What happens when media & big data collide?

Published September 17, 2013   |   
Matt Allison

If there was a PR utopia, it would look something like this: Businesses would send journalists timely, interesting stories. Journalists would receive an ongoing supply of quality information. Readers, in turn, would grow enthusiastic about brands, turning media coverage into a conduit for sales and investor interest.

But, we do not live in a PR utopia.

Some would say what we’re living is actually closer to a Mad Max scenario. By adding a measure of objectivity to PR, ‘big data’ may get us that much closer to the ideal. It’s been a long time coming.

The confounding artistry behind PR

In today’s world of tight budgets and understaffed publications, pitching stories to journalists can seem on par with selling ice cream trucks to Siberians. Journalists are tired of picking through hundreds of ill-conceived pitches to find information that is actually useful. In order to pass scrutiny, stories must immediately display value to a publication.

Conversely, trends in the news are changing all the time. Every publication has its own way of deciding what to write and report about. It takes dozens of hours of research to find the publications that might write about your brand. Establishing relationships with reporters, writing pitches that work, following up and building on existing relationships is another matter altogether. That’s not to mention the legwork involved with sifting through other types of media, from blogs to social, to decide where your efforts will have the greatest impact.

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