Monday, January 1, 2018

Working with Meltwater

During my first term in the Public Relations program at Mohawk College, we were introduced to the Meltwater platform. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Meltwater, it is a site that acts as a media content analysis tool. Founded in 2001 in Oslo, Norway by Jorn Lyseggen, it became one of the first online media monitoring tools of its kind. My classmates and I were fortunate enough to have a representative from Meltwater conduct a demo for us at Mohawk College.

Meltwater is used to collect and aggregate media and present it in a concise, organized manner to the user. For example, during our classroom demo, we tracked news stories and social media posts regarding a recent police situation at a local high school. With a few clicks, we had collected all print and online media stories relating to the police situation. Furthermore, we gathered any social media postings (specifically on Twitter) that related to the incident.

I enjoyed the demo, and found Meltwater to be a useful tool for a number of reasons. First (and perhaps most obvious), it was able to gather any and all media regarding the news story we had chosen. This capability saves a lot of digital legwork and makes media content analysis infinitely more efficient. I also liked how Meltwater allows the user to present this data in a number of ways - in scatter plots, pie charts, etc. Meltwater's media content analysis even went so far as to organize mentions of the news story by tone. That is, it organized each media posting by if there was a positive, negative or neutral tone to the story.

Meltwater proved to be extremely intuitive, and the representative from Meltwater made sure he answered any questions we as a class had. I especially appreciated the demo, since I believe it is a useful skill to add to my resume when I begin my job search in the coming months. I decided to enroll in this program so that I would gain concrete skills that would translate well to a workplace. I believe experience working with media content analysis tools such as Meltwater will aid me in my future in the public relations field.

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