Public Relations is a creative business where established thought leadership within the niche media brands you as a subject matter expert thus giving a more competitive edge in the industry.
The Founder/subject matter expert needs to step out and talk about innovation,logistics and address the industry issues.PR is a field heavy on subjective data that has limitations like human errors, limited time frame,lack of tools to analyse metrics and inaccessibility to draw insights from large subjective data.
The new age of doing business embraces making data-driven decisions. For PR, trend and sentiment analysis with the help of APIs(Application Programming Interface) on social media platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and coverage garnered on media platforms can be particularly useful. Social media has rich, multidimensional and dynamic data generated by masses.This data can be leveraged to produce actionable tactics and insights.Digital footprints are increasing and advanced consumer technology will help identify, segment and make sense of this large scale data to revamp operations and strategy.
What is Big Data Analytics?
Big data is defined by four V’s: velocity,volume,veracity and variety.It is an umbrella term that uses disruptive technologies like Artificial Intelligence and Deep Learning (Natural Language Processing) to identify trends and patterns in huge amounts of data. This data can manifest in various formats like photos, videos, audio, text, table, graphs.
Organizations harbor two kinds of data: structured and unstructured. Structured data is more organized,machine agnostic,cost-friendly and easier for reference as compared to unstructured data like social media data, docs and emails which are relatively more difficult to analyze and produce insightful reports.This data when analyzed using the right tools and software can help optimize a business based on its insights.
Wikibon estimates the worldwide Big Data Market is growing at 11.4% CAGR between 2017 and 2027, growing from $35B to $103B. The intrinsic value of data helps organizations to derive meaning by recognizing patterns or trends and uncovering some unknown variables responsible for the situation/phenomenon,thus forming specific results.
Technological Diligence and It’s Perks
According to an Accenture study, 79% of enterprise executives agree that companies that do not embrace big data will lose their competitive position and can face extinction.Data analysis provides us insight into not only the demographics but also the psychographics of the target audience from a business standpoint.
For Public Relations and corporate communications,Big Data comprises small data streams : Internal and External. Internal data streams are owned channels which include advertising, revenues, etc, while external data streams include news coverage, competition analysis and social listening.
Data is collected through data mining which involves automated extraction of patterns in large databases, online and data streams, etc. Data mining is deployed using disruptive tools and technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning,Statistics, high-speed servers, etc. The data collected helps businesses to anticipate needs, mitigate risks, optimize customer experience and personalize services.
Having data at their side gives businesses a competitive edge in the industry.
How PR Can Use Big Data?
PR industry involves a lot of manual effort when it comes to media list updation, finding relevant media for pitches compounded by a lack of standardized metric tools to evaluate campaign performance.Cision states how Big Data allows PR professionals to “quantify the degree to which their earned media content contributes to meaningful business outcomes such as awareness, consideration and behavior.”
Social media listening tools when compounded by big data and cloud technologies can be useful to gather information from niche communities, whereas leveraging news analytics tools to garner accurate insights and offer comparative analysis on the shelf-life of content on the earned media placements.Here are some other innovative ways on how Big Data and AI deployment can empower the Communication industry :
Trend Forecasting : Using predictive analytics, the cause and action for a trend emerging in the past can be analyzed into a comprehensive report which provides a case study with Do’s and Don’ts to maximize impact and optimize engagement in present if that trend repeats.
Sentiment Analysis : PR campaigns are designed in tandem to the demographics and psychographics of the target audience to have a cognitive impact on them : be it the way the public feels, believes or thinks. These intangible values can be converted into tangible assets via sophisticated Big Data analytics tools.Sentiment Analysis is also known as opinion mining or emotion AI,this is a sub-field of NLP(Natural Language Processing) that tries to identify and extract opinions within a given dialogue.
Content Analysis: Content is one of the most important KPI(Key Performance Metrics). In the PR universe,the backbone of strong media relations and influencing positive public opinion is relevant and creative content.This can be measured via engagement rates and data collected by social media listening tools which help us personalize the content on the basis of our target audience.
Tracking Conversion : With the help of Big Data and Web analytics tools like Google analytics, professionals will be able to calculate ROI and quantify the influence of each media coverage that comes from a specific PR campaign.
Reputation and Crisis Management: AI can provide systematic intervention where there is a controversy and helps extinguish the wildfire from spreading before it takes the form of a full-blown PR disaster.These AI-based tools help in identifying and analyzing mentions online,they are analyzed and classified as a positive(+1) or a negative(-1) comment.An alert is issued and negative comments are quickly acted upon to protect the reputation of a company so it doesn’t affect the performance of the business and stakeholder involvement.
Embracing The Industrial Revolution 4.0: Artificial intelligence has started creating a ripple effect and industries are experiencing a major shift in tandem to that.The future is here. And it’s time we upskill ourselves to make the most of it not only from an economic standpoint but in realizing its potential power to drive social change.
About the author
Falguni Chaudhary is a PR specialist and communication strategist who thrives on brand building and creating the right PR mix for brands.Her expertise lies in the domain of startups and has worked as a consultant for a gamut of startups in the space of Artificial Intelligence,Sustainable fashion,Ed-tech and Emotional Intelligence ecosystem.She has a flair for writing, which can be seen in her stint with NewsD,Youth Incorporated Magazine and Feminism in India as a Contributing Writer.