I was reminded recently about the importance of numbers in PR. Yes, most of our time is focused on writing but try and find a news story in a paper without a single figure in it someone challenged me. And guess what? It’s pretty difficult.
Facts and figures underpin much of what we think of as news, from hard hitting front page stories to more opinion led articles. We want to know what’s changed or how many people are affected, and numbers are central to this.
Data led stories are the backbone of many of our PR campaigns and we often work with clients to ‘mine’ their own figures and information to develop credible and interesting stories.
The Direct Selling Association for example is the trade body for direct selling in the UK. It conducts an annual survey of its member companies look at the size and scope of the industry in the UK. This gives us a wealth of really rich data. From this we can identify trends and develop media stories such as the rise of unexpected demographics like men and under 25 year olds in the industry.
For Renaissance Learning, our educational software client, data too is an integral element of the PR campaign. Its annual What Kids are Reading report analyses information about what over 400,000 school children in the UK are reading. The biggest report of its kind, we use this data to develop stories around how and what children are reading. For more on this see Kate’s recent blog.
I love this kind of data driven PR – not only can we create stories with widespread interest to help raise awareness of clients, we can also position them as experts in their field by using their owned data in the best way.
And while I really enjoy writing I must admit that I’m a bit of a maths geek too, so for me a spreadsheet full of data can be a wonderful thing – especially when it results in really great coverage for clients.