AI ‘story clusters’ are changing the way PR and comms officers prioritize work

Signal AI’s clustering capability gives managers the data needed to more efficiently and effectively guide their teams.
10.26.23 / 3 min read

For most PR and comms leaders, deciding how and where to allocate resources is a huge part of the job. Most executives oversee multiple campaigns, each with its own needs and projects. Success depends on a team leader’s ability to manage competing priorities and make decisions (often quickly!) about which clients need immediate attention versus which issues can wait — and successful prioritization of time and tasks is impossible without a thorough understanding of the media landscape at any given moment. 

However, keeping up is a constant challenge. The sheer volume of daily news content — and the surrounding chatter — makes it hard to separate what’s merely a “flash in the pan” from those bigger, more concerning moments that have the potential to cause real issues.

That’s where Signal AI’s Key Stories feature comes in handy. The Key Stories feature clusters together related stories, giving users a visual representation of how information is traveling through the media landscape. Key Stories is applied across the Signal AI platform and can be layered atop existing dashboards, stand alone searches and into business intelligence tools. 

Clustering like-minded content enables comms teams to stay ahead of the game

Signal AI delivers a coherent picture of what stories are circulating around specific topics (topics can also be excluded in order to further hone results), even allowing users to compare clients and industries side-by-side. And unlike other monitoring tools, or doing a simple bulk search inclusive of a variety of clients — which is only really useful for identifying the biggest stories — Events can catch stories that are still flying under the radar. 

Here’s a hypothetical: A client’s name is connected to a developing crisis. Before taking action, the account exec needs to know just how big this story really is — and they need to know it quickly. Does this potential crisis have staying power, or is it really more of a non-event that will quickly fade away as the news cycle moves on? Signal AI can quickly analyze all conversations surrounding said event, including those buried deep under the initial coverage to help inform where public opinion might be going. Are the initial headlines loud and negative, but bloggers and social media convos are seeing the situation as far less sensationalized? And maybe many are even moving on? Key Stories contextualizes all this data to provide the context, enabling managers to quickly and proactively make strategic decisions on how to allocate resources to, say, amplify a positive story, or start formulating how to manage a potential crisis. 

Clustering stories leads to smarter, more-informed pitches

Pitching for a new client’s business requires demonstrating a deep understanding of the brand, including its challenges, opportunities, reputational risks, and the industry landscape as a whole. Also required is the historical knowledge of what the brand has done in the past and how well it worked. Traditionally, this level of intelligence gathering requires a lot of manpower to set up dashboards and gather the right data, and even more time to translate that info into actionable insights to inform a pitch and prioritize areas of focus. 

Signal AI’s clustering capability can quickly gather historical data on a brand’s media presence, including where and how it’s been discussed, what story topics drove the most coverage, and even uncover missed opportunities that left money on the table. This information can guide the pitch, providing the new biz team — both client-side and creative — the information needed to craft a unique and relevant plan that will advance the client’s goals. This saves money on non-billable hours but it also saves workers from toiling away at tedious tasks. The agency gets to demonstrate a deep understanding of a client’s previous wins and struggles while also building confidence in their ability to quickly and efficiently turn mass amounts of data into actionable strategies. 

With ever-tightening budgets and ever-increasing amounts of content, knowing where to prioritize attention and efforts is key in earning new clients and keeping existing ones happy, while also keeping teams lean and focused on smart, rewarding work. 

Using Key Stories you can quickly understand the largest narratives affecting you or your industry

Key Stories on charts speeds up your analysis process by allowing you to instantly decipher complex data and identifies the key news drivers that explain changes in data.

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