Univeral Amplifier

Universal Amplifier

Amplifying the topics that power today's PR professional

Anatomy of a Successful Search Strategy

Crafting a successful search strategy goes beyond just looking for certain keywords. In order to get the most out of your media monitoring needs, we focus on the “Three C’s” of search strategies:

  • Context
  • Collaboration
  • Communication

By following these three principles, we have the best chance of finding the right stories for you, without them getting lost in the “chatter.”


  • Context: Keywords alone will only get you so far. Often the terms highlighted will bring in far too many results, and your desired mentions get lost in the “noise.” A good way to manage the “signal-to-noise” ratio of keyword searches is to specify the circumstances or context in which those terms or ideas appear. Once you have specified what you are looking for in terms of keywords, define the specific ideas and concepts that you are looking for. Providing specific terms and press release documents give your team the broad-stroke concepts you are looking for, as well as desired outcomes from your search. If there are specific items you do not want to see, include those as well, as they will help to refine the search. Specificity in context can mean the difference between finding the media results that matter or having your mentions end up a needle in a haystack.

  • Collaboration: We do not believe in media monitoring as a “set it and forget it” process. We regularly monitor and adjust our search strategies to optimize our clients’ results. We do our own research into the names and terms provided to find any additional context and keywords that can enhance the accuracy of a search. Our broadcast team monitors the recording and output to accommodate errors in Closed Captioning or voice-to-text translation, often suggesting multiple spellings of words and names to ensure that all mentions are captured. We also utilize feedback from our editors to adjust terms based on their experience with the actual media exposure. Finally, we work with our client concierge to ensure that we are always current and on target with our client’s interests and needs.

  • Communication: We encourage our clients to reach out to us any time they want to update their searches. Do you have a big event coming up? A press release? New product? Reach out to our client concierge, and they can work with you to tailor your search to catch those items of interest in real time. Conversely, if we see something in our media results that we think is relevant to your goals or needs, we will reach out and ask if it is something you want added to your search. Our goal at Universal is to ensure that your media monitoring is as comprehensive and complete as possible, and our proactive efforts work to surpass that expectation.

Crafting a successful search strategy is an ever-evolving process. By utilizing the techniques mentioned above and working as a team, we work to maintain the highest percentage of relevant stories and limiting the “noise” as much possible. Search strategies are also a highly subjective field with multiple paths to a successful result. Reply below and let us know what strategies you use to form the most accurate search terms.


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