Thought Leadership

This is Rocket Science

By Jonny Bentwood, Global Head of Data & Analytics

‘Public Relations – It’s not rocket science’ – Actually it is.

We are working in a world of algorithms and AI where the most successful programs have data at its core driving success. This is rocket science. Data has reached the tipping point in PR where technology and process has come of age and is now delivering on the promises made years earlier.

One of the biggest challenges that companies face is how to use this new wealth of intelligence. How can terabytes of information help our clients? The answer is in the application and democratisation of data across everyone at Golin.

“Without data you’re just another person with an opinion”
– W. Edwards Demming

Having a gut feel for an idea has merit, after all, these opinions are based on years of experience. However, using data to act as a catalyst to inspire compelling ideas has far more likelihood for success. Golin fuses data and creativity to make the most incredible, award-winning campaigns.

Our approach has three key steps:

1.  Descriptive

The most frequent way data is normally used is to evaluate the success of campaigns. Golin uses the most advanced impact measurement techniques to help evaluate the outcomes of our work and illustrate how they are clearly mapped against campaign goals.

In 2018, when Golin helped McDonald’s launch the MacCoin, a global campaign in celebration of the Big Mac’s 50th Anniversary, our progressive data approach, helped the team monitor conversation across more than 50 different markets, delivering key performance indicators such as total engagements and sentiment in real time whilst spotting emerging conversation topics such as cryptocurrency which ultimately helped fuel earned media coverage.

However, if we only use data to evaluate the past, we are not truly progressive. Instead we need to move from descriptive to prescriptive:

2. Prescriptive

When it comes to planning a campaign, we map client’s objectives onto the customer journey and measure how successful they are in each stage. We can then identify where focus needs to be made to achieve goals and prioritize the campaigns most likely to achieve these micro-objectives. For example, an awareness campaign may target high reach media partners whereas an attitude-based one would target niche relevant but highly engaged influencers. These are completely different campaign tactics but only through the customer journey data model do we know what strategy we should follow. Analysts have proved that there is a 50% increase in marketing efficacy by following this data-driven customer journey approach.

Through this prescriptive approach using the customer journey, Golin is helping one of the world’s leading retailers improve social customer experience (CXPR) and reputation by ingesting, analyzing and responding to more than 10 million brand mentions a year. This includes solving customer problems and improving interactions at the 1:1 level; using advanced technologies, cultural awareness and crisis PR experts to spot potential issues and make recommendations – before they hit “main street;” engaging with customers and influencers in unexpected ways to increase brand relevance; and even influencing business decisions. This work has helped the company focus on opportunities that will have the greatest impact and has saved millions in annual spend.

Golin’s progressive public relations approach needs to be agile. No longer can anyone treat their campaigns like a juggernaut hoping that all will go according to plan and only realise after-the-fact that it wasn’t performing as hoped. To counter this, we move from prescriptive to predictive:

3. Predictive

Golin uses advanced AI and machine learning to anticipate what will be happening before it occurs. Our technology solutions proactively alert us to opportunities and threats so we can newsjack or course-correct whilst our trend solutions help us align with what is around the corner.

Golin believes that all of our client work needs to be data-driven. From thinking differently about a brief, finding deeper insights, inspiring creative and measuring in a forward-thinking way – our work is stronger and most importantly delivers award-worthy programs that both our clients and ourselves are proud of.