Current Conversations

Current Conversations

Is Big Data Hindering Our Ability to Be Intuitive?

Posted in Industry Trends

The public relations profession has always differentiated from other communications disciplines through an ability to relate to core audiences and influencers. Our intuitive understanding of the power of relationships and how to strengthen them allows us to navigate crises and manage reputations nimbly and effectively.

As new technology has enabled the rise and use of big data, are we leaving appropriate room for the power of intuition?

The Council of Public Relations Firms will address this question among a host of others during the 2014 Critical Issues Forum. The speakers, Teddy Goff, co-founder of Precision Strategy and the Digital Director for President Obama’s reelection campaign, Tim Leberecht, CMO of NBBJ and Claudia Perlich, Chief Scientist at dStillery will debate if there is room for big data and intuition to coexist and how the two inform each other in their panel on October 23 in New York.

Big data certainly has a rightful place in PR. It assists companies in filtering through the noise to develop insights that truly inform and help determine impact. It can be so valuable, it’s no wonder 91 percent of executives have a big data initiative planned or in progress. Big data is projected to grow from a $28.5B market by the end of 2014, to $50.1B in 2015.

Intuition on the other hand is manufactured from relationships. It is a gut feeling constructed of personal experience, learnings from failures and risk taking. It allows us to ask follow up questions, dig deeper and account for the nuances numbers can’t compute. Intuition is why PR can be flexible and impactful. Most importantly, intuition helps us build trust with our most important audiences

Here’s an interesting way to think about it – do you prefer radio/satellite stations that are run by algorithms or the tastes and preferences of individual DJ’s? Where does the relationship between listener and station exist?

A recent PwC report reflects this inherent tension:

“…Experience and intuition, and data and analysis, are not mutually exclusive. The challenge for business is how best to marry the two. A ‘gut instinct’ nowadays is likely to be based on increasingly large amounts of data, while even the largest data set cannot be relied upon to make an effective big decision without human involvement.”

This tug of war between data and intuition be challenging but harnessing the relationship between the two is an opportunity to leverage all of the organization’s resources, both tangible and intangible. We tap our intuition to identify the conversations that need to be started.  The right data helps assess the effectiveness and identify opportunities to change course. When leveraged together, intuition and data can provide insight into where the dialogue can be steered.  The challenge is to allow ample room for both.

We look forward to further discussion at the forum on October 23rd. To register to the event click here.

An Outlook on the Future of Journalism from the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard

Posted in Industry Trends

With the landscape of modern journalism rapidly changing, what does the future look like? With new technology and the internet impacting the way that journalists do their jobs and downward financial pressures consistently facing traditional media organizations, the answer is anything but certain. Continue Reading

Rupert Murdoch’s Bid for Time Warner Shows ‘Content is King’

Posted in Industry Trends, Uncategorized

Many media industry insiders predict Rupert Murdoch’s pursuit of Time Warner Inc. isn’t over, despite his recent announcement that 21st Century Fox pulled its $80 billion merger offer. Others believe that if Murdoch doesn’t end up acquiring Time Warner, another media or tech company inevitably will. Whatever the fate of the media company, Murdoch’s interest in it and the attention the deal has drawn is another powerful illustration of the value of content. Continue Reading

‘Disrupting the Press Release’ Report Directs the Conversation

Posted in Industry Trends

The “Disrupting the Press Release” survey and report announcement has created quite the buzz within the PR community. We’re happy to have started a much needed dialogue on a fundamental tool that’s used by our profession to communicate our client’s news and perspective with the media.

It’s been interesting to see the discussion that’s developed within news articles and across social media. Here is a sampling of the recent news coverage on the report:

Communication World – “Survey of journalists gives tips for better press releases,” July 22, 2014

Bulldog Reporter – “”You Had Me at the Subject Line”: New Reporter Survey on Press Releases Offers Best Pitching Practices as 100 Journalists Weigh In on How to Disrupt the Press Release,” July 21, 2014

The Holmes Report – “Keep Press Releases Direct And Succinct And They Still Have Value,” July 20, 2014

Mediabistro’s All Twitter – “46% of Journalists Open to Using Twitter for Press Releases [STUDY],” July 18, 2014

Mediabistro’s PR Newser – “STUDY: Journalists Spend Less Than One Minute Reading Each Press Release,” July 17, 2014

JD Supra Business Advisor – “Empathy, relationships and press releases,” July 17, 2014

PR Week – “Greentarget: Seven in 10 journalists spend less than a minute reading press releases,” July 16, 2014

PR Speak – “Hold the presses: The press release is dead; long live the press release,” July 16, 2014

Empathy, relationships and press releases

Posted in Industry Trends

One of the things we PR professionals must try to do is empathize.

With our clients, of course, and with one another — we believe that empathy is a vital ingredient to effective collaboration. Of course, we also collaborate and empathize with journalists. To do our jobs well, we’ve got to understand the reporters and editors we work with. That means knowing what they’re trying to accomplish, what they’re up against and what they need from us. Continue Reading

A Lesson from Taylor Swift on the Power of the Op-ed

Posted in Industry Trends, Social Media

Taylor Swift surprised the world yesterday when she dropped her first op-ed. News of the lyricist’s piece spread like wildfire generating more than 150 comments on The Wall Street Journal website, in addition to more than 20,000 Facebook posts, 10,500 tweets, and 600 LinkedIn posts about the article. And that’s not even counting the other media outlets that wrote about her op-ed. Continue Reading

The media didn’t die, but not for the reasons you’re thinking

Posted in Industry Trends

The news media is enjoying a renaissance today after fears of imminent death. It’s not reviving because a new business model was found. It’s reviving because the persistent need for news finds its own business model. We need to learn about our current events somehow — and the newsrooms and money coalesced around new ways. Continue Reading

‘The Late Show’ Heir Must Rebrand Before Taking the Chair

Posted in Industry Trends

Corporate and personal brands alike should generate broad appeal and loyalty among key audiences and also evolve in order to withstand competitors and the test of time. But what happens when a celebrity brand, one that has been built upon a satirical persona and generated a small, yet dedicated following over a 10-year period, must quickly revamp itself to improve its market share and influence? We will soon find out, as it has been announced that Stephen Colbert will succeed David Letterman as host of “The Late Show” on CBS. Continue Reading