Survey on
Data-Driven PR

Companies are still unfamiliar with it

There is still a lot of room for improvement when it comes to data-driven PR. This is the conclusion of the current PR trend monitor of the dpa subsidiary news aktuell and the agency Faktenkontor. 220 communication experts from companies, organisations and PR agencies in Germany and Switzerland took part in the online survey in February 2022.

The list of hurdles cited by the communication experts is long. Above all, they lack time, tools, structured data and competence. Yet these challenges can actually be solved quickly and easily in practice. But first things first.

According to the PR Trendmonitor, only half of the companies are working with data analytics in professional communication, the other half are still leaving data-driven PR behind. In other words, corporate communication is still unfamiliar with the topic of data-driven PR.

Reasons against data analytics are unfounded

When asked about the reasons why companies do not work with data analytics, the communication departments list numerous arguments. The most frequently cited reason is lack of time: 35 percent of those surveyed do not know when they should integrate data analysis into their work processes. In our experience, the time required –  once the strategy is in place and the infrastructure is set up –  is very short compared to the benefits achieved.

Secondly, 30 percent of communicators mention the lack of tools to extract, analyse and evaluate data from the various systems. We cannot confirm this argument in practice either. The tools are available on the market, relatively inexpensive to purchase and easy and intuitive to use.

In addition, 28 percent state that there is too little structured data material in the company to set up data analytics professionally. In our experience, this is not the case. The data is almost always available, it just needs to be retrieved.

Also interesting: 26 percent say that there is a lack of analysis and evaluation competence for data analytics within the company. Of course, this can also be easily solved: Experienced agencies can support both the data strategy and the selection and implementation of the tools as well as the analysis and evaluation of the data.

No time, no Tools, no Struktur - What causes data analytics to fail in communication.


Data analytics: Considerable deficits in own skills

According to the PR Trendmonitor, the communications industry still has a lot of catching up to do in terms of its own data analytics skills: only 25 percent of communication experts rate themselves as “very good” or “good” in this area. At 30 percent, most only rate their own competence as satisfactory. According to their own statements, very many PR professionals still have considerable deficits: As many as 45 percent only gave themselves the grade “sufficient”, “poor” or “insufficient”.

This self-assessment is surprising. After all, PR professionals had already recognised their own deficits in the European Communication Monitor 2020: in the study, the communication experts stated that their personal qualification for data competence is the least pronounced at 42 percent. At the same time, they estimate the certified importance at 66 percent. This means that there is a gap of 24 percentage points between personal qualification and attested importance among PR professionals. Apparently, not much has changed in the industry in the last two years.

Ways out of the data dilemma in corporate communication

All professional companies today have strategies for the company, sales, products, personnel, marketing and communication. And most companies also check their strategies with relevant data. Unfortunately, as the current PR Trendmonitor clearly shows, this does not yet apply to corporate communications. This is because 46 percent of the companies surveyed do not use data analysis in professional communication.

Companies are therefore well advised to prioritise the data strategy for their communication. It is important to collect and evaluate communication data on target groups, channels (paid, owned and earned media) and topics. In our experience, the value of communication data is made up of three factors: relevance (am I generating the right data?), quality (is the data valid?) and usability (can and may I use the data?). The better developed these factors are, the more valuable the communication data is.

Once the data strategy for communication is in place, it’s time for the operational implementation. In our blog article “Data-Driven Public Relations – How Advanced Analytics Increase Your PR Performance”, we already described that corporate communications actually has all the technological possibilities for data-driven PR. The data for paid and owned media is definitely there, and usually the data for earned media is there as well. They just have to be taken out of the different depots and brought together in a central data hub. This actually sets the stage for data-driven PR.


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.