The Stakeout


We've all seen it, two or three haggard world weary detectives or a feisty amateur sleuth in a car or in an empty house or deep in the bushes, on a stakeout. It's a common feature and trope in crime and mystery movies, TV shows, and novels. Sometimes the detective is a bit bumbling and falls asleep or gets distracted or, even worse yet, gets caught and ends up missing a really important clue or piece of evidence like the money drop or the suspect leaving the house without the box he entered with. In mystery fiction, these bumbling episodes usually provide a bit of comic relief and ultimately everything works out despite the pitfalls. The bad guy is caught. Justice is served. The sleuth is hailed as a hero. 

Sometimes the need to stay on top of and current on a topic feels quite like a stakeout. A lot of time and energy goes into waiting and watching and listening for that one piece of information to come that you just know will make everything clear. Or the articles that will key you in on what the next big thing in your space might be. Or maybe you're anxiously watching regulatory bodies to see when new rules that affect your work might finally be published. Or perhaps you have a feeling a competitor might be making a big move, but just don't know when or what it will be. In the real world, when you need to keep on top of information, information that's vital to the success of your projects, there's no time to fall asleep on the job and fall behind.  

There's so much information out there, from so many sources, the information stakeout is even more important than ever before. You need to be proactive. Just like the suspect in a mystery novel won't confess to everything and the detectives must watch and listen and monitor them for important clues, so too must you if you want to stay updated and informed. You need to actively seek out new information and make the information stakeout a habit. You can't expect information you need to succeed to just show up and shout, "Hey! here I am!"

I conduct ongoing media monitoring and topic monitoring projects for clients, usually busy founders and entrepreneurs who need to be current and up to date on topics and trends and news for the sake of their work, but don't have the time to really focus on it. 

How do you keep on top of the information you need? Do you have a detailed monitoring plan? Do you overlook the importance of the information stakeout because…[insert excuse here]?


Why are information stakeouts a good idea?

  • Potential investors will expect you to be knowledgable about your space.
  • Competitors might be making big moves you need to be aware of.
  • Customers are out there and they are talking about problems YOU might have the solution to. 
  • Trends outside your personal, local sphere of influence can and will effect your biz in the future. 
  • Laws, policies, and regulations that might limit and influence how you do business could very well be being discussed right now. 
  • New products and services are being created every single day. 
  • Tons and tons of new content is created each and every hour; content you can use to grow your own expertise and share with your audience. 


Where do information stakeouts take place?

  • Social media
  • Press release archives
  • News databases
  • Subscription databases
  • Blogs
  • Company websites
  • Wikipedia
  • SEC filings
  • Government news services
  • Court record databases
  • Forums and communities
  • Customer reviews and feedback

Want to learn more about information stakeouts and how they can help you build or grow a better business? Let’s talk.