Don’t be afraid, its just data

I understand how overwhelming it might be staring at a graph or chart full of numbers. What does it all mean? The blue line is going up, the red line is going down there is a pie chart in the corner.  I took media thinking that I would leave data behind. But you did not have to take A- level math for you to understand data. I have come to discover that data in a PR sense is actually quite simple. The key is not stressing about the little things but focusing on the BIG picture.

Data is becoming increasingly more important in PR with the rise of social media. However, it is small data rather than big data that is useful to public relations practitioners.  Bagnall (2013: 274) says “we need to be wary of focusing on counting what’s easy to count rather than measuring what matters”. So the question is, what is easy to count?

According to Bagnall it is outcome. The three tiers of measurement in public relation are output (content), outtake (attitude change), and outcome (behavior change). Outcome is the most important to public relation practitioners because it is measurable. You can measure the change in awareness, attitude, opinion, and behaviour (AMEC).  The data that comes from the outcome can help a public relation specialist see the success of their campaign or where they missed the mark.

These are my recommendation for data analysis tools that are simple but effective in helping you measure the outcome.


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Brandwatch Analytics is the world’s leading social listening platform. The rise of social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook has given everyone a voice. In public relation, you need to be a good listener for you to be able to satisfy your target audience and the company. Brandwatch helps discover and analyse the conversation your target consumer is having.


The most important relationship PR specialists will have is between them and the audience (sorry mom and dad). Traackr is a data tool that focuses on influencer relationship management. It is a direct link between a business and their influencers, helping create and expand the relationship. It helps manage the relationship and validate a real influence.

Google Analytics

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Google has the answer to everything, so it only makes sense that google is the perfect data analysis tool to measure outcome. Google analytics is a free data tool that makes analysing data simple. It gives you access to Google’s proprietary audience data and that allows you to create categories your audience based on interest and demographics. This makes it easy for a PR specialist to design a campaign for their target audience.

It is scary how much information one piece of data can give you. Although without we would not be able to map out our audience. Therefore you should not run away from data instead embrace it.

(Word count 480)


  1. AMEC:
  2. Bagnall, R (2013). Metrics that matter. in Brown and Waddington (eds) Share This Too, Wiley.
  3. Brandwatch:
  4. Google Analytics Solution:
  5. Traackr:

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