lot more than the current prime minister.

Taking a look at these mentions is crucial for both parties. For Starmer’s team, to check if there’s a crisis brewing on Reddit and if their candidate is mentioned in a bad context so they can react immediately, and for Sunak’s team to check if Starmer’s mentions are anyhow endandgering his position or signify a change in the nation’s pulse. 

Read Political Reputation Management – How to Prevent a Political Crisis with Media Monitoring

Find out what the audience thinks about the hot topics

Determ allows you to tag your mentions by a specific criterion (like topic, city, state, etc.), group these mentions by tag and do a further research. Let’s take the mentions of Joe Biden.

By scrolling through the feed of his earned channels, we can select several topics that are mentioned the most – inflation, Medicare and gas. Additionally, we can add an Automated action to tag all these mentions with a corresponding topic tag. In the end, you get this image through your report:

Share of voice by tags
Share of voice by tags; source: Determ

From this pie chart you can easily conclude that within a certain period, topic that was mostly discussed was Medicare. This can be a great signal for a political PR team that this topic should be elaborated with exgtra care, wheras gas and gas prices shouldn’t.

If you want to take it up a notch, you can take the mentions with one specific tag, and analyze them. For example, you can look at the sentiment of mentions with the tag Medicare.

Sentiment of mentions within one tag
Sentiment of mentions within one tag; source: Determ

In this case, you can easily conclude that the sentiment towards the topic is mainly positive and you can further investigate the negative ones. 

Collaborate with the right media

The media are an integral part of any political campaign. And most of the PR teams usually come prepared with their own contact lists of various media they tend to collaborate with. But it is rather difficult to track what exactly the media shares and in which way. This is where Determ can step in, too.

Read How to Track Reputation after a Political Campaign with Media Monitoring

Apart from the ability to monitor if the media shard your press release, you can look for additional collaboration opportunites in Determ’s influencers list. Additionally, you can sort the influencers list by sentiment or impressions, to get an extra dimension of their effect. So if you’re for example running an electoral campaign for the Democratic Party in the USA, you can take a look at the most prominent media or individuals publishing content in a negative context about your opponents, the Republican Party, and check if there is an additional opportunity for the promotion of your candidates. 

Influencers by sentiment
Influencers by sentiment; source: Determ

To Conclude

Having a media monitoring tool throughout the entire campaign can provide a lot of benefits. From the research to analysis phase, a media monitoring tool can provide crucial information that can influence the course of a political campaign significantly.

Make Determ your ally in winning the next election!

Skip to content