Big Data is a big thing in the marketing world, which is understandable seeing that the end game of both things is to understand more about their targets. But what about PR? The internet is full of laments that PRs need to make more use of data. PRs on the other hand might be a bit reluctant because, well, we do words not numbers.
But data and creativity don’t have to be opposites. And it doesn’t have to be difficult to use data in your PR strategy. We’re all collecting and analysing more data than ever before, so using data in your PR activity is actually a lot easier than it might seem.
Here are some ways you can use data in your PR strategy, without losing any creativity. We promise it’s not as hard as you think…
Data Driven Content
Data doesn’t have to be complex strings of numbers and statistics – great PR can be driven by one really simple bit of data.
The fact is, trends and patterns make great stories, and an interesting or surprising statistic is a great way to catch attention – they’re a great hook for audiences and journalists alike. Think about how many headlines you see like these on a regular basis.
Headlines with statistics like these make for compelling reading, simply because they’re offering new information. When pulling together a survey for a later news piece, think carefully about what questions you want to ask – where are the gaps in your audiences’ knowledge and what interesting things can you reveal about them? Then pull together your data to reveal something new – the more enlightening the better.
Let’s get visual
If you when you think of data, you think of this…
Riveting stuff, right?
Then you’re forgetting the all-important infographic. Journalists and audiences love an infographic because they get your story across quickly, as well as standing out from the thousands of other articles that are being posted online and shared on social media every day.
An infographic on infographics by infolicious
Plus, infographics can easily spread across the internet independently of any accompanying text. Brand that baby up, and your business’s story has the potential for global reach, without the added effort of pitching.
Use them creatively
Data doesn’t have to be a prison which limits how creative you can be with your story. In fact, the parameters set by data can encourage creativity.
How? Having a statistic in front of you can make you think about it critically and set a framework in which you can develop a story. How and why did this statistic come about? How does it stack up against other pieces of data on the same topic? Why is this important? Using data doesn’t have to be just about what the stat literally says, but about what it tells you about the wider picture.
As Rory Sutherland, Creative Director of one of the biggest marketing companies in the world, says in this article,
“Data should not be used as a drunk uses a lamppost:
for support rather than illumination.”
Don’t use data in your PR strategy as a justification to buy into a product or brand – good brand-audience relations develop when businesses see beyond selling, and really want to establish a relationship.