Did you know that the management magazine Harvard Business Review named the data scientist the “Sexiest Job of the 21st Century” almost 10 years ago? In almost every business area, data analysis is now essential.

But analysis doesn’t focus only on descriptive, backward-looking data. The magic word is advanced analytics – a method used to make predictions about future events.

In the communication departments, however, the situation is (still) different. Ask yourself these questions as a test:


Do you want to …

… Optimize your communication strategies with fact-based figures? Or continue to rely on your gut feeling?

… Align your communication with current or future trends? Or leave your target group approach to chance?

… Document the results of your communication precisely and thus quantify the value of your work? Or maybe just create what  added value?

Well, have you chosen the first option all three times? All this is possible if you rely on data-driven PR.


First of all, data-driven means that we make decisions based on data, not our gut instincts. So, we’re talking about communication strategies and PR measures based on data. The data provides information about how you have carried out your PR campaign and where there is a need for it to be improved.

Modern tools can be used to measure important KPIs such as views, engagement and click-throughs. In addition, you can track which media outlets or channels report on your company – and thus react to trends and opinions quickly.

But even on a smaller level, you can use data to significantly improve your communication. For example, you can determine the optimal days and times for your press releases or social media posts to go out to achieve maximum attention and engagement.

Your benefits:

Better customer journey: You can target and get your content out to the target audience, thus reducing wasted efforts and informing your customers only with topics that are relevant to them.

Faster decisions: You can react to market situations and trends on a daily basis, predict trends and align your communication precisely.

More business success: By taking up the topics that concern your target group, you become a thought leader – and, thanks to your experts, increase your customers’ return on investment (ROI).


In order for companies to derive any benefit from data-driven PR, they need one thing first and foremost: the data. The good thing is that most of it is already there. Your website, your newsletter, your social media presence, almost every one of your communication activities provides you with data that you can use. There are a variety of helpful tools for correctly handling the information received.

In the field of earned media, several media monitoring services are available to PR experts. With these, companies can track the coverage of themselves and those of their competitors. However, it is not enough to just count numbers to gain meaningful insights – good tools also analyze the language and tonality of the media.

When it comes to owned media, many companies already rely on services such as Google Analytics, but often without really working with the data they’ve accumulated. There are also various tools for social media channels that prepare data – such as follower growth, engagement or click-through rates – in a user-friendly way and display it on up-to-the-minute dashboards.


Now it is important to filter out the most important information from the large pool of data – and to derive valuable insights for future communication work.

Would you like a small example? Adobe once pitched its news to around 3,000 media outlets. An analysis of the coverage showed that 75% of all quality reporting is done through 500 of these outlets; Adobe got very little coverage in the rest. The result: Adobe now focuses its communication on a much smaller group of outlets – and delivers better results at the end of the day with significant savings in time, effort and money.

Data analytics gives you the tools to better understand your target audience. You know what your readers actually want to read, see or hear, and you can tailor your content exactly to these needs. With data-driven PR you get away from going with your gut and toward carefully calculated, targeted public relations.


The technological possibilities are there, and the data is almost always there. Data analytics is revolutionizing PR work and should be the foundation for professional communication. Only those who understand their data and know which trends and which content reach the relevant target groups will build a good relationship with them and can position their company correctly.

Despite all the euphoria for data-driven PR, however, it is clear that technical innovations, while necessary, will not completely replace tried and tested communication and relationship management. Strategic communication planning continues to be the main focus of PR, while the technologies help to create added value and provide an improved user experience for your customers.


Only added value. That’s a promise!

We’ll give you the lowdown on what’s possible with the right set-up, where your content should be playing and how to make your marketing measurable. Register now and get insights about digital content.