Big data in PR: how to make decisions based on big data

Possibilities of Big Data for PR which you can start using today.

The volumes of generated data have long been beyond the capacity of manual analysis. And it has an impact on all areas of business. Let's start with the SeedScientific statistics:

• At the beginning of 2020, 40 times more data was discovered in the digital sphere than there were stars in the universe. In total, this amounts to 44 zettabytes of data;

• By 2025, there will be 175 zettabytes of data, and the amount of data generated daily will reach 463 exabytes worldwide;

• Google processes more than 20 petabytes of data every day. This includes about 3.5 billion searches.

Can you imagine the scale of generated data?

Now, using the PR as an example, let's take a look at a small fragment of the possibilities of Big Data, which you can start using today.What is Big data-driven PR?

Have you seen the movie Moneyball? It is a sports drama, in which Brad Pitt played Bill Bean, the general manager of the Oakland Athletics baseball team. His character evaluated the performance of players using their personal analytics rather than relying on his intuition or experience. Using data to evaluate results, he was able to build a winning team on a limited budget. Essentially, this exemplifies PR driven by Big Data.

The main advantage of working with Big Data is not how much data you have, but what you can do with it and how it will affect your results in the future.

Media analytics: why do you need it?

PR guided by Big Data provides a clear understanding of the media in which your activities work best, determines the best options for placing press releases, and segments the media faster depending on the goals. Collectively, this information allows you to build a much more effective PR strategy. With the help of analytical and monitoring tools, you can use digital metrics to support performance metrics in PR. They are easy to compare with each other and the results of competitors, and are convenient to include in reports and presentations in the form of graphs, charts, tables, etc.

Put the number before the feeling

When working with Big Data, a PR specialist must understand that data alone does not answer the question "Why?". Media and social media analysis provides context that goes beyond understanding "What happened?" towards establishing "Why did it happen?" and "What to do with it?". You can get data from media and social networks using LOOQME. This data can help solve the following tasks:

1. Building a quantitative PR basis

Big data can help PR lay a quantitative foundation for its results. This enables more informed decisions regarding which approaches work and which don’t, and shows how PR is linked to business goals. For example, if data analysis tells you that 5% of revenue growth this quarter is due to a series of PR efforts you combined with a certain media release, it could have been 6% if you had chosen a different media. You will consider this data when planning your further work.

We must admit that the number of placements is no longer a single quantity metric PR professionals can confidently establish in their work.

5 examples of insights that content analysis can bring

How it works

PR-expert Alexandra is organizing a PR campaign for a new residential complex. According to the results of the first quarter, the company made 8 placements in the media, compared to 10 and 12 of those made by the main competitors. However, Alexandra actively uses media analytics data and can prove that even despite the smaller total number, her placements received greater resonance in the media. For example, it has a quarterly Media Visibility (MV) index of 195.8, while the competitors have 86.9 and 121.5. Alexandra shows the effectiveness of placements based not only on volume metrics but also on quality metrics, which are expressed in numbers.

2. Crisis prevention

According to Mentionlytics, approximately 30% of all corporate crises become global in less than 1 hour. Negative stories have real consequences that can affect the company's ability to salvage its reputation.

Reputational risk and how to manage it

You can select free Google Alerts as a tool that helps to work with negativity and respond early to challenges in the media field. In general, you should use them as a basic affordable monitoring set for PR. Google Alerts send you a notification by mail whenever results for your key query arrive. They are easy to configure and convenient to work with.However, Google Alerts collects information only from the sites indexed by the Google search engine. They do not provide detailed analytics and do not monitor social networks, which very often become the primary source of the crisis.

Monitoring the crisis in online media and social networks

You can use LOOQME Alerts for more comprehensive coverage of the media field and social networks. These quick notifications arrive in your email or Telegram within 5-10 minutes after you are mentioned in the media or social networks. Compared to Google Alerts, they have a wider functionality and offer several alerts that can be further configured, such as activity alerts or subscriptions to doubles.

Setting up an alert

With the help of operational notifications, it is possible to both monitor negativity and detect positive moods in the media, which, given a quick reaction, you can use for additional interaction with the audience.

3. Analysis of trends, news and news breakers

As Big Data can analyze trends within large sets of information, it is possible to use it to correlate data over long periods. Big data also helps PR managers to better customize messaging based on the trends they identify, work more effectively with popular news outlets, and understand what news media are interested in.

Where do trends come from: hello, situational marketing

We especially want to mention the GDELT project, which is not yet very popular in Ukraine, but can be increasingly useful not only for PR specialists. GDELT is a global database that has collected more than 2 million events since 1979. It features daily updates with current news from around the world through real-time monitoring.

How a PR professional can use the GDELT:

• to determine how fast and through which channels the news spreads. It is possible to segment the news by regions, language, and topic;

• to establish the periods when specific types of information drives work best.One disadvantage of GDELT for the Ukrainian market is the low news density in the Ukrainian media field. However, this tool will come in handy if you are interested in global news cycles.

4. Analysis of competitors

Big data opens up more opportunities for competitive analysis of the media field. With quantitative and qualitative analytics available on automated monitoring platforms, you can get a complete picture of the media landscape of a particular industry. This allows you to assess your position in relation to market leaders and your immediate competitors.

Competitive benchmarking: what it measures, and why use it?

How it works

Company Y launched a new delivery service for orders from abroad. They use media analytics to build a communications strategy and form KPIs.

They started with competitive benchmarking to obtain information from the media field sections and evaluated the positions of market players by quantitative and qualitative metrics of media activity, expressed in numbers or %. Based on received data, they identified priority media for placement and established performance metrics.

They next moved on to work on the content strategy. In order for the content to be interesting for the target audience and relevant to the media, they decided to conduct seasonal monitoring of industry trends and keywords for their brand and competitors. Media analytics of trends allowed them to prepare content that is more effective for their target audience, let it be with less media coverage.

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