#DataTalk: Harnessing Big Data to Propel PR



Posted: In: All About Tech Blogs

Does anyone else feel like everywhere they turn there is some reference to Big Data? While that statement may be steeped in a bit of hyperbole, there is some truth to it. Big Data really is impacting every industry and what’s better, it’s rocking the PR world in a ridiculously awesome way.

PR pros have grappled with the challenges of finding meaningful data and if they’re lucky enough to pull some stats, it’s often a beast to draw compelling, actionable conclusions from those numbers.

But the times, they are a changin’ (thank god!).

When our data guru friends at Experian tapped us for a candid conversation about how PR can use Big Data as a force for good, we jumped.

Rather than a formal sit-down, we spiced it up with a live Q&A via Twitter. It was mighty informative and provided many digestible and applicable insights into how PR pros can use Big Data in their day-to-day.

Below are just 3 questions we explored about Big Data’s impact on PR, but be sure to check ‘em all out in the Storify slideshow below.

1. What does Big Data have to do with PR?

  • Big Data has allowed a primarily qualitative industry to lay a quantitative foundation where you can actually see PR’s impact on the bottom line
  • Big Data provides a full picture by looking at multiple metrics (earned vs. owned) instead of just one (number of placements)
  • Big Data is changing the way PR pros operate by automating manual work

2. What types of Big Data can be leveraged to help PR pros?

  • Depending on a campaign objectives, website data can be incredibly powerful. Are potential customers  taking actions that signal interest in your product or service? Are they visiting your website, downloading materials, or signing up for demos?
  • Sentiment data will reveal if people are talking about you positively. If they’re not, what are they saying? What is the tone of the reactions to your stories and how do you collect important feedback?
  • Don’t forget about competitive intelligence! How do you compare to innovators or incumbents in your space? What is your share of voice and power of voice and are you on the competitive playing field?

3. How can Big Data collection and analysis help me with my day job?

  • Big Data can help identify the most important PR factors that correlate with your company’s success and help you prioritize, optimize and plan next steps
  • Big Data can unveil correlations between seemingly unrelated factors. This info coupled with a PR pro’s expertise = new ideas/new strategies
  • Big Data allows PR to A/B test key messages to understand which ones are resonating in order to focus on what’s delivering

The best part about Big Data is that it enables PR pros to make more informed decisions and provides visibility to the outcomes of your work (not just your outputs) and that is one earth shattering revelation.

As a heads up, the biggest challenge PR pros face will be culling through the massive amounts of available data and extracting the most important insights relevant to you. Be clear on your objectives so you can remain focused and start gathering data now because the more data you have, the more you can learn from it.

Got another way Big Data is pushing PR to the limits? Be sure to comment and share your thoughts below!