Over three years ago, I wrote a blog about LinkedIn’s “Mentioned in the News” feature. Despite the rapid-changing landscape of social media, it’s still one of our most-read blogs.
That’s likely because despite the fact that most professionals have seen a “Mentioned in the News” alert either in their inbox or in their newsfeed, very little is known about this feature. In fact, LinkedIn’s own help section dedicates less than 350 words to the subject of how the company generates those alerts about LinkedIn connections in the news.
As a SaaS PR agency focused on generating media coverage for our clients, we get a lot of questions about “Mentioned in the News.” Some see two spokespeople in a piece of coverage but only see a “Mentioned in the News” alert for one of them and ask why. Others see some pieces of media coverage, but not others, triggering alerts and want to know what factors played a role. A few even realize the extra visibility it can bring and ask if they can leverage this feature by including spokespeople in various pieces of content.
To help better answer these questions, we began tracking LinkedIn “Mentioned in the News” alerts in March 2018. Here are a few things we learned:
Wondering Why You Aren’t Seeing Alerts? There’s a Time Lapse
Based on the email alerts generated, the time between when an article or press release goes live on the web and when LinkedIn “Mentioned in the News” triggers is typically 24 hours or less, but there is always a lag. In some cases, we saw longer spans of time between a publish date and an alert being issued, anywhere from 4 to 25 days.
What does this mean for you? Don’t expect to see a “Mentioned In the News” alert for a contact the moment a press release with their name in it goes live. However, if you don’t see something within 24 hours, it’s unlikely you will at all. This brings me to my next point:
Wondering Why Someone Else Got an Alert, but You Didn’t? All Contacts Won’t All Get Alerts
Even contacts with the LinkedIn “Mentioned in the News Feature” turned on, will not necessarily get emails about when you’re mentioned in the news. (Not sure if the feature is turned on for your profile, here’s how to manage “Mentioned in the News” settings.)
In comparing “Mentioned in the News” alerts received across our SaaS PR agency, we expected to see a lot of duplicate alerts. After all, between clients and media contacts there are a lot of mutual connections shared. (A quick review of three profiles showed the percent of overlapping connections shared between myself and others at BLAST to be around 20%.) However, that simply wasn’t the case. We did not consistently see duplicate alerts. In fact, we saw multiple instances where only one person received an alert, despite multiple people having that connection.
The takeaway here? If you — or someone else, like your boss — is mentioned in the news don’t expect all 500+ contacts to get a notification — even if every one of those connections is signed up to get alerts.
Wondering Why A Media Mention Isn’t Showing as an Alert? LinkedIn Only Scrapes Some Publications
The biggest “Mentioned in the News” question weighing on my brain: Why do mentions in some media outlets show up when others don’t?
BLASTmedia secured over 2.8k pieces of media coverage in 2019 (that’s roughly one piece of coverage for every working hour). Over 20% of these articles and press release pick-ups included quotes from the company thought leaders, many of whom our team is connected to on LinkedIn. You’d likely expect us to see a lot of “Mentioned in the News” alerts. The truth: Most of those articles never show up via this LinkedIn feature. I reached out to LinkedIn to inquire why.
According to Suzi Owens, director of corporate communications and marketing at LinkedIn, the social platform’s “algorithm draws from trusted online news outlets that [match] names in these articles to LinkedIn members or organizations.”
Owens didn’t provide a list of criteria or publications, but based on our research over the last 22 months, here are outlets and wire services that make the cut:
- Arkansas Business
- Charleston City Paper
- CMS Wire (Simpler Media Group)
- Global Banking and Finance Review (GBAF Publications Ltd)
- MILB.com (Minor League Baseball)
- Business Insider
- Talking Biz News
- Trainingmag.com (Lakewood Media Group, LLC)
- USA TODAY (Gannett Co., Inc)
- The Wall Street Journal (Dow Jones Publications)
- Transport Topics
- BusinessWire (paid wire service)
- PR Newswire (paid wire service)
Much like Google’s algorithm, which the search giant intentionally shrouds in at least some degree of mystery to prevent people from trying to game the system, I doubt we’ll ever have a full picture of what it takes for an article to be flagged for “Mentioned in the News.” However, that doesn’t make the tool any less valuable. In fact, as media outlets struggle for visibility and social media combats fake news, LinkedIn’s “Mentioned in the News” feature might be more relevant than ever.
What questions do you have about LinkedIn’s “Mentioned in the News” feature? Join the conversation on our LinkedIn page.