The curtains have closed, the winners moved forward with their new duties and the losers are left to rethink what they did wrong and how to make it better the next time round – this pretty much sums up every post-election period, on any scale. But how do you know where to draw conclusions from?

💡 Read Brand Reputation 101: Monitoring, Analysis, and Management Tools

Every election season consists of 3 periods – pre, during and post-election. And what all three have in common is a whole lot of analysis going on constantly. To be able to analyze anything properly and track reputation, you’ll need as many data as you can find and this is something a media monitoring tool like Determ can provide. 

In this blog we’ll go through different ways you can use Determ after the elections to track reputation – and to learn and improve when the second time comes around.

PR in Politics ebook

5 Ways to Track Reputation with Media Monitoring after the Elections

Reputation management

Building a politician’s reputation in any phase of the elections is like walking through a mine field. With the competition using any chance to diss your candidate and the public dissecting every tiny detail of their private and public lives, maintaining their positive image is quite a challenge. In this context, it’s important to know what both the media and the public say and write about your candidate, and preferably learn this on time. Determ can help here in numerous ways.

Read How to Run a Political Campaign with Media Monitoring

For starters you can follow the share of voice of your candidate and their opponents to check who is talked about more and find out the reasons why. Being mentioned more can be both positive or negative – a candidate might have done something that resonated very positively within the public, but it can be quite the opposite. Maybe a crisis broke out and everybody’s talking about it. Let’s compare 2 popular leaders and political oponents, Biden and Trump.

Biden vs Trump

biden vs trump - share of voice
Share of voice between Biden and Trump on their earned channels; source: Determ

If we look at the share of voice in their earned channels, it seems that Trump is discussed a lot more in the online world than Biden. To get an extra perspective, we can take a look at the channels. This clearly shows that Trump is heavily talked about on Twitter and Reddit, whereas Biden holds the prevalence on websites. This is a clear indicator that Trump is much more discussed by the actual public, while the online media and websites give him way less space than Biden has. 

track reputation through number of mentions of Biden and Trump on channels
Mentions of Biden and Trump on earned channels; source: Determ

If we take a look at the sentiment, we can see that the negative one prevails in both cases. It would now be up to the respective PR teams that track reputation to take a look at these mentions and find out what people are angry about. 

Read 5 Steps to Creating a Perfect Reputation Management Strategy

number of Biden and Trump mentions per sentiment
Biden and Trump mentions per sentiment; source: Determ

Dealing with unexpected situations

Unexpected situations are more or less a part of the daily job when working in on an election campaign. When the elections are over, this doesn’t mean that the work stops and that you’re at peace now. As soon as one election period is done, the preparations for the next one begin (unless your candidate doesn’t want to run again), so being ready for anything coming your way is a must. 

With Determ, you have the possibility to receive real-time alerts whenever your candidate is mentioned somewhere online. You can set it up easily and receive an email or Slack notification. This will lead you directly to the mention and you can see immediately if this mention has the potential to grow into a crisis. Ultimately, it will give you enough time to think of a strategy and prepare accordingly.

set up alerts
Set up alerts; source: Determ

Crisis mitigation

Apart from real-time alerts, there are several other ways you can use Determ to track reputation and see if there’s a crisis coming your way after the electoral storm finishes. Determ has a feature called word Word Cloud, and it enables you to see words which are most frequently used alongside your tracked keyword. Let’s take a look at Joe Biden again.

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

word cloud for biden
Word cloud for Biden; source: Determ

If any of the words displayed within the word cloud had a negative meaning, you can easily track the mentions with this word and check the directions of the conversations mentioning this word. This gives you enough time to design a crisis communication strategy or to tweak your existing ones and get ready for impact.

Additionally, you can track the sentiment of mentions through time, which looks something like this:

track reputation through sentiment over time for Donald Trump
Sentiment over time for Donald Trump; source: Determ

The read peaks usually signify an increased number of negative mentions and often signify a crisis, so it is always important to pay special attention to these.

After-campaign research

Apart from using all mentioned metrics, when doing the final evaluation of the campaign and finances, you can easily track which media were worth having onboard and which weren’t. Determ provides the list of influencers – media outlets and social media profiles that had the highest reach. Here’s an example of top influencers by reach for the keyword Donald Trump.

Read 5 Political PR Metrics to Monitor During a Campaign

track reputation through influencers for Donald Trump
Top influencers by reach for Donald Trump; source: Determ

If you conclude that you’ve put in a lot of effort in working with the media that don’t have such a high reach, it might be worthwhile to reconsider if you should continue collaborating with them on your next campaign.

In addition, you can make use of a range of reports available through Determ that can speed up your research. You can choose among the predefined ones or you can set up a custom chart based on your needs. The predefined ones are basic and advanced, containing, among others, the charts we’ve mentioned above + an overview of the number of mentions though time, by source, impressions, language and location. In addition there’s a predefined competitive analysis you can do, where you can simply choose feeds you’d like to compare and get something like this:

track reputation through competitive analysis trump vs biden
A part of a competitive analysis of Donald Trump and Joe Biden

This report compares the two feeds in all the charts we’ve mentioned. Ultimately, it shows clearly where there’s an opportunity for your candidate that your opponents have used.

Maintaining presence in the media

If your candidate is running again in the next elections, it’s of utmost importance to stay present in the media. As well as being recognized and mentioned further by the wider audience. This is where the mentioned share of voice chart will come in handy. 

In addition you can track all your press releases and follow their influence and reach on specific channels. You can just enter your key phrases from the press release into the tool and track which media are publishing them and follow the comments.

determ feed
Determ feed with metrics

Here is an image of the Determ feed containing all mentions for a desired keyword, in our case Donald Trump. Under every mention you can check the engagement, or percentage of people who interacted with the post (which is in our case 0.02%), the influence score (8/10) and the virality index (0.005x) which shows that a piece of content has much more interactions in a certain time period than other content. The first number, in our case 6,109, shows the reach of this post. 

These metrics in combination with sentiment show the value of each post and the amount of influence it may have on your candidate’s reputation. The sentiment chart is specifically important when you’re dealing with media outlets that are not so unbiased. 

For example, FOX is a rather conservative media outlet and CNN a rather liberal one. And there is a significant difference in the ways they report on Donald Trump.

Sentiment towards Donald Trump on FOX
Sentiment towards Donald Trump on CNN

Gathering this info will definitely be extremely useful once the new election season starts. And when the time comes to pick the media you’ll collaborate with.

Read How to Create a Political Campaign Checklist with Media Monitoring

Track Reputation in All Phases of the Campaign

A famous saying goes:

The right time to start a political campaign is as soon as possible.

In reality, once you start running in elections, there isn’t a period when you can stop to track reputation. Every step is monitored, any kind of incident may cause a danger for a candidate’s reputation and may have dire consequences. Therefore, every information a PR team organizing the campaign can get is extremely important. In this context, a media monitoring tool like Determ, that provides everything you need in a single dashboard is a very powerful ally. If you haven’t tried it yet, give it a go – we’re sure you’ll see the benefits right away.