This year, the Worldcom PR Group, a global network of PR agencies that HBI is a partner of, presents the Confidence Index 2019. Among other topics, it deals with the behavior of CEOs worldwide in various thematic areas such as cyber security and industry 4.0. For this purpose, the information available online about CEO statements is collected – whether via professional social networks or in media reports.  This huge amount of data is analyzed by artificial intelligence. Among other things, data from social media behavior, the basic mood on certain set topics and the reaction of the community of previously determined CEOs play an important role here.

What benefits can be gained from this data? By recognizing and understanding the problems, wishes and goals of CEOs, market shifts can be recognized at an early stage and a proper response can be taken – also with regard to one’s own communication strategy. This process is an example of data-driven PR.

What does data-driven mean?

Today’s society stands and falls with data. You can find it everywhere, whether in the daily weather forecast, in the price increase during holiday season or in marketing. All these examples have in common that decisions are made on the basis of data and evaluations.

Data-driven marketing and data-driven PR are playing an increasingly important role in the day-to-day work of agencies and in the creation of targeted campaigns. Nowadays, various analysis tools are used to draw concrete conclusions from collected data, almost perfecting customer acquisition and content generation processes.

What is Data-driven Marketing?

In terms of marketing, the term “data-driven” describes the collection, analysis and usage of various data for marketing purposes. Marketers use the collected information to improve the customer journey, execute targeted campaigns, and use budgets in a specific way. Essentially, data-driven marketing can help companies to improve their marketing efforts and reach the desired KPIs. Today, data-driven marketing is also used to create unique and personalized customer journeys, e.g. in online shopping. Marketing must increasingly deliver measurable results so that new insights can be gained and decisions can be made.

Kommunikation verbessern durch Data-driven PR?

Die PR-Branche wird stark von eigenen Erfahrungen und den Instinkten der Führungskräfte geleitet. In Unternehmen werden daher oftmals Entscheidungen auf Basis von Erfahrungen und Branchenkenntnissen getroffen. Dadurch fehlt vielen die nüchterne Betrachtung von Sachlagen und das aufnehmen neuer Prozesse in die tägliche Arbeit. Pitches werden immer wieder nach dem gleichen Muster aufgesetzt und Arbeitsschritte teils jahrzehntelang nicht verändert.

Improve communication through data-driven PR?

The PR industry is strongly driven by personal experience and the instincts of executives. In companies, decisions are often made on the basis of experience and industry knowledge. As a result, many lack a sober view of the situation and the ability to integrate new processes into their daily work. Pitches are always set up according to the same pattern and workflows are sometimes not changed for decades.

In particular, these two aspects plead for the improvement of communication through data-driven PR:

Every day we are confronted with a large number of new stories. Worldwide, 269 billion (in 2017) e-mails are sent every day. With such a high volume of content traffic, it is difficult to stand out from other articles, press releases or newsletters – content must be fresh, exciting and unique. Data-driven PR can provide information on current trends through data analysis. This enables you to react to these trends immediately and deliver relevant content that matters.

We also live in a world where it is difficult to separate facts from false information. Large corporations such as Google and Facebook are currently doing everything they can to develop and use machines that recognize and delete fake news and bots.

This article might interest you, too: The history of fake news.

How is data-driven PR used?

Data needs to be at the center of a data-driven PR strategy. Data-driven PR means writing articles based on data.

As in marketing, data must first be collected so that it can be used to direct content in a data-oriented way.

Good tools to find out key data of the target group, popular articles and current trends are:

  • Google Analytics for general key data
  • Brandwatch for analyses of social media behavior
  • Evaluated campaigns (e.g. data from landing pages)
  • Your own CRM system provides a lot of information about your own contacts/customers.
  • News gives concrete occasions for articles, newsletters, events.

Once the data about the target group, their behaviour and their respective interests has been collected, it has to be condensed into an article. Current industry news can often be used as a good hook.

The following points lead to successful data-driven PR:

1. Focus on particularly important research topics

2. Linking the topics with current trends or other relevant topics

3. Target-group-specific alignment of the content

4. Condense points 1-3 into an article 5. Link the previous topics with own information, knowledge, experiences

Data-driven PR
Source: Brian Dema, clearbit.com

Our conclusion

Data-driven PR is definitely a useful tool for creating and placing content in a target-group-oriented and up-to-date way through data analysis. It offers a lot of potential, but is still used frugal in the market. In general, the understanding must be further developed until data-driven PR is established in everyday work. Despite this, it offers a lot of potential and will become an integral part of PR agencies and companies in the long term.

Do you have any further questions? We are at your disposal.

About the Author

Melanie Kehl
Melanie Kehl, Marketing Assistant at
HBI Helga Bailey GmbH – International PR & MarCom

Melanie Kehl has been in charge of HBI’s internal marketing activities since 2017. As a student in the field of online marketing, she is responsible for the implementation of SEA and SEO campaigns, setting up landing pages and writing articles.
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