Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Disregard data at your peril?



My colleague Karla Wachter wrote a dramatic piece today on the Waggener Edstrom Studio D blog today about data (OK, not Commander Data off Star Trek - but I thought that's what she meant at first).

She was, in fact, talking about the often ignored area of data analytics in PR. I'm the first to admit that I'd rather spend my time creatively brainstorming campaigns than worrying about the metrics that underpin them. But I also know that Karla's got a point when she says "data is an engine that fuels innovation and creativity."

But there can, she says, be too much of a good thing:
Of course there is a dark side to data. With the wealth of data accessible to us, we now are at risk of data overload. How do you know what data is the right data, what conversations are the most meaningful, who is my target audience, who is influencing them, where and how should you engage, how are my efforts driving tangible business actions and outcomes… And the list of questions goes on and on and on.
I agree. Digital PR has opened up new ways of measuring effectiveness to a group of people not used to measuring stuff. Long gone are the days of the sole remit of PR being 'awareness'. Now, conversations are monitored, influence closely measured, and decisions tracked back to the message that initiated them.

Which is why we're spending so much time creating the services to make dealing with data second nature, automated and easy. Thanks to the tools that Karla's team have created - including one launching next week that I just couldn't possibly tell you about - people like me can get on with the important task of running creative campaigns.

I'm off to go imagineering.