Why Data – Not Just Content – is King for Optimizing Public Relations

We have all heard the phrase, a picture is worth a thousand words. However, I would argue, a data point can be just as effective.

In today’s content-heavy world, we are constantly bombarded with messages, advertisements and editorials. Every company – every leader – is their own content machine. We use content to grow businesses, advance ideas, and define values. In most cases, these perspectives are personable and subjective to the individual. It may be the opinion that your business has the best solution, but your revenue numbers and market share is proof. That is why data – not just content – is king, and can often say more than a photo can share.   

Here are our tips for utilizing data and how it can strengthen your messaging for public relations. 

Leading with data: An average reporter will receive 26 email pitches per day, and only 8% of those pitches will result in actual media coverage. Your subject line and first sentence or two can result in that coverage, and should be utilized to capture the interest of the reporter and validate you have an angle with substance.  

To write a credible article, reporters need data, statistics, and figures to create context for their stories and present validation points. However, getting those statistics on their own can be challenging and time consuming. Being able to provide reporters with data can prove valuable as the reporter will not need to spend the time gathering it. A reporter is more likely to pay attention to a pitch that contains concise data points than a lengthy press release that could blend in with the countless others they are sent. By presenting your data in an organized and easily digestible way, you incentivize reporters and media outlets to cover your client or the subject you are pitching. It is also important to clearly communicate your methodology for collecting your data, or citing its original source, to reiterate the information is sound. 

Attention grabbing: Data points, whether they are used in an ad, social media post, news article, or other format, are an ideal tactic to catch your audience’s attention when used appropriately. It is important to remember that the data you leverage needs to be conveyed in a way that is easy for general audiences to understand, depending on who your target demographic is. For example, if you are pitching the results of a cybersecurity company’s study on trends of ransomware attacks against small businesses, a reporter or their reader base may not be as familiar with what is a normal volume of cyber breaches.  Visually presenting data in a graphic or chart can make it more comprehensible and eye-catching to the reader or reporter. 

Proprietary data: In addition to utilizing data in your media relations strategy, obtaining and leveraging your own data can be even more valuable and help you stand out. Conducting surveys, commissioning research reports, and other studies result in quantitative trends that are unique to your company and only you have access to. Surveys in particular are useful for targeting very specific groups to investigate their behavior and trends. It can also help showcase your capabilities and your position as a thought leader and stakeholder in your industry. You can work to identify major trends in your industry and evaluate how the data you obtain can support reporting on these trends to provide new perspectives that are different from your competitors.

Leveraging data in the materials you produce and when pitching to reporters can make your messaging more eye-catching and also give your points more credibility. If you have the resources, conducting your own research to amass proprietary data can provide you with unique insight that others in your industry may not have and also position you as a stakeholder and thought leader. In each case, it is imperative to have a sound and reliable process for collecting or referencing data. Because the number one rule is to never compromise the facts – always lead with the truth.  

Want to see it in action? Check out these great articles:

A record number of homes are worth more than $1 million dollars. (Axios)

Wells Fargo report examines economic impact of child-care strains (Charlotte Business Journal)

The most-fit are 33% less likely to develop Alzheimer’s (Washington Post)

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