How communications professionals can benefit from research & data analysis?

In the digital world today, the amount of information that is being bombarded constantly to the varied audiences has been humungous. Raw information, processed information, key messages, communication elements, flowing out of an entity dealing with communications either internally or externally. Be it any organisation, corporate, individual, social, non-profit, or a government for that matter, they are all dealing with enormous data all the time.

Data is always heavy and has multi-directional inputs as far as the communicators are concerned. Brand communicators, public relations firm professionals, and corporate communication practitioners always have this mammoth of information available to deal with while planning their communication strategies and implementing their campaigns on the ground. While, in more than many ways, this data can be utilised by the communications professionals, the research could be the best one.

Research, when used properly can be of great benefit to the practice of communications professionals. While planning the campaign, and the communication messages or even identifying the target audiences research can facilitate in removing the biases and provide a real picture of what audiences could be perceiving. Such an input can be of tremendous importance for the leaders in communicating their agenda or message to the relevant audiences in the most effective manner. Leaders can make the right decisions, which may impact their audiences positively and therefore a campaign yielding better and effective results.

In developing the campaign, the nature of the message is of utmost importance, which is expressed through words and visuals in different elements reaching out to the ultimate audiences. Insights from research can be a great boon for developing such messages, that can be subtly embedded in all communication elements of any communication campaign. And, the impact and outcomes will only be in the desired direction as far as the audience response and feedback is concerned.

Audience feedback is another part that can leverage the power of research beautifully and assess the overall impact and measurement of the campaign. Ongoing research can help facilitate measuring the objectives of the campaign versus its achievements. Moreover, research also allows the entity to seek the appropriate measures of course correction of the communication messages in a timely fashion.

Big data analysis and the graphs, charts, tables, and numbers come in handy for corporate communicators as they help facilitate accurate messaging. In today’s times, the audiences are deeply fragmented, and it is possible to assess, identify, and deliver the communication messages to very specific and targeted audiences through the use of big data analysis. Any audience actually is just a seeker of information. Information that can present solutions to their problems coming in the form of needs, wants, requirements, preferences, deviations, likes, dislikes, and choices, etc.

Data analytics always helps generate deep insights into what the audience is delving into at any given point in time or given situation or given environment for that matter. It will model your key audiences, whether they are your customers or shareholders or trade partners. It will create a profile of them and help you with inputs on dealing emotionally with each of these personas through key messages in your communication.

Not only in understanding your own direct target audience, but you can also understand the behavioural patterns of the audiences of your competition through data analytics. It can provide you deep insights not only into demographics but also into other relevant parameters.  

We are living in the times of predictive analysis, social profiling, real-time monitoring & analysis of developing trends, listening to the current conversations, analysing the contemporary habits of media consumption, and keenly observing the digital pathway, etc. in almost real-time.

Many of the leading companies in the field of public relations practice have already started using big-data analysis for delivering communications campaigns and the future is already here.

The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

Praveen Nagda
Praveen Nagda is the CEO of Peregrine Public Relations, a full-service corporate communications and public relations consultancy firm delivering a pan-India reach to its clients. He also heads White Coffee, an independent events & celebrity engagement company.

Praveen has been closely associated with many national and international events related to cinema for children, art and culture. He has a well-rounded experience that cuts across all key sectors of PR & Corporate Communications.

He started his career with URJA Communications, an advertising agency specialising in technology brands, where he was instrumental in developing the PR division. Post this, he had a stint with Horizons Porter Novelli, a global public relations consultancy. Thereafter, he was heading the IT & Telecom division at Clea PR, a leading Indian public relations and communications company followed by a fairly long stint with Omnicom Group agencies viz. TBWA\India and Brodeur India.

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