Every morning I read every national newspaper. I take in the big news stories of the day and watch others progress. I listen to the major radio programmes and I check through numerous news alerts which build up in my inbox overnight. I monitor every oral and written question asked in Parliament, check through the Early Day Motions, keep an eye on Parliamentary business, track the progress of legislation, run through what happened in Parliament the previous day, and look forward to what will be happening over the coming weeks. I watch and listen to all the major news and political programmes, and I watch and report back on every exchange at PMQs on a Wednesday. My job is to be the eyes and ears of the company.
I absorb as much as I can from the twenty four hour news cycle, and keep an eye on everything that is happening across Parliament. I process this information with each and every client in mind. My day starts early so I can ensure that my colleagues are up to speed with anything of relevance to their clients as soon as they are at their desk, and I continue to track developments as the day progresses.
So, as a company, why do we invest so heavily in research and monitoring? Because quite simply, knowledge is power. If you do not know what is going on, you cannot act on it.
Examples of why political and media monitoring is important:
- Monitoring media stories and political developments can mean that you are able to proactively engage with journalists about upcoming events. You can then ensure that when a story breaks, it is your organisation which is being seen to be the first to comment on the big issues of the day – helping to raise your profile.
- Monitoring media for negative stories means if one does appear about your organisation that you were not forewarned about, this is picked up straight away, and therefore it can be dealt with immediately.
- Monitoring debates and parliamentary questions helps you to gauge the views of individual politicians who may be key stakeholders for your organisation, and also to know the general policy agenda of the parties. In the lead up to the General Election in 2015, we have to consider how a potential Labour government may change policy in a way that would affect our clients.
- Monitoring for relevant events across the industries we work provides our clients with opportunities to network and build their profiles. For example, we can then secure a speaking slot for our client, ensuring they are seen as a thought-leader and experts in their field.
- Monitoring Committee inquiries in Parliament means that you will know if there is a Committee inquiry in progress which is relevant to your organisation. You can then engage by giving evidence, and thus help to actually shape the policy agenda.