4 Top Tips for Using Data Meaningfully

A saying by W. Edwards Deming


Big data is the buzzword in the comms industry these days.


But how do comms professionals use data in a campaign? What are the best ways to use data meaningfully?


A recent industry study by PR agency Hotwire revealed that 51% of all correspondents (100 senior marketing professionals) say their principal use of data is to inform future plans and strategies.


Only one in four (28%) of those surveyed said they primarily used PR and social media data to analyse the success of past campaigns.


But what I found rather worrying is that just 5% feel their organisation is equipped to extract meaningful insights from the data it collects, meaning that there is a real gap between skills and needs.    

Research of strategy and planning


At Comms8, we develop every strategy based on rigid research on the category, the market, and target audience insights. We are committed to use data-driven insights to build more impactful communication.  


Here are our four top tips for using data meaningfully in a PR or marketing campaign:


1.   Start with ‘why’. Before even attempting to use data, be clear with your objectives and desired outcomes for the campaign. Ask yourself: what do we need, why do we need it, how do we get it and how do we use it? This would help you to figure out what sort of data you exactly need and whether you actually need data or not.

2.   Big data must be “people data”. The data should not just be scientific, but also human. It should help to communicate your message, to tell an authentic story, and more importantly, to build meaningful connections with your target audience.  

3.   Simplify data. Make the data memorable so that people will remember it. Infographic is a powerful way to help people comprehend and remember complex data quickly.  It is more sharable in the digital world too.

4.   Don’t flow away old data, as it can still give you some sort of insights about the past and even help you to predict or shape the future. Old data can be as valuable as new data.   


Are you using data wisely?