When you work in public relations, you’re always looking for great stories to tell about your client. Inspiration for those stories can come from many different sources, and an often-overlooked source is client data – facts and figures that your client already has or could easily gather about itself or its stakeholders.
In this digital age, it’s generally not difficult for a client to pull internal data for you. So, you just need to determine what might be newsworthy, and ask for it. Your client might pull the data from its IT platforms, or the data might already have been compiled in company reports or sales materials. Provided what you’re asking for fits with the client’s messaging and brand, they’ll generally be happy to give it to you and will appreciate your being proactive.
In addition to internal company data, another story-rich data category is surveys. These can be customer surveys, member surveys or even employee surveys, and the results provide genuine insights and research that a reporter otherwise wouldn’t have access to. If possible, work with your client to frame the survey questions to maximize the likelihood of getting answers that will tell a compelling story. It’s usually best to ask a fairly wide range of questions. Then, when you get back all of the data, you can weigh up what’s going to be the strongest headline.
Data can be used for story pitches, but if it’s strong enough, it frequently lends itself to a press release. Plus, the more formal nature of a press release can help add gravitas to your numbers.
Here are four ways in which client data can fuel PR campaigns:
1. Creating a story where there was none
Data-driven pitches can be particularly useful during periods when your client doesn’t have a lot going on. As a PR partner, you might eventually be out of a job if you can’t identify enough stories to pitch for your client. But if they don’t have product or company news to share, you might be able to leverage company data to create a story. You’re no longer just asking media outlets for a story; you’re supplying research and content that has value to reporters and their audiences.
You’re no longer just asking media outlets for a story; you’re supplying research and content that has value to reporters and their audiences.
2. Legitimizing an existing story
Data can also be used to legitimize a story you already wanted to tell. So, for example, if you were wanting to go out with a pitch about how demand for your client’s product has skyrocketed during COVID-19, it’s obviously a stronger pitch if you can refer to some specific numbers or percentage increases.
3. Creating thought leadership
One other great thing about data is that it can turn your client from a purely self-promotional entity into a thought leader and content creator. You’re no longer just asking media outlets for a story; you’re supplying research and content that has value to reporters and their audiences.
4. Providing source material for multiple PR tactics
In addition to story pitches and press releases, client data can be used as a building block for various other PR tactics ranging from infographics to social media. Just make sure that if you’re using multiple tactics simultaneously, you do so in a well-coordinated fashion. You don’t, for example, want your data to publish in social media posts that precede – and blunt the impact of – a yet-to-be-serviced press release.
To learn more about PR strategies for company data, contact us today.