Why Media Monitoring is Vital during Political Campaign
By Covenant Umoru
During political campaigns, the media provide an invaluable channel of information between opponents and the public. By providing a pitch for public debate and informing citizens of the policies and platforms of candidates and parties, the media enable voters to make an informed decision when they cast their ballots.
Monitoring the media during political campaigns is as important as organizing a campaign. Electoral success is not just anchored on a widespread campaign soliciting votes and support from the masses, monitoring, evaluating and analyzing salient metrics is key to electoral success. We will be highlighting the key benefits of Media Monitoring during Political campaigns.
Identifying negative media mentions
You can be assured that as a political figure vying for a position, getting a lot of media mentions as elections edge close is non-negotiable. The certainty of this, calls for thorough media tracking, as your figure is exposed to both positive and negative mentions in the media. Negative media mentions, if not swiftly identified and managed, can pose a lot of threats to your candidature. It stains your image, malign your character and can serve as a weakness against your competitors.
Media monitoring helps you identify negative media mentions, the degree of its impact, source(s) and how to be strategic about it.
Track opposition media engagement
Benchmarking against your competitors during an election cannot be over-emphasized. It is the principal strength you can use to achieve electoral success. As a politician vying for an elective position, tracking your opposition media engagement should be on your card. A detailed report of their media engagement, reach and influence will help you make accurate communication decisions.
Identify key opinion leaders and influencers
Key opinion leaders (KOLs) are people or organizations that have such a strong social status that their recommendations and opinions are listened to when making important decisions. During elections, opinion leaders act as an intermediary between politicians and potential voters. They obtain information about the candidate, summarize it, and convey it to their followers, in a bid to influence their voting decision.
Media monitoring helps identify this set of people, the strength of their followers and possible ways to leverage their influence to your advantage.
Track policy Agenda of parties
In politics, a policy agenda refers to a list of KPIs or challenges to which government officials, as well as individuals outside the government, are paying serious attention. During political campaigns, parties roll out the agenda they hope to accomplish if elected into power. To a large extent, this agenda is what endears the masses to them. Most parties formulate their agenda as a solution to the lapses of the government in power.
On the heels of a political campaign, it is important to track, evaluate and analyze the policy agenda of your competitors against yours. Knowing their strength and weakness will help you draft a more thorough and incisive agenda, addressing the yearnings of the masses.
Understand the sentiment of voters
Every voter possesses a biased opinion for political parties and candidates, premised on several factors like religion, ethnic affinity, geographical location, etc. These sentiments have a not too small impact on voters’ choice on the ballot paper. Understanding the basis of voters’ sentiments, how they are formed, factors influencing their sentiment and its predictable impact on their ballot decision should be paramount to any political aspirant.
Media monitoring and analysis can help unravel these well-knotted sentiments, and how an aspirant can leverage them for political success.
Identify upcoming events to leverage
It’s an irrefutable fact that campaigning seasons are usually eventful, filled with camaraderie, pomp and pageantry. These events can serve as a vehicle that drives an aspiration to succeed in the polls. However, not all events political and non-political are viable means of reaching and influencing potential voters.
The place of media monitoring is to help identify relevant events that can be leveraged to reach and influence voters.
On account of the aforementioned, it is glaring that media monitoring is an indispensable element for a political campaign. While the list is not exhaustive, it covers key elements that should be of paramount importance to an aspiring officeholder. P+ Measurement Services a leading media monitoring and intelligence agency in Nigeria can help you leverage Media Monitoring and Evaluation as political campaigns are in motion towards the 2023 elections.
Covenant Umoru is a media analyst at P+ Measurement Services, a leading media monitoring and intelligence agency in Lagos, Nigeria