How to Use Data Driven PR Pitches to Get Better Results for Your Clients

Nov 13, 2023

Data driven PR is becoming more and more popular with the media. Letting data drive your decisions seems like common sense, but there’s more to it than just dropping stats and figures into your pitches.

When done well, incorporating data into your PR strategy is a super powerful way to grab the media’s attention and land high-impact placements for your clients. That’s why you need to know what a data driven PR strategy is and how to start using data to craft irresistible pitches!

What Is Data Driven PR?

Data driven PR is exactly what it sounds like: PR pitches, campaigns, and press plans that are based on cold, hard data.

As long as you have proven statistics to support your claims, you can use data in your PR initiatives. Your data might come from studies your client has conducted, customer surveys, website analytics, or research from data firms in your niche!

With data driven PR, your analytics drive your decision-making. You’ll rely on data to decide whether you should continue with an initiative, platform, or strategy. The data will also show you what resonates with your client’s audience and what drives them away from your launches.

Imagine your client’s website analytics show tons of traffic from Instagram and TikTok but not much from Twitter and YouTube. You should have this info in the back of your mind the next time you plan out your client’s social calendar; tone down the Twitter and YouTube content and put the spotlight on IG and TikTok! 

Or, if an influencer collaboration led to a ton of affiliate traffic while a podcast guest interview didn’t, you’ll know to focus on influencer partnerships moving forward. 

Related: 7 PR Mistakes You're Making With Your Pitches to Journalists & Editors

How to Use Data to Create Pitches and Campaigns

Knowing that you should incorporate data driven PR into your strategy isn’t enough — you also need to know how to use data in your campaigns to maximize its impact. Here are three key strategies for leveraging the power of data in your pitches and campaigns.

#1: Build a Story Around Your Data

Data driven PR isn’t just about the numbers. All your usual pitch-writing strategies still apply here! If you’re a member of The Pitch Lab, you’ve already got these down pat. 

You need to turn your data into a compelling, engaging story that will resonate with journalists. Your story should be tailored to your media contact and their publication, beat, and audience. When crafting a data driven pitch, always consider why your client’s product or event matters to the media.

Here are some key questions to ask yourself:

  • What story is your data telling?
  • An intriguing statistic is great, but what does it mean for the bigger picture?
  • How can you zoom out and use that stat to tell a wider-reaching story about your niche and your client’s impact on your niche? 
  • Can you zoom in and tell a story of how that stat impacts your client’s brand and how they’ve used that data in their business?

The story possibilities are endless — but always ensure they’re actually relevant and engaging to the media.

#2: Target the Best Media Contacts for Your Client

If you’re building a story around really compelling affiliate data from your client, don’t send that pitch off to just anyone. Instead, reach out to a publication’s ecommerce editor or, better yet, an ecommerce editor specializing in your niche.

The more you pitch the media, the more data you’ll gather on which outlets gain the most traffic and which don’t cover your clients as much. 

You can use this data to craft a list of go-to editors for pitches! These are the relationships you need to focus on and cultivate. Send these contacts targeted pitches, support them in and out of the office, and connect on socials.

My clients and I love podcasts — they’re a goldmine for high-impact, data driven PR campaigns! Podcast hosts/producers love to see engagement stats when you pitch your client for a guest spot. That way, they know you have a dedicated audience that will gain them listeners and engagement.

Similarly, if a contact or publication isn’t picking up your pitches regarding one of your clients, try switching up your strategy with them. If you play around with new tactics and nothing seems to work, move on. It’s better to spend your energy elsewhere!

Keep that relationship intact, though. Just because they didn’t connect with one of your clients doesn’t mean they won’t connect with another.

Related: How to Use Podcast Pitching to Score Big Wins for Your Clients (and Yourself!)

#3: Pivot to What’s Working and Step Away from What Isn’t

Keeping up with your client’s data is a must when working with data driven PR! Have an eye out for the latest developments right after a campaign launch and when you have nothing on the horizon. When new data trends pop up at the last minute, you can quickly catch wind of them and pivot accordingly.

If you see an uptick in traffic regarding a product, look into it immediately to determine what’s causing the jump. Maybe an influencer shouted out your product — and not as SponCon (sponsored content)! That opens the door for a future collaboration that’ll resonate with both of your audiences.

On the flip side, downward trends can also play a valuable role in your data driven PR strategy. These trends will immediately let you know what’s not working!

When experimenting with different social media platforms or post styles, monitor the engagement data to see what’s resonating with your audience and what isn’t. What works on one platform might not work on another. You can refine your messaging based on which posts go viral and which don’t make a splash.

How to Include Data in Your Client Reports

Your data is your proof of success. It’s wayyyy easier for your clients to understand your impact and see the value of PR when you have statistics to back you up!

You can report trends in website traffic, affiliate link and code usage, press placement impressions, and pitch conversions. If you can measure it in numbers, toss it in your report! The more proof of your success, the better.

Don’t just report your data in a long list of stats, though. Create fun graphs or charts and include screenshots of your most successful posts or campaigns. Just because numbers can be boring doesn’t mean your reports should be! Add some visual interest to get your client excited about your partnership.

Also, don’t be afraid to report downward trends as part of your data driven PR strategy.

Things like a dropoff in affiliate code usage, a lack of conversions from a collaboration, or a downward trend in feature impressions will all influence your decisions…so your client needs to know about them!

But remember, the most essential part of reporting negative trends is to reframe them positively. Explain to your client how you’ll use this data to shift your plans and adapt to their audience’s wants and needs.

You can’t lean on emotion alone to craft a killer campaign. Data driven PR lets you back up your claims, grab the media’s attention, and inform your strategy. With cold, hard data to back you up, you’ll make the most effective and engaging decisions possible with your PR strategy and you can get the best results for your clients!