In order to avoid crises, PR professionals try to keep their hand on the pulse of the current situation. However, a simple news review opens up only the tip of the iceberg, preventing the whole picture from being seen, with no possibility to evaluate trends and identify possible risks.
Therefore, a holistic understanding of the situation requires sophisticated tools. One is the SWOT analysis based on the media coverage.
Strength and weakness
In general, SWOT-analysis as a method of strategic planning is not a brand new tool. Developed as early as the 1960s, it gained popularity in the 80's, and, by now, had already become a part of pop culture (second season of "Silicon Valley" series is a recent example).
For those who see the abbreviation for the first time - SWOT analysis includes Strengths and Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats identification and evaluation.
It is possible to use this method in everyday life (deciding, for example, whether it is necessary to take a car on credit), or in determining the strategy of the company's activities (the release of a new product, markets research, etc.).
SWOT analysis for reputational risk assesment is less common. At the same time, the use of this tool in the field of communications has a number of advantages.
The problem of "classical" SWOT analysis is the data on which it is based. If the results of media monitoring are used for research, it will have a solid foundation. The list of news, headlines, accents, distribution and contacts with the audience is an objective data that can be processed, analyzed, structured, but difficult to argue with.
Another problem that often occurs when conducting such a study is the attempt to simultaneously cover all aspects of the company's activities. As a result, the analysis becomes too general and unstructured. Therefore, before starting it, one should clearly understand what aspects should be taken into account and work on each of them individually.
Divide and conquer
We allowed ourselves to dream for a couple of hours, and imagined that Tesla Inc., based in California, deсided to enter the Ukrainian market. What risks and challenges it might face? What reputation the company already has in Ukraine, what is the context of its mentioning in the Ukrainian media and what components of the brand image are broadcasted?
We made the SWOT analysis using statistics of brand mentioning in terms of drivers, developed by the Reputation Institute: Leadership, Performance, Citizenship, Governmance, Workplace, Innovation, Products & Services.
We analyzed 740 messages from the largest Ukrainian media, as well as specialized automotive and IT outlets, and compared the news about Tesla with the mentions of other popular electric cars.
The results were somewhat surprising.
If you try to describe Tesla in a few words, there will definitely be synonyms to"innovation" and "eco-friendliness". However, as it turned out, iHowever, as it turned out, the analysis shows lack of mentions in these categories.
Due to the launch of the Tesla Model 3, the media paid a lot of attention to this fact and some marketing initiatives of the company, the tech innovations got almost no attention. At the same time, the attention of the media (first of all those specializing in automotive news) was tied to the innovations in future models of electric cars from Nissan and Renault.
In addition, the monitoring revealed that "environmental" news were focused on the distribution of electric cars in general, and mentioned competitors along with Tesla. The automaker lost its exclusivity in the field.
If company monitors the weakening of the drivers, it can threngthen its positions in advance, including redistributing "resources" from stronger ones.
If the management is satisfied with a significant amount of positive news with only one driver and miss the weakening of others, competitors who monitor trends and news more accurately, will be able to use it.