Let Data Drive Your Next Communications Campaign

Creativity and relationship building has always been the cornerstone of public relations; however, many times PR professionals don’t put data in the driver’s seat to ensure a successful campaign journey. Creating an effective campaign requires professional communicators to leave their hunches and guesswork at the curb. As data-collection and analytics tools continue to become more sophisticated and readily available, the PR pro has information at their fingertips to deeply understand their target audience, the most effective channels to reach them and identify obstacles before a campaign hits the road.

Here are a few ways to data can help ensure a smooth ride on your next campaign:

1. Data Leaves Demographics in the Dust:
General audience targeting should not be a thing ever again. To effectively communicate with your audience, you need to get more acquainted. Use data to segment your audience by lifestyle (interests and motivators) and life-stage (are they single, new parents, new homeowners?). This kind of information is easily available and will help dictate the messages that motivate, the channels that reach, and help weed out influencers versus white noise to carry campaign messages.

2. Data Steers Clear of Audience Obstacles:
Effective communications campaigns have a call-to-action to encourage audiences to engage. However, before asking your audience to take an action, you should make sure they actually have the interest, access and ability to take that action.

For example, if your campaign calls for your target audience to “ask their doctor,” use data to first understand if your audience actually has proper access to healthcare. If not, then the action needs to be refined to where to receive proper health information and access. Or, if your campaign calls for an audience to “test smoke alarms,” use data to uncover if the audience’s homes are properly equipped with smoke alarms in the first place. If not, the action needs to be about the need for installation.

3. Data Will Tell You Who Sets the Rules of the Road:
Your campaign may be reaching the right audience with the right message, but what if the source (your brand) isn’t valued, trusted or known to the audience your targeting? Use data to know how your audience perceives you. Through surveys or focus groups, understand whether your audience views you as a credible source, trusts your voice and views you as an authority on the messages you’re sharing. Once you know the perception of your brand, you can either refresh your brand or partner with another organization that already has some clout with your audience.

Consider data as the GPS of your campaign journey. Use it or risk getting your campaign on the road to nowhere.