When it comes to PR, you could be forgiven for ignoring the role of data. In a choice between the spreadsheet and celebrities, experience shows that one leads to big launch events, product drops and travel. The other involves cells and formulas.
But as an industry, communications is waking up to the potential of data, partly because it’s harder than ever to distinguish between creative output and the bottom line. The creator of Tinder, Sean Rad, stated that “data beats emotion” - that all of us can be boiled down to a combination of noughts and ones. It’s our belief at 3 Monkeys Zeno that they are, in fact, equally important and complementary.
In fact, our heritage lies in a communications north star which combines art and science. And as tools have become more sophisticated, so has our approach to data-driven communications planning, which enables us to build creative ideas on insights rightly rooted in brand truths. Data and insights support smarter planning, focused creative executions and business impact.
After all, today’s most innovative businesses are all data first. The strength of Amazon, Google - even brands like Deliveroo - is their ability to capture information and apply meaningful insights on top, only then developing products and solutions to bring to market. It’s a model that PR is starting to take more seriously and apply to its specific needs. In short, data-enhanced counsel and creativity.
At a recent talk by PRmoment, a range of companies outlined their vision for the next generation of communications. Artificial intelligence, real-time measurement and more robust influencer mapping were all touted to lead the revolution. As an example, we can now track how stories perform online and who interacts with them. When it comes to devising a campaign, PR can now say in confidence that an idea will land because it taps into this trend, will be covered by that publication, and will reach the audience that really matters as a result.
True success, however, depends on collaboration with partners and clients. It’s one thing to predict how many shares an article will get or report back on changes to social media sentiment, but real value will only arrive by overlaying those insights with the data of the wider business. Measuring PR campaigns and combining those outputs to website dwell times, purchase data, and other marketing avenues will bring communications in line with business priorities.
Data-driven PR is the future. But it will not replace the people that have made it what it is today. Human storytelling is the essence of what we do and data is just one aspect of this commitment.