Steve Leigh is an award-winning research consultant and Founder of Sensu Insight. Steve provides the Rally Point team with valuable insight to guide the PR engine. Below you will find the first part of our interview with Steve.

Can you discuss some of the challenges organizations face when it comes to understanding their audiences through data analytics, and how you help them overcome these challenges?

Understanding and harnessing data analytics offers organizations tremendous opportunities to gain insight and make informed decisions. However, there are several significant challenges that many organizations encounter in this journey.

Firstly, there’s the issue of time and skills. In a fast-paced business or consultancy environment, teams often struggle to find the time and acquire the necessary skills to leverage the rapidly evolving tools and vast volumes of data available to them. It’s a common challenge, especially for smaller teams or those without dedicated data and insight professionals.

Another hurdle is cost. While the costs associated with data analytics tools and services are decreasing, having access to all the necessary subscriptions and expertise can still be prohibitive for many organizations. It can strain budgets and limit access to critical insights.

Additionally, the diversity of available tools can be bewildering. Each tool has its own strengths and weaknesses. Knowing how to deploy them effectively requires expertise.

Can you share your approach to harnessing digital data for evidence-led decision-making in the realm of public relations?

We understand the challenges that many organizations face in harnessing digital data for evidence-led decision-making in public relations. Our approach revolves around being a fully integrated, outsourced partner that serves as a complete measurement, evaluation and research department for organizations (both in-house and consultancy teams). 

Our unique strength lies in providing organizations with all the capabilities needed to leverage the latest tools and techniques in the realm of data analytics. We act as an extension of their team, offering the expertise and resources to navigate the digital data landscape effectively.

We believe it’s important that we’re not just data experts, but also experienced communications practitioners. This dual expertise allows us to not only gather and analyze data but also to understand the communications challenges and opportunities faced by organizations or brands. We don’t just provide data; we provide actionable insights that are tailored to the specific context and goals of our clients.

In essence, our approach is about bridging the gap between data and effective decision-making in public relations. We help organizations make sense of the data, translate it into meaningful strategies and ultimately drive evidence-led PR initiatives that deliver results.

In today’s data-driven world, how do you integrate traditional research methodologies with data analytics to offer a comprehensive service to clients?

It is possible (indeed desirable) to integrate traditional research methodologies with digital data analytics to provide a holistic view of an organization’s reputation and communications landscape.

Traditional research methodologies, such as stakeholder surveys, play a crucial role in understanding an organization’s or brand’s current reputation. These surveys are the gold standard for uncovering deeply ingrained perceptions among different stakeholder groups, providing insights into “what is the current reputation?” However, this measure represents a snapshot frozen in time, making it challenging to dissect the underlying drivers of these perceptions.

This is where digital data analytics steps in. By examining digital sources such as current and historical digital content, conversations and behavior, we gain a dynamic and real-time view of what is shaping perceptions and how recent events or issues are influencing reputation. Digital analysis goes beyond merely identifying perceptions; it allows us to uncover the “why” behind those perceptions, pinpointing the specific events and issues that are the most potent drivers of reputation.

What sets digital data analytics apart is its searchability and the ability to analyze data by date, audience, issue and even emotion. This enables us to ask pertinent questions and provide evidence-based answers, which is invaluable for crafting targeted communication strategies.

Moreover, digital analysis offers the advantage of ongoing tracking and measurement. While it can take years to shift deeply rooted perceptions (such as brand awareness and understanding), we can demonstrate how brand profile is actively influencing these perceptions in real-time. Metrics like visibility, brand associations, share of voice relative to competitors and other digital indicators allow us to track and report immediate impacts and assess the relative effectiveness of different campaigns. This real-time feedback loop empowers our clients to adapt their strategies based on evidence, enhancing their impact and delivering optimal value and ROI.

Stay tuned for ‘Interview Part II with Steve Leigh of Sensu Insight, and meantime if you’re ready to kick-off the new year strong with a robust PR plan, we’re happy to offer a 20-minute PR prep session to get you off to a good start. Follow the link to get started –

Share This

Share this post with your friends!