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Whitepaper
July 15, 2019

Growing Support For The Uluru Statement From The Heart

The Uluru Statement from the Heart was released in May 2017 by delegates to an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Referendum Convention, calling for a First Nations voice to parliament and a Marrakatta Commission to oversee agreement-making between governments and First Nations and truth-telling about their history.

The Statement has taken a long journey to where it is today.

Having been promised a referendum on the issue by Labor, the movement currently has to settle for a promise by the Liberal Government to further explore and clarify a potential constitutional amendment, with the future possibility of a referendum.

Our insights team have collected 2 years’ worth of data on media coverage of the Uluru Statement from the Heart to uncover the key trends.

Read our report to learn more.

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With the NZ local elections fast approaching, candidates have begun their 2019 campaign through building a social media presence and engaging with their followers. This year’s election is looking to be more interesting than usual as we delve into the effects of social media throughout an election campaign.

October 12, 2019 marks when the local authority elections will take place for city and district councils, regional council and district health boards. As the local authority election turnout has been declining in many areas of New Zealand since the 1980s, the Electoral Commission will be running an enrolment campaign #Vote2019NZ to lift nationwide voter turnout (to greater than 50 per cent) as well as increase people’s engagement with their local council.

With social media now at the forefront of election campaigns and political information being readily available through social networking sites, it has been questioned if:

1. It’s important for candidates to have a social media presence

2. If having a social media strategy matters

3. Whether the usage of social media can be an indicator for predicting election outcomes

Political Environment And Social Media

Social media operates 24/7 and response time expectations are demanding, especially throughout the duration of an election where it’s crucial to monitor what is being said, by whom as well as understanding the sentiment that goes with it.

It is suggested there is a statistically significant relationship between the size of online social networks, voting behaviours and election results. With the recent disparity between political polls internationally and in New Zealand, it has raised questions about the accuracy of polling surveys and whether they should be paid attention at all.

Nowadays, government bodies and agencies view social media engagement as a ‘no choice’ situation and the power of social media allows these government bodies to give responses in real-time. Although Facebook and Twitter are increasingly being used by political parties and candidates in their electoral campaigns, candidates are recommended to start their campaign strategy early to ensure they establish a strong social presence that can be maintained for the duration of the campaign. Having this set up will assist with building rapport and trust with their followers.

Is a high level of online interest and engagement indicative of wider electoral support?

Online social media environments present new challenges and profoundly different experiences. As there is an increasing emphasis on social media being a powerful online marketing channel, it can be much more complex than what is seen on the surface. Each social media channel has their own algorithm, determining how frequent and vast any content gets shared. Most channels design their algorithm in a way to reward extremism to entice the user to stay on the platform and potentially influence the user opinion of a particular topic.  Due to the vast amounts of content and media items available throughout an election campaign, it is important to stay across these conversations as well as monitor media bias with social media monitoring.

Polling And Social Media

It has been said public opinion could be better analysed from social media rather than just opinion polls. Considered to be outdated, opinion polls are conducted by large, successful organisations who are predominantly interested in protecting their reputations, and anxiously anticipate their electoral predictions to resemble their estimates. The head of Strategy at a top Kiwi research firm has acknowledged social media is a more valid way to assess voter habits than the polling surveys conducted by research companies.[1] This is due to the sentiment being measured off observations of conversations across social media which can be significantly different than provided in polling surveys. So, if politicians are consistently looking to appeal to the masses and win points in polls, they run the risk of losing the interest of the key constituents they need to appeal to in order to win their campaign.

Is There A Better Way?

With polling and betting markets missing the mark with several elections, experts are progressively turning to social media to judge voter sentiment on a larger scale. Our Mediaportal can provide coverage of key New Zealand media coverage related to the election campaign and can help determine breaking news and voter sentiment. Being across this data can be beneficial as it has been seen in the recent Australian Federal election, where an unexpected victory from the Coalition contradicted weeks of almost identical opinion polls predicting a Labor win.  Other notable examples of pollsters getting their predictions wrong include Brexit – where opinion polls showed majority of voters in favour of remaining a member of the European Union, and the victory of Donald Trump where the national polling average was in favour of Hillary Clinton by 3.1 per cent[2], Trumps active social media engagement resulted in his election victory.

In the 2017 NZ election, Jacinda Ardern’s age, gender and keen use of social media livened up the election campaign where there has been a long run of politicians considered dull or out of touch with young and female voters. [3] Starting with a strong social media following, Jacindamania was ignited. Adding to this, Jacinda’s confident and mediagenic personality has set her up to be a leader younger voters can relate to and has resulted in her being the most watched New Zealand politician on Twitter during her electoral campaign.[4] She continues to have a strong social presence following as she directly connects with her audience, proving the power of social media.

The Power Of Social Media

The benefits of any social network – real or digital – come from the quality of relationships with members of the network rather than the volume of members within it. As younger generations reach voting ages and social media becomes even more universal, it will be necessary for democratic institutions and practices to revisit and restyle their political communications to tie in with the interests and discourse of contemporary young culture. By analysing the election campaign coverage from multiple angles such as share of voice, media bias, candidate promises and the effectiveness of a campaign strategy it will provide the necessary information required for organisations to make informed decisions about the proposed policies and understand what’s driving the agenda across Councils.


If you would like to keep up to date for the duration of the local election campaign, our daily curated briefing can ensure you’re across all campaign announcements, policy updates and share of voice. If you would like to learn more about the services we can offer, get in touch with our team to discuss your needs.


[1] https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=12238919

[2] https://indianexpress.com/article/world/world-news/hillary-clinton-leading-donald-trump-by-3-1-percentage-points-polls-average-3731849/

[3] https://www.forbes.com/sites/ralphjennings/2017/09/20/how-one-womans-likes-tweets-and-vibes-threaten-the-ruling-rightists-of-new-zealand/#46694557ca94

[4] https://www.forbes.com/sites/ralphjennings/2017/09/20/how-one-womans-likes-tweets-and-vibes-threaten-the-ruling-rightists-of-new-zealand/#46694557ca94

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Blog
Social Media: The Newest Political Battlefield

With the NZ local elections fast approaching, candidates have begun their 2019 campaign through building a social media presence and engaging with their followers. This year’s election is looking to be more interesting than usual as we delve into the effects of social media throughout an election campaign.

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Media Monitoring is more than just a buzz word 

There are many common misconceptions about media monitoring that need to be cleared up sooner rather than later to give your brand the best chance of positive PR. Rather than letting your company succumb to the myths and misinformation being spread around, here are three of the most prevalent misunderstandings and the fact behind the fiction:

There's more to media monitoring than the digital platforms.

Myth #1 - You only need digital

While digital platforms are becoming more important to media monitoring, this is by no means the only area you need to be covering. Tweets, online newspapers and blogs are of course crucial, but so too are traditional media options, like local newspapers, talkback radio and other offline sources.

In fact, the best way to approach your media monitoring strategy is to accept that digital and traditional media are commonly connected, rather than separate features. For instance, social is often used as an extension to broadcast offerings, according to a study from Nielsen.

Here at Isentia, we understand that all platforms are important. No matter how small. 

Myth #2 - Only the big publications matter

For many companies, getting the brand name or products mentioned on a national radio show or published in a country-wide newspaper can mean a big break. Alternatively, a negative story across these major platforms could result in a significant blow to your reputation and profitability.

It is clear, then, that keeping tabs on the big media players is crucial. However, while some media monitoring providers will focus on national newspapers, big brand radio shows and other major publications, these strategies could be missing an important element.

National publications can give you a clear picture of what millions of consumers are reading, thinking and discussing, but this is unlikely to give you much information on what the local people believe.

If your business operates in a rural or remote location, you need to be tracking the local publications.

If your business operates in a rural or remote location, you need to be tracking the local publications - no matter how small. Similarly, even newspapers circulating in smaller parts of big cities can provide a significant level of insight, if only you are aware of their readership and content.

Myth #3 - Listening is the most important part

While media monitoring is critical for business success, listening to the conversations about your brand and industry is far from the be-all and end-all to your strategies.

Once you have uncovered a relevant story or discussion, it's not enough to simply stand idly by and learn from the experience. Taking the next step involves getting an insightful and useable report, deciding on relevant and effective action and getting involved in the discussions.

Of course, this is all easier said than done, but with the right media monitoring tools, you can get started with your best foot forward. Click here to check out some of our services so that you can be on the right track! 

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Blog
Common Misconceptions With Media Monitoring

There are many common misconceptions about media monitoring that need to be cleared up sooner rather than later to give your brand the best chance of positive PR.

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A user-centric approach to delivering media data

We check our phone, on average, more than 80 times per day, and that number is even higher for younger generations. Many of us check our phones before even turning the light on in the morning.

There are some fantastic synergies between mobile use and the news cycle – seemingly both never stop, both take different forms as new technology and communication evolves, and both are often weapons of choice for many Communication professionals and CXO’s alike.

After a recent update to the Isentia App, we asked our product specialists to share insights on our mobile gateway to Mediaportal.

If you’re not familiar with Mediaportal, it is Isentia’s flagship platform that brings the complexity of media data into a simple-to-use, easy-to-navigate solution. The platform provides the tools that our clients need to stay informed, demonstrate success and measure coverage with confidence. 

Designed for any device, along with a dedicated app – the future is flexible, and most importantly, focused on creating a great user experience.

“I was speaking to a client the other day and she informed me that before she even gets out of bed every morning, she checks the Isentia App. I loved hearing about how integrated we are in her daily routine.”  Sean Smith, Chief Executive of Media Intelligence.

Bringing real time insights where our customers need them is our first priority – that’s why we approach every project with a specific focus on the mobile experience.

The Isentia App has been especially important for clients wanting to be instantly notified to new and important media coverage and to create media reports or share important media coverage on the go.

Media teams need to be able to access relevant content and mentions as soon as possible, so the ability to get customised notifications is rapidly becoming the most important tool for our clients.

“Our most recent reports are showing a 30% month on month increase in app sessions. And with the latest version of the iOS app, we’ve seen a 47% jump in screen views,” Michael Bade, Senior Product Engineer.

Our latest update includes refreshed coverage listing, item card and detailed UI to better align with the web interface and a redesigned swipe function on media items for frequently used actions. We’ve also made enhancements to the UX for a better overall experience, along with updates to the settings sections so that all app-related functions can be managed from the one place. 

“It’s not always about innovation sometimes it’s simply solving a real problem. Knowing how much value we add to our clients’ day in, day out, is what keeps me motivated to find more solutions to their problems, perhaps before they even know they have the problem.” Sean Smith, Chief Executive of Media Intelligence.

Learn more about the Isentia App, or download the latest release available on the App Store and Google Play today.

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Blog
The Future Is Flexible

We check our phone, on average, more than 80 times per day, and that number is even higher for younger generations. Many of us check our phones before even turning the light on in the morning.

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Media monitoring, like many enterprises, is a straightforward service that meets a relatively simple need.

The mass media is obviously our major source of information on current events and few would dispute that it is vital channel of essential information which, if inaccurate, can cost livelihoods and greatly affect individual lives. As such, there is obviously a widespread need for it to be monitored by government, and indeed this need has been met by independent enterprises for more than a hundred years.

The first press clipping service in this country, Australian Press Cuttings, was established in Melbourne in 1904 and is now a part of the country's largest media intelligence company, Isentia Pty Ltd. In practical terms, media monitoring services sift through the mountains of content produced each day by websites, newspapers, magazines, radio and television broadcasters, and social media. They alert clients to relevant items and provide fast delivery of links to relevant web items, radio and TV item summaries with audio and video links, copies of press articles and a summaries of social media posts.

Their clients are mostly communications executives in private industry and government whose job is to disseminate information via the mass media to "stakeholders" such as customers, suppliers, patients, motorists, passengers, crime witnesses, bushfire victims, critics, audiences, and often just the public in general.

Each has a different monitoring requirement and a different definition of what is relevant to them. The content is delivered by email, phone, SMS, and, most commonly to customised client content management platforms hosted on the monitoring companies' own servers. This continuous alerting and delivery of relevant media items is enhanced by intensive, in-depth analysis of the media issues, messages, and sentiment.

Monitoring services also offer a variety of other services including media contact databases, the targeted distribution of news releases to media personnel. Isentia sends media monitoring reporters to doorstops and other media conferences to record and transcribe the entire event for clients who need more than the journalists' versions.

Governments are major users of media monitoring precisely because government ministers, agencies and departments have a clear duty to take note of public discussion of issues affecting their areas of responsibility. They must be aware of all news media reports that reflect the current concerns of the people on a wide of range of issues in cities, towns and villages around Australia. 

Monitoring also gives government fast access commentaries and reports by many specialist journalists who provide highly-informed and up-to-date research and recommendations on various important issues.

Today, thanks to advances in technology and in techniques of media monitoring, democracy has never been healthier. For example, an average citizen with an idea or a criticism posting on social media or calling through to a talkback program can have their words passed on to a minister within minutes. (It should also be noted that businesses also listen more intently to their customers than ever before thanks to such constant media analysis services.)

Media monitoring is not only good policy, it is wise fiscal management. Government departments have enormous communications responsibilities. Units such as police, health and bush fire brigades must distribute a vast array of operational information, some of it literally life-saving. Governments choose to buy most of their monitoring services (always through a proper tender process), ironically for reasons of cost. Apart from the expense involved in developing and updating the sophisticated technology to do the job properly, the plain fact is there’s just too much media. Using an agent who specialises in the job is the most efficient solution.

The largest and most comprehensive Australian media intelligence company, Isentia, employs cutting-edge technology supported by thousands of skilled people. Imagine the cost of each government department and agency, state and federal, attempting to do all that for themselves. It would be about as sensible as government departments trying to make their own computers.

The supreme irony is that if government followed these critics and ignored the media it would be criticised for arrogance. When hypocritical opposition politicians, year-after-year, from both sides of politics, criticise government spending on media monitoring they are simply indulging in another form of shooting the messenger. And ironically the media companies who run the ill-informed criticism receive many millions of dollars in copyright fees for the copying and use of their content.

Declaration of interest. As my profile makes clear, I am a writer and former broadcaster. I was a pioneer of the modern media monitoring industry and I am a paid consultant to Isentia Pty Limited.

Ian Parry-Okeden - original article here. 

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Media monitoring is an essential service

Media monitoring, like many enterprises, is a straightforward service that meets a relatively simple need.

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