Almost any PR person has experienced this scenario. You pitch your client to a reporter and after a bit of back-and-forth this reporter responds with something along the lines of: “I like the sound of what X is doing but do you have any numbers to back it up?”
If you are lucky, your answer will be yes. If you are smart, you will have opened the conversation with the “numbers” in the first place.
Research, data and insights provide valuable credibility and substance. They also have the capacity to tie your client to larger, newsworthy themes. To those whose eyes glaze over at the mere mention of these buzzwords, I offer a gentle reminder that data scientist was designated by Glassdoor as the best job for 2016, and you better believe the phrase “Big Data” is not going away any time soon.
Credibility and substance make a reporter’s job easier, and a client’s coverage better.
Let’s back up.
It’s all well and good to say: Student loans are a problem. My client is helping students to manage their loans. Would you like to interview my client?
But it is considerably more interesting and valuable to say: My client created a report, by analyzing anonymized debt and salary data, which suggests that students with different degrees of study have different debt-to-income ratios after they graduate. Can I connect you with someone to walk you through the data?
This isn’t a random example. Our client Credible recently released an insightful report on this very subject. Per Ditto’s recommendation, pitching this report, under embargo, began a full week before it was released, resulting in a number of top-tier features.
Often, clients are filled with excitement about sharing their content and will want to hit the ground running. It’s our job as PR pros to remind them that factoring in just one business week for promotion will allow for maximum impact.
With this bit of wiggle-room, you will have time to identify appropriate contacts and these contacts will have time to:
· Read, digest and understand (reports can be lengthy!)
· Ask clarifying questions
· Conduct interviews with the spokesperson or expert
· Delegate story to a colleague, if the initial recipient is traveling or particularly busy
There you have it! It’s time to get on the data train if you haven’t already. By using these simple steps, you can maximize impact of your client’s newsworthy data and provide media with the substance they need for great reporting.