The Senior Comms Manager who navigated media complexity to deliver decision-shaping insight.

As the head of a comms unit at a global chemicals and textiles manufacturer, Harriet spent a lot of time looking at coverage of complex technical and legislative issues. Gathering even basic information on coverage across all the relevant media involved a patchwork of different tools, systems and approaches. Generating useful insight or analysis was another challenge altogether. So, when she was faced with producing reports around sustainability issues for one of the company’s divisions, she looked for support from a former colleague – one of our media analysts.

Together, they came up with keywords to search for and the places to search, looking beyond standard outlets at academic papers, trade press and other niche media, to produce a report of real depth and value. But that was just the start. With a little support, Harriet refined those reports, honing terms, picking sources and improving the way the results were presented.

Some of her colleagues weren’t interested in yet another tool or an extra overhead. But Harriet persevered. With the control to look at what mattered, she had the chance to do more than just monitor – this gave analysts the freedom to analyse.

The first alerts went to just five managers, but as the reports developed the distribution list grew. A few years on, more than 80 people get the alert, from colleagues across other divisions to board-level business leaders, company lawyers and external agencies. It’s also now just one of a range of topics Harriet’s team manages – everything from various products and pieces of legislation to different policy agendas and locations – with reports tailored to her colleagues’ needs.

The service, functionality and relationship have all developed, and Harriet’s not the only one using the system. Now, Outcider is the global preferred media analysis supplier, in use across every division. The development continues, keeping pace with the shifting media landscape and changing policy priorities.

For Harriet, it’s become a powerful tool for navigating the complexity of specialist media and niche topics, delivering the kind of insight that not only informs communication activity, but influences strategic decisions at board level, in relation to what are highly regulated and complex issues.