With the rise of Big Data, many observers have noted that we live in a “data rich, information poor” world, meaning that we have more data than we can handle, yet only few insights. After all, data is just numbers and has no inherent value unless we can put them into context of the real world.
And that’s why developing data-driven PR pitches can be tremendous success: They provide insight and context that is otherwise unobtainable, and sometimes surprising. So, how can you incorporate data into your pitches? Here are three ideas to get you started:
1) Use third-party research: No matter what industry you’re in, there is probably a TON of research available to you either for free or for fairly cheap, sometimes through industry associations or research firms. Look for data points that can frame why your business exists. For example, if you’re a startup that helps ecommerce businesses grow, you might find stats in this benchmarking report helpful in crafting a pitch about the companies you’ve worked with become top performers, positioning yourself as an industry expert. However, it’s often not enough to find a single statistic that proves your angle. It’s often a good idea to combine related statistics from separate sources to make your pitch stronger.
Sample headline: Company X develops methodology to create top ecommerce performers.
2) Mine your own data: Speaking of benchmarking, be sure to mine your own customer data and use that to compare to what else is happening in your industry. A good example of this is mobile ad firm Millennial Media’s various reports on the mobile industry. Most, if not all, of their data comes directly from information gleaned through their own mobile ad network.
What do you do if you’re a new company? Well, if you have customers, you have data. Sure, you might not be able to identify any industry-wide trends with your data, but you can certainly compare that with third-party research a la method #1.
Producing a regular report–be it monthly, quarterly, annually or whatever–will offer media and industry peers a built in news story when you provide them with an interesting insight. Another great example of this: PNC’s annual Christmas Price Index, which tallies the cost of each of the gifts from the famous “12 Days of Christmas” carol. They’ve been creating this for over 30 years, and it gets media attention EVERY YEAR.
Sample headline: Ecommerce businesses that use time-limited sales perform 30% better, according to Company X.
3) Do your own research: Let’s say you’re a business that doesn’t have any data (unlikely), or at least data you don’t feel comfortable sharing. Obviously, you need some data to create a data-driven PR pitch! The solution is to do your own independent research. For example, let’s say your company makes an app for runners. You could create a survey that asks runners various questions related to your business:
Do you track your runs?
If you don’t, why? (Drains batter life, I’m too busy, I don’t care about tracking)
Do you prefer to run in urban, suburban, trail settings?
The point here is that you can gather information about your customers or potential customers to come up with a great data-driven pitch. The side benefit of doing research like this is that you can also use it to drive real business decisions!
Sample headline: 67% of runners say they don’t track their runs because it drains their phone battery
As you can see, incorporating data into your PR efforts can go a long way to garner coverage of your company in today’s data-driven world. Coming up with the right angle can be as easy (or complicated) as looking for the information and insights that make your business relevant.