Cliff Maroney May 11, 2020 | 08:05:56

Fresh Data: The PR Answer To No News

As PR pros we are all accustomed to the ebbs and flows of the news cycle. And while “knocking it out of the park” when a company has news to share is vital, it’s even more important to find ways to keep a business in the media during quiet periods. The latter is more difficult, of course. One way to do it is through shrewd use of data.

Whether it’s ad tech or cybersecurity, B2B news is generally underpinned by data. Yet, despite B2B companies often having unique access to insightful information, data is often underused when it comes to PR program planning and earned media outreach.

Here are a few ways data can be used to gain media traction during a quiet news period.

Customized surveys offer relevance

Any B2B PR pro is familiar with market research done by third-party research and analyst firms like Gartner, Forrester and others. And many of these firms offer vast market experience and influence, partnering with them for a bespoke research project comes at a premium price. 

An in-depth survey doesn’t have to break the bank, however. There’s no shortage of third-party companies who can help build and execute a survey tailored specifically to an organization key messages or priority audiences. Moreover, a simple opinion survey can be fully executed in a matter of weeks, giving PR pros and their clients the ability to pull together timely industry insights around seasonal events or emerging trends. The learnings that result can then be packaged for media and used to bridge the gap between busy news periods.

Use internal insights for leadership content

Sometimes organizations have internal data that can provide a potentially interesting news hook and they don’t even realize it. Depending on the company, these data points might be business growth metrics relevant to an entire industry, changes in customer attitudes, global trends, or emerging patterns in behavior of new customer segments. Granted, not all data is created equal, and some may not be shareable. Yet we’re constantly surprised at how far a single interesting nugget can go in generating media interest, and how quickly we can build a relationship between journalists and companies that offer an interesting “under the hood” look at a business trend. It pays to stay vigilant when it comes to what insights a company may have on hand.

Compiling and repackaging existing data

Sometimes the best way to use data is to repackage what’s already out there. The public domain is full of interesting third-party data points that can be used or adapted for timely media outreach. For example, a retail company could use existing public data in a preview whitepaper on what to expect from this year’s back-to-school shopping season. Or a cybersecurity business could package existing data into a tip sheet around key threats to watch for in the year ahead. These methods not only allow clients to get creative with data in a budget-friendly way, but to support media and lead-gen as well.

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