Research projects are a staple of many client PR campaigns, but they are also the marmite of the media industry so their success can’t always be guaranteed. Here at Spark we’d like to think we know a bit about successful research campaigns, so here are some top tips to ensuring you get maximum value from your research:
- Make sure your story is of interest to the media - This may sound obvious, but a common failing is going to the media with research that isn’t very newsworthy. For example, if you were the world’s only producer of gold headphones, pitching a story with a headline of “98% of consumers would like gold headphones” is unlikely to get you very far. If the stats can point to a trend or issue that a publication’s readers can relate to, there is much more chance they will be receptive to your story.
- Create in-bound marketing content – Research can also be developed to create in-bound marketing content, such as a more formal report. Here you can provide a bit more in-depth analysis of the findings and ‘sell’ your solutions to the trend/problems highlighted. This content can also be used as the starting point for a webinar or seminar. From a PR standpoint having a content asset you can link to increases the chance of securing that all important (and measurable) backlink in an article.
- Get social with your stats – Research is also a great way to create engaging content across your social media channels. Social media teasers and infographics shared across the likes of Twitter and LinkedIn can certainly draw more eyeballs to your newly created in-bound marketing content. So make sure that your PR and social media activity is aligned!
- Research goes beyond just a press release – Once you have got the data, you should be making sure that you are maximising it for ongoing PR opportunities. Statistics are great supporting material for features pitches and thought leadership articles as it provides real-lifedata points. For example, for supply chain company JDA we managed to secure feature opportunities with both Drapers and Retail Week through crafting angles based on its recent Customer Pulse research. This same research was also used to secure an opinion piece on The Guardian’s Technology in Retail section.
Research can be a big investment both financially and effort wise, therefore it should be seen as part of an integrated marketing campaign. If you pick the right topic and execute it correctly it can pay for itself ten times over.