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Thursday 14 December 2017

Wanted: Firm to eavesdrop for the Central Bank

Paul Melia

Paul Melia

WANTED: companies to tell the Central Bank what people are saying about it on social media. Analysis of "unfavourable or hostile" conversations required.

The Central Bank is seeking firms to monitor social media sites and track conversations about finance matters on sites including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, boards.ie and askaboutmoney.ie.

But they must be able to fine-tune their searches, filtering out irrelevant chatter and allowing finance chiefs to track and analyse the reputation of the Central Bank of Ireland. Tender documents published yesterday show the importance public bodies and state agencies now place on monitoring what the average person in the street is saying about their services.

While government departments and state bodies routinely seek media monitoring services to keep an eye on newspaper coverage and what's happening in the broadcast media, they are increasingly monitoring online discussion forums.

"It's more and more common," one expert said. "There is an increase in the number of organisations looking for this service, and it's a very specific niche. In the same way that traditional media monitoring would once have been the only option, now there's a market for social media monitoring.

"It offers something different and, depending on the client, they want content to be filtered out which isn't relevant. There may be a lot of people who talk about money or currency, but they (the client) could be seeking only specific things. They want nuggets of information which are business critical."

Among the topics likely to be monitored would include publication of the 'Anglo Tapes' by the Irish Independent, while the appearance of this story on the www.independent.ie website would also be brought to the attention of bank bosses. The tender is exacting in its requirements, and wants a "user-friendly" system available online which will allow bank staff to set up searches of online or social media postings.

The information must be available in real time.

"The output from these searches should analyse conversations and alert the end-user to unfavourable/hostile conversations relating to financial services providers/products and services," the tender says.

The initial contract is for one year, with the option to extend for up to two more years. Companies must submit bids by November 28.

Irish Independent

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