Ever wonder why some PR strategies seem to take off while others flounder and fail? Well there are many reasons for this including incongruence between the strategy and the target market and failure to detect the signs of failure early. But how can this be prevented? One word offers the answer- Data. A data driven approach can spare PR professionals and their organizations the stress that comes with a failed or failing PR strategy. This approach requires that the PR professional or team gathers certain types of data and uses them to guide PR strategy.
Data on the Target Market
Data on the target market can be gathered through several methods. The most efficient methods though are the digital ones outlined below.
• Online surveys
Online surveys are an essential part of any type of data collection in our modern world. With the ease of access to the internet by a vast majority of the global population it has become extremely easy to reach out to individuals whether they are current or prospective customers. Online surveys also aid the difficulty that would come along with analyzing paper-based data. The ability to search for key words and to do automatic counts of positive or negative responses facilitates the processing of more data in less time. Within little to no time you can find out what market suits your business best or how you could adjust your product and messages to become a better fit for your intended target.
• Data collected from customer service messages and phone calls
Customer Service Messages and Phone call surveys are also very powerful sources of data for target market information. It more or less focuses on individuals who are already customers. This in itself is a huge plus for any business because through these already paying customers PR experts get information on how to improve your service for their specific demography. In addition to that your current customers have the pleasure of acknowledging the businesses care for feedback and in turn may even recommend the establishment.
Data on the Performance of Your PR Strategy
Undoubtedly, you want to monitor your PR strategy for performance. You need to keep a steady eye on the strategy’s metrics (brand mentions, social sharing, followers etc.) so that you can detect changes, especially negative ones. Detecting a downward trend early, means you can intervene early and get back on track before it is too late.
• Brand Mentions
The response that your business gets from influential organizations and people, greatly impacts your brand’s performance. If it’s a case where your business is endorsed by influential people or organizations, then the followers of those endorsers may very well attach themselves to your business as well. Equally, it is very important that the particular brand endorsing your business has its own positive aura. After all, there’s no point in joining a big ship if it’s sinking and it may reduce brand impact and reach. Regardless, the pros far outweigh the cons where brand mentions are considered
• Social sharing
Social sharing is fairly close to brand mentions in two senses. One is that the information that is shared by your company creates an impression as to the type of individuals you stand by as an organization and creates an opportunity for positive feedbacks, even if its shares on a minor post you created the publicity will always be good for your businesses reputation. Sharing or posting on social media aligns you with different individuals. When your posts are shared by more people and organizations, it indicates that your brand’s image is resonating with these social sharers.
Amassing followers is a great way of monitoring the social status of your business. It is a simple indicator of progress because it gives an idea of the amount of people who see your business products or details online and find it interesting enough to stick around for more. The more followers there are the more people will want to join. “The Bandwagon Effect” is a theory which dictates that the more the people are in a collective, the more people will join and show interest as well.
When data guides your PR strategy you are more likely to remain on a trajectory to creating a brand that has a strong and positive presence in your industry.