There’s no way around it, companies that have access to data and the means to analyze said data are often among the most successful. In fact, according to research, companies that have embraced a data-driven culture are three times more likely to be substantially ahead of their competitors financially (source).

On the ZoomInfo blog we often discuss the use of data in sales, marketing, and recruiting. But, to truly be data-driven, a company must back all decisions with accurate and actionable data—including public relations decisions.

Enter, Data-Driven Public Relations

On a basic level, data-driven public relations is the process of using data to develop newsworthy insights that support your organization’s PR goals. Simple enough, right? 

But, how do you generate the data you need to make a compelling pitch? Large companies have the means to fund complex research studies, run advanced data analysis, or partner with other companies, while smaller organizations are often left to gather and analyze data on their own.

Stuck for data ideas? Continue reading to learn how you can kick-start your data-driven PR strategy.

1. Analyze your contact database or CRM.

It’s very likely that you already have access to valuable data and don’t even realize it. Most companies have a system in place to collect information from prospects, customers, lead generation efforts, email campaigns, and networking events.

This information, often located in a contact database or CRM, can hold important insights that have the potential to be the perfect fuel for your data-driven PR initiative.

Example: A hypothetical marketing agency might collect demographic and firmographic data through form submissions on their website.  After compiling and analyzing this data, they realize that they’ve had an increase in form submissions with the job title, Chief Customer Experience Officer. This prompts them to dig a little deeper to come up with the perfect idea for a pitch: Customer experience positions double, suggesting a shift in the business landscape toward a more customer-focused strategy.

This piece works for two reasons—it highlights valuable industry insight, and provides the agency with the opportunity to promote their services.

2. Look at customer and industry buying trends.

Similarly, most companies have access to information about product sales and customer buying habits. Take a look at this data and identify important trends and habits that might be newsworthy.

Example: A hypothetical fitness equipment retailer notices that equipment sales vary drastically depending on the region. After looking into this further, the company is able to put together a map of the US, citing the most popular piece of equipment by state.  They are then able to put together a graphic to pitch to media outlets.

Again, this works for two reasons—the map is a visually interesting way to display the data and establishes the retailer as an industry leader.

3. Conduct a survey.

Technology has made it easier than ever to conduct a customer survey and analyze the findings. If you are struggling to find data to support your PR initiatives, conduct a quick online survey of your customers, prospects, and website visitors. Distribute the survey by email campaign, social media, or on your website.

Example: A company specializing in B2B sales technology wants to promote their newest product. Based on opinions and gut feelings, they think it’s an important addition to technological landscape. But, they don’t have data to back this.

They put together a quick survey designed to gauge the industry’s need for this new product. Then, using survey responses, they’re able to pitch the following: 75% of sales leaders report a need for a better sales enablement platform.

In this example, survey data provides definitive proof that this company’s new product will fix an important, industry-wide problem.

4. Borrow someone else’s data.

When all else fails, there’s no reason you can’t use someone else’s data to support your pitch. Using another company’s research can even have its benefits, especially for new companies with little industry traction—it’s less work, you know it’s reliable, and it allows you to piggyback off another company’s relevance.

Example: A small—hypothetical—health food company is releasing a new line of smoothies. Coincidentally, a large, reputable health journal releases findings that consuming certain vitamins is necessary to maintain a healthy weight. The food company then pitches the following: Study shows vitamin B-12 is necessary for weight loss.

The article goes on to explain that the company’s new line of smoothies contain optimal amounts B-12—thus supporting the company’s PR initiative.

Key Takeaways About Data-Driven PR Initiatives

In today’s fast-paced business environment, data is currency.  Fortunately, technology has made high-quality data more accessible than ever before. Use the four techniques mentioned in today’s blog post to kick-start your data-driven PR strategy, today!

For more information about ZoomInfo, the leading business information company, contact our sales team today. Our groundbreaking technology is fueled by the most accurate and comprehensive B2B database on the market.

About the author

Ryan Hadfield

Ryan Hadfield is a content marketing director at ZoomInfo, the leading B2B contact data solution.

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