A data strategy in PR may sound like a daunting task that’s not worth the time, effort and expense. But a data strategy conceived of correctly can be hugely valuable for a company’s brand without breaking the bank.

Data, more than ever, is what journalists want for their stories; it’s what social media managers and influencers want to post about; it’s what graphic designers and content managers want to see represented visually; it’s what conference organizers want to read within the presenter abstracts they select.

At RH Strategic, we’re always asking ourselves and our clients what role data can play in shaping a story. Sometimes third-party data might be enough – a report by Gartner or a survey stat from the Verizon Data Breach Report may be all we need to give our story relevance. We use these stats often to validate our clients’ perspectives and points-of-view.

Sometimes working with a research partner, whether an analyst firm or a big research firm like Ipsos or Harris, is a worthwhile investment. These organizations have the reputation, resources and methodologies to do large-scale research and package it up into compelling data and insights. These can be costly, but the return can far surpass the investment for a company looking to make a national impact with recognizable names and large data sample sizes.

But sometimes an expensive research partner is not required for a nationally relevant story. For example, our client Randstad Technologies, wanted to establish itself as the go-to solution for retailers spending millions of dollars on the changeover to Chip-and-PIN point-of-sale technologies.

Anticipating strong media interest in retailer progress, we developed and published an industry-wide survey revealing the top technology deployment challenges faced by retailers making the transition. All of this was done leveraging the CRM system already available to our client to survey existing and prospective clients at no cost. We worked with our in-house design team to create a compelling and shareable report that we referenced in our press materials and media outreach.

Top business, tech and retail trade media including The Verge, Ars Technica, The Boston Globe, TheStreet and Chain Store Age cited the survey findings and featured quotes from Randstad Technologies executives. The campaign reached tens of millions through traditional media and social media alike, while demonstrating Randstad Technologies’ expertise within a highly visible news cycle which lasted for months.


Does data have a role to play in your story? Talk to us! Leave a comment below, or tweet us at @RHStrategic with the hashtag #RHetoricBlog.

RH Strategic is a Seattle and D.C.-based communications firm providing PR and strategic marketing for innovators in the technology, public sector, and healthcare markets.