Here are three quick tips on how to easily expand your PR measurement program outside of your home country. Getting started with international communications measurement can be a daunting task—it is certainly going to increase your costs, and barriers are not insignificant. But it is very doable if you take it in baby steps:
Step #1: Speak the language
Start with countries whose language you (or someone on your staff) can read. The hardest part about international measurement is checking the quality of the news feed and the coding. Being able to read the content that is being collected and coded makes the quality assurance much easier.
Step #2: Start with where they already know you
Begin with only the countries in which people are already talking about your organization or your brand. This may seem obvious, but frequently international projects are driven by sales or marketing in a region. If you are just establishing a presence, you may not be getting sufficient attention to warrant a measurement program.
Step #3: Use local monitoring sources
If your regional offices already have a monitoring system in place, use theirs. I’m constantly advocating for a unified consistent approach to measurement, but, just to get you started, data from local sources is going to be easier and probably cheaper. Once you get a sense of what’s likely to come in you can roll it out to an existing vendor.
Now take on the world
Once your international communications measurement has set sail is is off to a good start, you’ll want to expand your program. The next steps are spelled out in detail in this excellent paper by Mike Daniels and Angela Jeffrey, “International Media Analysis Made Simple.” Bon voyage! ∞
(Apologies to James A. Flood for repurposing his magnificent painting of the Normandie.)