Discovering new PR opportunities with real time news media tracking

How Signal helped Muscular Dystrophy UK:

Muscular Dystrophy UK (MDUK) can now monitor the news media in real time, allowing them to identify PR opportunities as stories break, without unexpected costs. Thanks to Signal Monitor’s limitless search, MDUK can also discover new corporate partnerships, making Signal an integral part of not just their PR efforts, but also their fundraising.

Heather Findlay,
PR Manager

About Muscular Dystrophy UK

Muscular Dystrophy UK (MDUK) is a charity bringing individuals, families and professionals together to beat muscle-wasting conditions affecting around 70,000 children and adults in the UK.

The ability to monitor the news media and track their press, is vital for keeping an eye on their charity campaigns and understanding the awareness of the crucial work they do.

Heather Findlay, MDUK’s PR manager, heads up a small team focused on proactive and reactive media activity related to policy, campaigning, fundraising and events. It is their role to stay on top of press coverage and seek out media opportunities. Having a solution which gives them the flexibility to search for whatever they need and see news in real time, allows them to be pro-active as news breaks.

The problem

Unexpected costs and lack of flexibility to add feeds to monitor news as it breaks

Heather and her team have a wide remit and need to track not only their brand, but also their key spokespeople, other charities and identify news, where they could get coverage. She needed a media monitoring solution that would give her the ability to listen and search for a wide range of terms and see news as it takes place, so her team can take action.

We were not able to react to the news. As MDUK are not as well known as other charities, journalists don’t come to us. We must jump on the news and make our own mark on it. But not seeing news in real time has always impacted this, but not any more.

Prior to using Signal Monitor, MDUK were restricted in what they could track and often faced unexpected costs. Due to additional costs to set up new feeds and the time it would take to calibrate feeds with the right content, they were often unable to track the news stories they needed. When there was a story they needed to track, as often happened, they had to move away from their standard media monitoring solution and use Google – a time hungry and inaccurate process. They needed a solution that would provide them with the ability to search for limitless news stories and track their spokespeople, in real time.

The solution

Identifying PR opportunities in the news media

The potential value of Signal Monitor’s limitless search and real time news delivery quickly became clear to MDUK during their trial.

We had issued a press release about a clinical trial taking place. I was able to see in real time which journalists were covering it and where we had not secured a comment. This gave me the ability to target specific journalists and gain additional coverage we would not have had. I definitely couldn’t have done this without Signal Monitor.

Signal Monitor allows Heather’s team to monitor the news as it breaks so MDUK can get coverage it would not have been able to secure. Her team no longer have to wait for new searches to be set up, and are not faced with any unexpected costs. They can set up news monitoring feeds instantly within the Signal Monitor app, or by working with one of the customer success team, who are always available.

The customer service team are always available on instant chat if I have a question and are quick to reply. They help with any issue, are clear in their answers, giving me the peace of mind.

MDUK have seen additional use cases for Signal Monitor, thanks to the limitless search feature. In addition to monitoring the brand and spokespeople, they are also monitoring charities, campaigns and news, based on specific topics, generated by Signal’s Machine Learning.

They have also looked to extend the use of Signal Monitor across the wider organisation. Their Corporate Partnerships manager has her own feeds to track when businesses announce a charity of the year, so she can position MDUK as a potential future charity for them to support.

With most media monitoring solutions you get one email alert a day with all search terms, but with Signal Monitor you can create target groups and set when the alert should be sent or turn on real time if it is an evolving story. This allows me to send only the news that matters to each team… and it’s all automated.

The Results

Full control of tracking news, costs and reporting

Signal Monitor has allowed Heather’s team to add more value than ever before, across the organisation. She is now in control of how she tracks her news and can have the flexibility to search for new topics as she needs, at no extra cost.

Since getting Signal Monitor, we have gone from strength to strength. Even with a small team, we have had the biggest press quarter since 2015

This has resulted in her team increasing the quality press coverage for MDUK, which has led to a change in focus away from AVE to quality over quantity. With the ability to track and analyse the wider news media, she has been able to show the true value of PR to the organisation, trustees and board.

In an ever changing media world it is important to stay at the forefront of technology. The team at Signal listens to our feedback and is continuously innovating and bringing new relevant features to their solution. This allows us to keep up with all the changes in a digital media world, and take advantage where others aren’t

Heather is excited about future with Signal Monitor. With the platform continuously evolving, and with Artificial Intelligence technology at its core, Signal is only going to get better, add more value to her organisation and become integrated as more and more use cases being identified.

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