Data-driven PR: How PR Professionals Can Use Data to Accelerate their Strategies

June 5, 2015 Matt Allison: Founder, Chief Strategy Officer


Business leaders across the board are increasingly demanding that decisions be made based on data, rather than experience or judgment calls. In fact every area of most organizations, from manufacturing to sales, are becoming increasingly scientific and looking for empirical data to support decisions. PR is no exception. Brands are getting a lot smarter about how data can be used to drive strategies to improve results and measurement. Here are a few of the ways this can be accomplished.

Media Monitoring

The modern media landscape is vast and complicated. Once there may have only been a few publications and channels relevant to your brand, but today there are probably hundreds. The challenge this presents, of course, is that manually monitoring for relevant mentions is simply impossible. Media monitoring software is essential for capturing the information you need to act and respond. That same software also presents an opportunity to leverage big data for a better understanding of industry trends and buyer behaviors.

Earned Media Targeting

With so many outlets it can be difficult to identify the journalists and influencers who can share the story of your brand. Here again, data is your friend. With the right technology, you can find the people who write about and share content related to topics of interest to your potential buyers. What’s more, you can get a clear understanding of their reach and audience makeup.

Effectiveness Assessment

Most PR teams are time, resource, and budget limited. This means it is essential to understand what content types and channels are the most effective so that you can accelerate what works and eliminate what doesn’t. The best PR software helps you zero in on your most impactful tactics.

ROI Reporting

Today’s PR professionals and agencies are being asked to justify their PR investment in unprecedented ways. Rather than the activity measurements of the past, brands increasingly want outcome based metrics. They are looking for data that ties PR to quantifiable results such as increased website visits, more leads, higher conversion rates and revenue production. Fortunately, software is available that can capture this information and make reporting PR results quick and easy.

The practice of PR is still about telling great stories and developing meaningful relationships. However, data is becoming more and more important for PR pros and agencies. Those who are able to embrace and leverage it will have a notable advantage over those who do not.

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