Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Finding and Using Compelling Stats to Get News

In the PR business, including stats in press releases and other media-facing materials is vital. They add significance and credibility to your clients’ announcements, and can also be a great way to craft headlines — creating news that can bolster client messaging, help garner media results during a lull in client activity or even spearhead a campaign.

You also want your clients to be the leader in their industries, and having a library of stats lends them authority and helps them be the “go-to” source for media when they are looking for expert resources to help shape their stories.

But, the stats need to be legitimate and compelling, or the media won’t be interested. So, how do you find and use stats to deliver the best client service? Here are some recommendations from the LCWA team:

How to find stats: 
  • Deploy a survey: A high-level, consumer-friendly survey can help secure a variety of news angles that can be used to drive coverage. The survey can be wide-ranging if you’re looking for topics that can be used throughout the year, or the questions can be narrowed down if you’re looking for a brand new story to spearhead a campaign.
  • Ask the experts: If you work with an organization that represents experts, such as medical professions, conducting internal outreach for their insights and day-to-day observations can allow you to bolster current messaging and come up with new information that interests media.
  • Audit the research: Some clients may have a cache of studies that haven’t been adequately utilized for marketing purposes. It may behoove you to review the materials and see if there are newsworthy nuggets, or overarching themes, that can be pulled and used.

 How to use stats:
  • Craft your own news: Even if it seems there aren’t any original client stories to tell that would actually interest media, you still need to deliver results. However, if you can find a key stat that allows you to conduct outreach on a topic that hasn’t been sown in your clients' industry landscape before, this can allow your client to become an authority on the subject or even create breaking news. Media are always looking for something new, and this enables you to deliver.
  • Create a library: Your clients’ online newsrooms or media kits are a great place to host an easily accessible list of impactful stats. When a reporter can simply pull stats to include as references in stories, a rise in impressions and coverage is sure to follow. Stats that are owned by your client will be attributed to your client in stories, indefinitely.
  • Visualize the information: Stats are perfect for infographics and other visual content that tell your story in an intriguing way for use in social media or to help deliver the increasingly busy media the information and digital content they need.
  • Determine your outreach strategy: So, once you have the stats, what do you do with them. As mentioned above, it depends on your goals — ongoing pitching or campaign-leading news. You may find that the information you gathered can lead to a combination of the two. Some recommended tactics include press releases, wire releases, wire releases, direct-to-editor fact sheets, supporting infographics and visuals, spokesperson quote sheets and more.
In this media landscape, you need to have a leg-up on the competition, create authority and keep your client relevant, lead with new information and make things easily digestible for reporters — who are covering multiple beats or topics they don’t know much about and are under tight deadlines. Finding and using compelling stats can set you and  your clients up for success.

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