Almost every business collects data of some description. Whether it’s from; sales, customer information, customer savings data, policy data, travel bookings or simply customer reviews. For some organisations, the difficult part is working out how to turn this use this data to create headline news.

So why would you use this data for PR?

  • Generally speaking, if you’re looking for PR and marketing campaigns that support your overall business strategy effectively, using your business data is highly likely to do this.
  • It’s often the cheapest way to carry out PR as you only have to pay for resource to extract the data and put it into a format that can be analysed for news angles.
  • The data in your business is generally a reflection of what has actually happened rather than what might. This is sometimes a weakness when you carry out research through an omnibus poll or external agency.
  • It can provide a much larger sample than external research.
  • If you can store this data effectively, you can also analyse historical trends. This change in trends or behaviours over specific time frames can create some of the strongest PR and marketing campaigns.

What are the barriers?

  • Often it’s simply a case of being in the business for too long and you just can’t see what’s under your nose.
  • The next issue for many businesses is data storage. If you collect a vast amount of data storing and reporting can create a full time job.
  • Extracting this data and presenting it in a format that can be analysed for PR purposes can be a challenge.
  • Sometimes it’s simply about defining your story before you start extracting the data. This will streamlines the process from the off.
  • Finally, make sure you are not breaching any data laws by sharing this data, particularly around customers. Whilst it’s not specific to individuals, it’s best to check this out first.

Who does this well?

  • Businesses that collate reviews have a great opportunity to do this. These reviews really speak from ‘the horse’s mouth’ and give an accurate reflection of what is actually Both recruitment website Glassdoor and Trip Advisor continue to do an excellent job of this with campaigns around the best places to work and highest rated hotels and destinations to name but a few.
  • Adzuna also analyse salary and CV data alongside advertised salaries through vacancy data.
  • Those in the travel sector can provide fascinating consumer insight, particularly when it comes to bookings. Travel comparison website Kayak offers great insights around the best time to book.
  • Insurance providers also have a wealth of information. One of my favourite award winning campaigns came from Confused.com – ‘Accident Avenue’. It may seem obvious to find out the place in the UK that reports the most car accidents if you’re collating this data – but it’s not always the case.

The message is clear

  • If you already carry out PR or you are planning to do so, make sure you look at the data you already have available within your business before you pay to source this externally.
  • Think about how you collate your data – can you change this to a format which enables you to analyse it for trends?
  • If you don’t already, can you work out a way to store historical data?
  • If you don’t collect any data within your business, is there a way you can start to do this?

If you want to turn dull data in headline news we can help. At PR by NorthStar, we offer a consultation service to help you explore the data you have available and how you can use it to create headline news. For more information please get in touch.