In today's media environment, hard-hitting business journalists crave data and statistics.
Successful pitches and press releases give journalists empirical evidence that can be used as the basis for larger themes and stories.
But not all PR firms understand data-driven journalism. More importantly, many PR firms don't know how to leverage company data to attract media attention. Regardless of its size, your company is on the frontline of business data creation and if you're not exploiting that data, you are missing out on a tremendous PR opportunity.
Ultimately, your PR firm's ability to convert company data into qualified media attention can determine the success or failure of your PR initiatives. You want to place your trust in a PR firm that gets data driven journalism – and here's how you'll know when you're on the right track.
Is your PR firm eager to talk about mined data?
PR firms that understand data-driven journalism are anxious to talk about mined data. If your efforts to inject data into your PR strategy are met with skepticism or apathy, your PR firm is probably unfamiliar with data-centric PR methods. Instead of trying to educate them, move on to a more knowledgeable firm.
Does your PR firm have prior data-driven experience?
It's just a fact that you'll get the best results from a PR firm that has successfully leveraged mined data with other clients. Before you settle on a specific firm get references from their past clients and focus your questions on the firm's willingness to explore data-driven strategies.
Do they include data and statistics in press releases?
It's not unreasonable to ask prospective PR firms for samples of successful press releases. If their press releases feature company-generated data it's probably an indication that they're up to speed with data-driven PR.
Does the PR firm use data to promote their own company?
A quick visit to the PR firm's website will tell you volumes about how much the firm really values data-drive PR. If they ignore data-driven strategies in their own business, they will probably ignore data-driven strategies in yours, too.
How would they incorporate data-driven strategies into your PR campaign?
If data-driven PR is important to you, don't hire a firm until you hear one or two ways they will integrate company data into your PR and marketing efforts. Look for firms that discuss specific data-driven PR strategies rather than a generic understanding of the approach.