Marijane Funess September 17, 2014 | 09:31:22

PR Debate: Big Data vs. Big Intuition

Has all the focus on Big Data steered smart and experienced PR people away from one of our greatest strengths – our intuition? This will be just one of the big issues tackled at the Council of PR Firms Annual Critical Issues Forum in New York on October 23.  The speaker, Teddy Goff, Partner, Precision Strategies, led the digital strategy team that helped get President Obama elected twice by connecting the people to the politician online. His team was responsible for President Obama’s massive online presence and he is part of a consulting firm that seeks to do the same for others.

We don’t have the “data” on Goff’s talk yet, but we can “intuit” that it will address some of the following burning questions:

How to harness Big Data. Even the name is overwhelming! If you have a “small” client, can they benefit from Big Data too? We’d like to see some concrete examples of actionable use of truly large data in real-world PR campaigns, like using information to help determine social influencers; further segmenting campaigns; performing A/B campaign testing; and evaluating media and social channels. Determining what you’re after will help you decide what data to start tracking.

How to interpret it once you get it. Are there tricks of the trade to make terabytes less terrifying or minutiae more manageable? We’d like someone to explain the tools that are out there to process the information in a way that is palatable to what we actually do not jargon-filled gibberish.

The Yin and Yang of it. There must be a balance between mining this data, cold and analytical, but often brilliant and precise, along with PR wisdom, experience, and gut feelings, however warm and fuzzy.

The Forum, sponsored by CPRF, the association comprised of America’s 100 leading public relations firms, will explore how we can move brands past “disruption” to engage more fully in people’s lives. We’re proud to be a member of CPRF, and we hope to see you there. If you can’t attend, we’ll update you, or you can follow the action at hashtag: #PRGenome

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