Disasters Emergency Committee utilizes AI to monitor key topics and spot risks

“We can be fast to react to evolving stories and crises and make sure that our searches are immediately adjusted to pick up the topics we want to track. The AI technology enables us to be agile when dealing with unpredictable and fast moving crises.”

The DEC monitors disasters and uses a set of criteria to decide whether they should launch an appeal to raise funds and support for those affected. It’s therefore imperative that DEC has real-time, relevant information in order to enhance their decision making. Signal AI is a key tool for showing the DEC what they need to know so they can make the right decisions around launching appeals and fundraising for those in need.

The DEC needs to stay abreast of evolving crises across the world, monitor public sentiment and awareness, keep informed about their member charities and track the effectiveness of fundraising appeals. It’s a lot to keep track of when the DEC needs to adapt and plan campaigns more strategically so awareness and funds can be raised for those affected.

Monitoring and analysis extended by AI, not limited by boolean

Previously the DEC were unable to track everything they wanted as they worked with traditional media monitoring tools whose expensive boolean search approach limited them to tracking mentions of the DEC only – making it difficult to stay informed on developing crises or to monitor member charities. For an organization that relies on deciding quickly where to direct help, having relevant information in real-time was imperative.

“We had to pay for every clipping, so we tended just to monitor for mentions of our name and not for mentions of our members or particular global crises that we were interested in. Therefore, one of the great things about Signal AI for us is the unlimited cuttings –because of the simplicity of the AI-based search, we can always monitor as many topics as we wish.”

Flexible searches, and customer support to match 

In order to adapt to evolving crises and spot new disasters that need responding to, the DEC needed to be flexible in how they monitored and analyzed media coverage. With previous tools limiting the scope of what they could track and analyze, Signal AI’s intuitive functionality meant they could react to situations as they changed and raise awareness of a crisis as quickly as it emerged. 

By having ownership of their searches, the DEC team could change their own searches to focus on the topics or geographies that mattered most to them at any given time. Using an AI-powered tool that searches topics gives more relevant results in a quicker time frame than searching with boolean technology, which requires you to search variations of individual terms to get the results that matter. This requires constant upkeep every time a new development occurs and maintenance of your search – while AI-powered searching gives far more relevant results and in a quicker time frame.

Switching to Signal AI allows the DEC to monitor more than just their own mentions. The DEC team can track member charities and they wouldn’t miss any stories or changes in a crisis, helping them to raise awareness and get help to those in need more quickly. By having more real-time information and spending less time looking for it, the DEC can be more strategic in how they approach campaigns.

By using Signal AI, the DEC has access to content from the world’s media and isn’t limited in the media they can consume. The flexible and intuitive AI-powered search functionality means less time spent searching and more time spent extracting insights from their monitoring results. With real-time alerts, the DEC knows what they need to know and when they need to know it – helping them stay agile when dealing with emergencies around the world. 

“We can be fast to react to evolving stories and crises and make sure that our searches are immediately adjusted to pick up the topics we want to track. The AI technology enables us to have unlimited clippings during busy times without extra cost and the flexibility of controlling our media monitoring service from our desktops allows valued agility. It enables us to be agile when dealing with unpredictable and fast moving crises.”

The DEC team also benefited from Signal AI’s customer service, which provided support as and when they needed it. 

“The customer service at Signal AI has been consistently high quality – the online chat is always open and manned, as soon as we have a query or issue someone starts looking into it immediately and stays in conversation until the issue is resolved. It really does feel like our satisfaction is important to Signal AI.”

Photo credit: Action Against Hunger

Control, relevant results and maximum ROI 

With a platform that puts the user in control, the DEC are able to adapt more quickly to developing situations and act faster. Real-time information and a higher relevance in the results shows the DEC what they need to know about. The ability to track public awareness and sentiment for a crisis also tells them how to approach the campaign and helps them to operate more strategically. With the ability to make the right decisions, they can capitalise on public awareness and sentiment and ensuring the effectiveness of campaigns,

“We can track the media coverage of a situation to determine whether there is appropriate public awareness of and sympathy for the crisis, therefore enabling us to launch appeals at a time when awareness and sympathy is high. This ensures maximum ROI in terms of public generosity for the cause.”

About the company

Disaster Emergency Committee

Disasters Emergency Committee

The Disasters Emergency Committee brings together 14 leading UK aid agencies to raise money at times of humanitarian crisis in poorer countries. When major disasters hit countries without the capacity to respond, the DEC brings together these charities to raise funds quickly and efficiently, enabling our member charities to rapidly scale up their operations on the ground. In these times of crisis, people in life-and-death situations need our help and our mission is to save, protect and rebuild lives through effective humanitarian response.



Spot risks emerging and mitigate their impact

Relevant results appear in real-time to alert you to the stories that matter


Using Signal AI to prevent and mitigate a crisis


The State of Media Monitoring


How to harness data to spot a crisis emerging


Are you making the most out of media monitoring?