Insights from industry leaders on data analytics in PR

While the world may feel like it’s still on pause, our team has taken the opportunity to learn new PR techniques and engage in industry discussions with our peers. Educational webinars are one of the outlets that we are pursuing which we find invaluable for staying up to date on the latest developments in our sector and giving us new insights to take back to our day-to-day work.

Last week our Account Executives attended an online webinar from PRmoment looking at the state of play for PR Analytics, with a set of excellent speakers delivering their insights on how data is being utilised in modern communications.

An overriding theme from the event was the varied capabilities of measuring data in PR in 2020. The days of falling back on column inches, column centimetres and even the controversial advertising value equivalency (AVEs), we were told with glee, are falling away.

In their place we have powerful new tools, a lot of which are free, to sift through the huge amount of data available and produce insights of huge value to the client. This includes influencer intelligence, listening technology to work across channels (not just social) to understand the client’s audience, and web-based engagement tracking to look at the real impact of coverage – tracking that journey with the customer along the clickstream.

It was exciting to hear data discussed in this way. We at Resonance are passionate about making a real difference for our clients, which we measure and reflect with meaningful metrics. The speakers reflected this sentiment, and discussed how data reporting must be used to level-up the conversation and speak the language of the client’s c-suite.

It was great to hear every speaker echo the message of PR aligning its actions with that of the business, speaking their language and supporting day-to-day activities right across the business.

Measurement can be the make or breaking of many PR agencies, with so many pitches now won on the basis of connecting those dots between measuring success and the value that brings for the client. During this emerging recession, it will be more important than ever for PR to prove its worth as a core part of future business growth and not just discretionary spending.

Finally, across the event we were pleased to see lots of discussion about using data creatively. This played back into points raised about proving PR’s value. As Mr. Fentwood described it, a rich data stack of insights allows PR to be smart and go beyond descriptive insights to connect with and inspire creative decision making in the business.

Data can flow throughout that creative process, guiding decisions on outputs like content that will best connect with the audience and deliver results for the business – Sarah Evans from Bottle provided a rich case study here on their work improving a client’s online presence and, consequently, sales.

Indeed, Gemma Moroney, formerly of Mischief, gave us plenty of thought-provoking sound bites with her suggestion that communications needs to think more about how they are working to change audience behaviour. It is certainly true that creative ideas in and of themselves are not enough. As a profession we have to question whether they will be effective in changing audience behaviour and producing those key outcomes that establish success.

We look forward to building these insights into Resonance’s daily commitment to data-driven PR, and we hope to continue to attend more of these virtual events to connect with the varied ideas on offer in our thriving industry.

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