Fabrice Piofret learned the trade in France. “But why not bring digitised media monitoring to West Africa”, he wondered about the craft that became his true passion since 2006. Fabrice Piofret, CEO of Veilleur des Médias, identified a need in Ivory Coast and established a company in January 2014 that is now climbing its way to the top.
“Media monitoring cannot be mastered in school”, says Fabrice. “It is something one learns on the job. Although the profession is as old as journalism itself, in Ivory Coast I find potential clients unfamiliar with digital techniques applied by companies like my own. Companies generally cover media monitoring internally, burdening their communications department with inefficient processes. Processes whose importance is often underestimated. The comparative advantage of Veilleur des Médias lies with its up-to-date tools and the fact that Veilleur des Médias practices media monitoring day in, day out.”
No longer an option
“My role is to assist directors of communication, ministers and CEOs in the positioning of their media image. I give them back the time they need to focus their efforts internally. To make my business thrive I need to make key decision-makers understand the importance of mastering their image. To make them see that ignoring a consumer who dislikes their product on Facebook, is no longer an option. Let alone ‘bad buzz’ on social media. When a company’s image is affected in the media, the sooner found out the better. With digital tools, Veilleur des Médias monitors a company’s reputation in the media and provides a proactive, daily news update relevant to the company’s situation. After all, through media we understand our environment.”
Working around the clock
Fabrice and his team are on top of their job. They literally work around the clock to provide their clients – amongst which a number of Ivorian ministers – of the information they need, right at the start of their working day. In fact, Veilleur des Médias its main service is produced at night. Every morning at 8:00 am, clients receive a personalised email that features an overview of situation-specific articles that were published the previous day. But the work continues once daily client updates have been sent out. Throughout the day, Veilleur des Médias scans all relevant (social) media outlets in which client names appear, and provides clients with timely alerts and summaries. Helping them to act and take well-informed decisions.
A decision-maker cannot not know
We finish by asking Fabrice if he thinks demand for his service will increase in the future. “A decision-maker cannot ‘not know’. The better his understanding, the better his decisions, and the sooner he knows, the sooner he can act. Today’s media sources keep multiplying and press outlets specialising. One is forced to consider an ever-increasing amount of information in a pace as fast as never before, leading to information overload. We speak of media intelligence, which cannot but be executed by a human being, by someone with a professional approach. Media monitoring will inevitably grow into an indispensable tool for anyone whose job is to make strategic decisions.”