Data-Driven Storytelling – The PR Gift That Keeps on Giving
August 8, 2017
Reporters at every rung of the media landscape, from high-profile, top-tier publications all the way down to niche, vertical outlets, strive to create the most thought-provoking stories possible. But they need compelling, digestible facts and figures to create a solid story concept that will resonate with their audiences. And while the benefits of data-driven storytelling have been extolled in the PR world for some time now, we often forget that our clients are the keepers of their own best asset – data.
Telling stories with stats
Whether it’s technology, consumer, B2B or any number of other industries, data plays an increasingly powerful role in shaping how businesses and consumers interact with the world. That’s why leveraging proprietary data can be incredibly beneficial when it comes to securing media interest, especially when the data has a longer runway. But organizing data into digestible, interesting statistics not only incentivizes reporters to cover our clients, it also helps establish them as authorities in their respective industries. And when data-driven PR strategies are leveraged over time, the results can be especially impactful. The success of Ibotta’s ‘best days to buy’ data is just one example of how data, when compelling, relevant and timely, is the ultimate PR gift that keeps on giving.
Best days to pitch
Last summer, mobile shopping app Ibotta reached its $100 million milestone, meaning users had received $100 million in cash-back rewards since the app launched in 2012. Obviously, this was a big deal for Ibotta, but the team knew we needed more than just the typical announcement strategy to celebrate such a momentous company benchmark.
To really maximize the story, we worked with Ibotta’s analytics team to mine the app’s wealth of shopper data and identify a few press-worthy stats to use in outreach. After evaluating millions of grocery receipts, we landed on a goldmine.
Armed with just a handful of stats showcasing the best and worst days to buy certain items, like beer, wine, ice cream, cleaning products, and a few other essentials, the team immediately earned an exclusive with Forbes, and went on to place more than 40 pieces of original coverage positioning Ibotta as a resource for how and when to save money. And that was in just the first few weeks! Over the last year, the team has consistently placed print and broadcast stories in key local, consumer and top-tier outlets highlighting Ibotta’s mission to reward consumers just for making everyday purchases.
And while the success of a data story like ‘best days to buy’ is not typical, it is proof positive that when data is valuable to a certain audience (in this case, everyone who grocery shops), its longevity can drive remarkable PR results for a brand.
The numbers don’t lie
It’s safe to say none of us got into to PR to review data and crunch numbers all day. But there’s no denying that hard data carries significant weight with reporters and media outlets. And over time, the cumulative effect of that weight can help our clients build brand awareness in a dramatic and influential way.