Public Relations

Data & Analytics is the box that still needs to ticked!

PR & CorpComm Industry went all out to support Brands and the Corporate world at large during the pandemic phase. Empirical data suggests that PR was the communication approach of choice and that it helped maintain buoyancy for brands. Encouraged by this, hopefully, 2022 should take us closer to the desired situation where CXO’s will publicly announce their (marriage) dependency on Public Relations industry to build brand and manage businesses.

Till about a decade back, a core talent PR Industry professionals would demonstrate would be their networking skills and ability to build connections. Which is why, “I like meeting people” would be a common answer when asked as to why the aspirant chose this career.

Well, the needle has moved and we have come a long, long way. Today, the ability to meet people and build connections is secondary. Whether the effort is finally impacting the brand & the business is the primary focus of attention now.

Data & Analytics will play a very crucial role. The real customers of PR & CorpComm, the CXOs, need to be addressed. CXO’s ask from PR & CorpComm is very clear and different from what it used to be! The question, therefore, is how clear and equipped are we in generating & leveraging Data Intelligence and speak the language that CXO’s are used to. Well, the process has certainly started but we have still not reached a stage where we can tick the box!

Some of the symptoms or indications effective use of Data Intelligence will lead to are:

1. Rise in PR & Corporate Communication Budgets:

Convincing top management to provide or increase budgets is a common hurdle every CorpComm desk faces regularly. Inability to demonstrate brand or business value against PR efforts has been the key detriment here. However, such situations will start diminishing when you furnish your requisition with scientific numbers, read data & analytics.

2. Longer Client – Agency marriage tenure

Data & analytics play a key role in setting expectations between two parties. While transparency & accountability are clear takeaways from data intelligence, this also ensures that client and agency keep the big picture at the end of the year in mind. This goes a long way in avoiding client-agency divorces.

3. Involvement by CXO in on-going decision making & planning

PR industry has been struggling to get a seat at the boardroom. Business planning & on-going decision-making processes generally do not involve the PR & CorpComm corridors. However, ones Data Intelligence starts getting used effectively, it will raise both confidence & dependence of the CXOs on the PR Industry. They start correlating PR industry with ROO and ROI.

4. Agency performance will go up

A very important missing block within the PR agencies is the concept of Account & Media Planning. Both are quintessential for proper functioning and growth of the PR agency. However, the key reason why this approach has not yet settled within agencies is either the apathy towards data or inability to access it. Data Intelligence, once embedded within the agency framework, will do miracles for the top management as well as the last mile junior most executive of the PR agency.

2022 and onwards, Data Intelligence through Monitoring, Measurement & Analytics is the gold mine that the PR Industry should dig into.

Siddhartha Mukherjee

Founder – Brand Balance

A Brand ERP Management Consultancy

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