Making your PR survey data work harder

You’ve invested in a market research survey for your PR campaign, pulled out your key data and released a couple of press stories off the back of it. Now what? Many marketers and PR pros are often left stumped when it comes to making their PR data work harder (and for longer) for them, so we’ve given a few of our top tips in this blog.

Make the most of your demographic splits

While your generalised data set tends to get used first, your demographic splits can be a ray of sunshine when you’re trying to get more out of your data – as well as helping you to find unusual, quirky and more specific headlines. Good research houses will let you pick your demographic splits (usually four) between a number of options, and even suggest your own. From your traditional demographic splits such as the differences in opinion between millennials and baby boomers, and people living in cities vs rural, to more specific splits such as homeowners vs renters, and dog owners vs cat owners, there are loads of options to go for. Often when you’ve extracted everything you think you possibly can from your traditional data set, you can get the same amount of content again (and more) from going back to your demographic splits.

Make a proper content plan, to roll out over a few months

One of the most crucial considerations when working with PR data is ensuring you don’t use it all up in one story – instead, spread it out so you get more value and longevity out of it. To do this, once you’ve analysed your data, pull it into a formalised plan of the content you want to roll out over your campaign period. To give you an idea, we usually plan for our market research data to last anything between three and nine months and will draw out a plan of what angles / data we plan to use in which month and exactly how we will roll it out – whether it be via a press release or media bulletin, in an eBook, report or an infographic, for example.

Think about what narratives you want the data to feed into

We often use original data as a way of positioning our clients as experts in certain markets and on key topics, without being overly commercial. For example, let’s take an imaginary client that wants to sell a workforce management tool to building contractors and let audiences know that they have brilliant, technical experts that know everything about the market. Rather than say it in exactly these words (which would simply be too commercial for most journalists to agree to run), we might instead go out with some research run by the client that found “78% of building contactors struggle to manage their on-site workforces, with 95% saying this impacts productivity on site,” with the client’s technical experts commenting on how to manage this issue, alongside the stats. By doing it this way, journalists have interesting original data to use as the hook, but clients have the opportunity to get across their expertise by commenting on the data.

Turn it into something more engaging than simply written words

Data is great for quick hit news generation; you know the drill: “99% of millennials couldn’t live without avocados.” Absolutely do this if it’s what you need, however also try using the data for other things, like collating it into reports, eBooks, infographics and social cards. You could even use it in relevant speaker slots, to shape the conversation in a podcast episode, or to create assets out of the research for your sales team to use within their sales meetings, to back up their points. Another great application of original data is to host a roundtable to discuss the data findings – a great way of using data as a hook to get in front of people of importance. We advise our clients to use research data across as many mediums as they can, as long as it makes sense to do so.

Ask relevant parties to contribute and comment on your data

Investing in owned data is a brilliant way for businesses to generate media coverage, while building brand awareness and authority. In some cases, it might be worth considering sharing your data with other relevant third parties and organisations for them to ‘comment on’ and input to. You can really extend your reach and authority by doing this as a) if an organisation or person has been involved in some way, they are likely to share with their own networks, increasing your reach in turn, and b) having well-respected voices in your field input, in turn increases your brand’s reputation. You might also find that you’re able to land in publications you wouldn’t usually be able to, via third party voices. For example, if you’re a supplier that wants to sell into universities you might struggle to land in some sector specific media usually, however, if a professor has contributed to your research, you could well land the coverage simply by having them as a voice on your data.

These are just a few ways of ensuring you’re squeezing everything you can from your data-led campaigns. For more inspiration on this topic, you can check out how we’ve used market data in client campaigns here.

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