Public relations is undoubtedly an art, but it’s also a science. Knowing how to collect, analyze, and interpret data allows you to identify key PR metrics rather than rely on subjective determinations of success.
While all the PR data that’s now available to us via the PRTech ecosystem may seem daunting to those who are not well-versed in analytics, proving the value of PR efforts doesn’t have to be a headache.
Here are three ways PR professionals can get more comfortable with data even if they don’t ogle over analytics.
1. Determine a focus before viewing PR data.
Before digging into PR data, think about your customer journey and the points along that journey that are purposefully affected by PR. For example, if your goal is to raise brand awareness, social media amplification and website traffic are key to track. Focus on the metrics tied to those areas.
This will give you a greater understanding of the PR data you’re viewing in the first place and how it supports your company’s business objectives. Focusing on specific areas from the beginning will also make reporting easier later on.
2. Allow the data to guide your discovery.
When data contradicts your suspicions of what’s working and what’s not, you might have a tough time accepting it as true. I like to call this PR data bias.
When the data tells you something surprising, dig into these points of interest further to discover insights that can be applied to future work. Chances are there will be a lot that surprises you if you’re just beginning to look at PR data and website analytics more regularly.
3. Incorporate use of data into your workflow.
This one seems obvious, but it’s an important reminder. The more you view data, the more comfortable you’ll become using it and creating data-driven PR strategies. The eventual goal is to create a cyclical process of campaigning, measurement, analysis and generation of insights which can inform your next campaign.
Once you change your perspective on measurement from “reporting results” to “a guide for next steps,” the entire process will become exciting. (I promise!)
A version of this post appeared on PR Expanded.