Have you ever pitched a reporter with a story or announcement you thought would definitely catch their attention only to be ghosted? It’s happened to all of us at some point in our careers, in no small part because, frankly, journalists are drowning in pitches.
In Cision’s 2022 survey, more than half of the 3800 journalists responded that they received over 50 pitches a week through email, phone or social media, and about 24% of them received up to 100 per week.
As PR professionals, we are responsible for building brand reputation and promoting businesses in a positive light. To do so, we need to be armed with data and facts to create campaigns that will evoke the right response and reach the intended audience in an authentic way.
So, how can PR pros break through the noise? How do we grab the attention of reporters and other audiences? The key is infusing company stories and narratives with data.
Why use data-driven storytelling?
Data-driven storytelling helps construct and communicate a compelling story that drives action and can be the difference between a successful campaign and one that gets lost in the busy news cycle.
By accurately presenting data associated with clients, you can improve narrative-building and storytelling capabilities, connecting clients to the public in a meaningful way.
For example, personal finance, business and local consumer interest reporters are annually inundated with tax-related pitches leading up to April’s big filing day. To catch their attention, data is critical. We worked with one of our clients to build a campaign anchored by data that showed tax scam robocalls increased in volume ahead of Tax Filing Day, while also uncovering localized data narratives specific to scams circulating in different markets.
Having this reliable data to back up the story around consumer scams and awareness for Tax Day helped drive media opportunities for the client, which can help increase engagement with the public, generate interest and spark further conversation.
How to use data to tell your clients’ stories
While creativity and relationships are key components of a great public relations strategy, facts are what seal the deal. Here are four ways you can use data and spread a narrative.
- Use newsworthy statistics. When pitching a story, data drives the narrative forward. Incorporating attention-grabbing statistics helps give your narrative a solid foundation of evidence while making the content more persuasive and impactful. With newsworthy statistics, you can hope to get your client’s story more attention and media coverage.
- Frame data in the right context. Data is important, but what matters more is how you frame that data. Before sharing any statistics, make sure that you’re choosing the right facts and figures and putting them in a context that is relevant to your client’s story so that readers can instantly understand the implications of the facts you’re presenting. It’s also imperative that your spokespeople are well-equipped with the necessary data and have the right talking points to frame the story correctly.
- Follow up with visualizations. To bring your story to life and make it stand out, it’s a good idea to back up your data with visualizations such as graphs and charts. Doing this can help paint a vivid picture that reinforces the narrative you’re trying to pitch while making the story more engaging and easier to digest.
- Understand data trends. Data also provides powerful insights into the conversations happening around a brand or company, allowing you to see what phrases or keywords people are using to talk about it, how often to post about it, and which channels are being used for engagement. With this data, you can see what topics or trends are resonating with target audiences and adjust the strategy accordingly.
Data can be a PR pro’s best friend when used effectively. By framing data in the right context and following up with visualizations, reporters are likely to be engaged by your clients’ stories and more likely to cover that story.
A single well-crafted story backed with facts, statistics and data can go a long way in making your stories powerful, authoritative, and attractive to both reporters and the public.
Learn more about Bluetext’s data-centric PR approach, or contact us to hear about our full life-cycle marketing services.