pro·ac·tive: anticipating change and taking action, rather than reacting to events

The Proactive Report is about the shifts in the media landscape, social media strategy and online PR Our aim is to bring you the latest research and case studies that show how technology is changing media consumption and the patterns of communication and behavior online.

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Data’s Greatest Value for PR Lies in Planning

Social Media Iceberg

A recent study by Hotwire launched during AMEC’s measurement week shows that senior execs now rank planning as the prime use of data and analytics. More than half (51%) use data to inform future plans and strategies, providing PR campaigns with crucial insight up-front rather than at the end. Only 1 in 4 (28%) use data to gauge the success of past social media and PR campaigns.

“Measurement has to be at the heart of every campaign. But measurement on its own, without a current understanding of the audience, the competition and the landscape just isn’t enough,” says Brendon Craigie, CEO of Hotwire. “Marketeers are now waking up to the real benefits of data—not simply using it reactively to measure performance, but gaining invaluable insight at the planning stage to ensure campaign success from the outset—and then all the way through to completion.”

There are many tools that can gather data on conversations, audiences and competitors. Just having the data is not enough, you have to be able to spot gaps in the marketplace, opportunities and influencers. You must able to identify possible crises and threats in the making.

Extracting the actionable insights from the data requires skill and experience. According to the report younger professionals – those under 34 – really grasp data and make it work for them. Two out of three (65 percent) use data primarily for planning and all of them see their departments as professional in using data to this end. They are the group most likely to embrace the 24/7 mentality (59 percent) and also the most trusting of data coming from their own department (71 percent).

Another factor is being agile enough to move fast once you have the data. In the 24/7 world we live in the data will be irrelevant in a week. Learning to conduct a social audit and make the most of the data you uncover should be high on the list of PR skills for PR students, new PR pros and PR Boomers who are not digital natives.

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