PublicRelay and PR News Survey Highlights Critical Deficiencies in Media Data

Survey of Communication Leaders Reveals Lack of Confidence and Absence of Insightful Data

PublicRelay, in partnership with PR News, released the results of the study ‘The State of Data-Driven Communications Strategies,’ which surveyed corporate communications professionals at both Vice President/CCO and director levels to identify how they perceive metrics and the role data is playing in their communications strategies.

The study found that, when asked how prepared they are with data to make actionable decisions, nearly 75 percent of director-level communicators felt that while they sometimes have good data, the quality is not consistently reliable. Only 19 percent said they are prepared with accurate data they can trust.

The high-quality data outputs that practitioners are looking for include accurate share of voice comparison among peers and competitors, author and publication intelligence, information about industry influencers, how traditional media is being shared across social media, and sentiment for brand and reputational drivers. Considering that over 60 percent of VP-level and above communicators are asked by the CEO and Executive Board for this type of data-driven analysis, the survey found that 40 percent of practitioners find it difficult to understand the media analysis they receive and therefore spend a significant amount of time cleaning it up to discover and interpret the true insights.

Other key findings from the study highlight:

  • Accuracy and Insightfulness are Essential. 61 percent of respondents desire to make media intelligence more insightful. The most important changes VP-level and director-level communicators desire from their media relations intelligence process is better accuracy and insight, above speed, lower cost and comprehensiveness.
  • Inefficient Use of Time. Nearly 40 percent of director-level communicators find it difficult to understand the media data they receive and spend a large amount of time cleaning up the data to seek out legitimate insights. More than half of respondents are spending more time on media analysis and intelligence this year compared to last.
  • Desire to Focus on Other Activities. 69 percent of communicators said they’d rather spend time building strategic messaging plans and 65 percent said they’d prefer to spend efforts pitching or focusing on influencer outreach rather than media analysis.
Eric Koefoot
Eric Koefoot

“These findings clearly demonstrate the need for a fundamental shift in the way communicators generate trustworthy media intelligence to deliver on broader business goals. Senior communications executives are behind the eight ball as CEOs and boards are demanding decisions supported by data and not just gut instinct. What is deeply concerning is the prevalence of irrelevant metrics and a staggering lack of reliable data. It is clear that technology alone, including AI, is not even close to delivering the needed insight from marketplace conversations. Communicators need to invest in solutions that give them trusted data-driven answers that are board-worthy,” said Eric Koefoot, President and CEO of PublicRelay.
PublicRelay is a media analytics solution for communications and marketing.

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