PR analytics: data, creativity, and insights

What do dog food and the UK government have in common?

Both rely heavily on analytics for effective PR!

I wrote recently about measurement in PR. You might have guessed it’s a real focus for me. Fortunately, it’s a huge focus for Babel as an agency, and to ensure we stay on top of the latest and greatest trends in PR measurement and analytics, I recently attended a PR Analytics event hosted by PRmoment. Here’s what I took away from it:

  1. Creativity needs analytics

PR is a creative industry. We come up with new ways to tell stories and exciting ways of delivering them to the right audiences. But creativity for creativity’s sake just doesn’t work. Gemma Moroney from Mischief PR opened with a talk which set the scene perfectly. She demonstrated some of the methods we can all use, and tools we can all adopt (such as Google Trends) to gather strong data. She then explained how to draw accurate insights from data to focus our creativity, and in turn, enable us to craft and deliver great campaigns.

  1. Better insights can transform your PR strategy

Let’s get back to that dog food. Sarah Evans, Bottle Digital PR, and James Milbourne, Canagan gave a very interesting presentation showing how their insights let to a total shift in strategy and delivered incredible results. They talked more specifically about how they’d leveraged data to discover that those consumers who cared about feeding their dogs a natural diet, were also fitness enthusiasts. This led them to create a campaign about exercising with your pets for an all-round healthy lifestyle. Hearing about their process (from research, to insight, to campaign), was fascinating, and it highlighted what can be achieved by adopting a data-first mindset and a suite of tools. These included free ones, such as Babel favourite, Answer The Public which enables you to analyse the most common web searches undertaken in relation to a specific term. It was compelling to listen to the way that the insight had clearly impacted on the outcomes for the client’s business.

  1. Analytics is critical at all stages of the PR process

The Government Communications Service has an excellent evaluation framework, and what’s more, it’s available for free. The framework ensures that every campaign is focused on measurable outtakes and outcomes. The UK government also offers the OASIS model, a guide for campaign planning which is designed to ensure that communications are effective, efficient and evaluated on an ongoing basis. The model builds this in by showing campaign creators a simple flow of questions that need to be asked at each point in the campaign process. And no campaign gets the go ahead without proving it has the insights to back up its purpose

In PR, we’re more often than not required to work – and deliver results – at pace. In the past few days alone I’ve had two conversations with prospects where the phrase ‘we needed it all last week’ was used. However, you have to make time and space for uncovering insights, otherwise you risk creating a campaign that doesn’t hit the mark.

Get in touch with the team at Babel and we’d be happy to talk through our approach to analytics, discovering insights and delivering measurable PR campaigns.

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