As a public relations professional, one of the keys to success in building credibility and trust with journalists, clients or any intended audience, is to provide accurate, relevant and timely information.
This is where the use of data comes into play. As the third step in Rally Point’s approach, the Persuasion Equation, data is information in the form of customer behavior, preferences, geographic or demographic differences, or surveys and can serve as a powerful tool for persuading and convincing your target audience.
But how do we put it to work as communications professionals? Here’s our take:
- Data provides evidence
Data backs up an assertion with hard evidence, which is critical when communicating with media contacts. When looking to entice a journalist to write about a product, data can be used to demonstrate how it has performed in the marketplace, how it compares to competitors or how it has helped customers solve a problem.
You can also show data to prove that there is a problem to demonstrate how your product can solve it. When a new product is entering the marketplace and you don’t have data on the product at your fingertips this is a surefire way to make a splash. For example, since Threads was released a way to garner media interest would be to share statistics on Twitter and another social media app. For Threads, we wouldn’t use a Facebook statistic since that is another product of Meta, using a competitor’s statistic will prove more helpful. Providing concrete evidence in this way will make the case for the data more compelling and credible.
- Data builds trust
Putting proprietary data to work as part of a communications plan builds trust with a target audience. Providing accurate and transparent information demonstrates the credibility of a source of information and the commitment to providing value to customers and stakeholders. This establishes long-term relationships with journalists, customers and other stakeholders, which is a critical aspect of persistent PR (and business) success.
When sharing data, this helps provide credibility behind your product or service. Were users left with a better satisfaction rate? Left less confused? Or even proven to need less assistance? Using data in this way lets the journalist and eventually the reader know that if there has been more success behind using this product vs a competitor’s then why shouldn’t they use it too?
- Data enables better decision making
Data drives better decisions when communicating with a target audience. Analyzing data helps identify which messages and channels are most effective to adjust a communications strategy accordingly. This maximizes the impact of communication efforts and achieves better results.
When looking at cell phone coverage, wouldn’t it always be best to choose the plan with the faster speed? There’s a reason coverage percentages and statistics are plastered all over advertising materials. When you’re able to compare the numbers this enables consumers to make better decisions. Providing appropriate data can only help make your case.
- Data fuels owned content
Data serves as fuel for owned content, blog posts and social media. Creating content based on owned data provides valuable insights and information to a target audience, which will establish a brand as a thought leader in your industry. This can help attract new customers, retain existing ones and build brand loyalty over time.
When you have relevant or interesting data to share it makes the most sense to build your content around it. Data is multifaceted in this way. Use the same statistics on billboards, commercials, social media posts or even let it be the focal point of your company’s latest blog post. Compiling interesting statistics can be helpful for all angles of your communication machine.
In short, data should be at the heart of all public relations work. With the use of data we, as public relations professionals, are better equipped to support and elevate claims to deliver compelling arguments and position our client as a thought leader. Using data can be a great way to elevate your public relations strategy.
Have any questions about how best to utilize data? We’re happy to offer a 20-minute PR prep session to help you get on the right track click the link here to get started – https://calendly.com/jcrp.