Data De-Mystified: PR & Brand Storytelling

 Illustration credit:  Peter Holt/Corbis, Mashable

Foreword:  Pam Abrahamsson, PRA Public Relations

Let's be blunt.  

In the communications and tech world, there is an entire population of folks who love being obtuse.  OK, I didn't really mean to use the term "obtuse."  Apparently we all land in obscure wording territory sometimes, myself included.

What I mean is people in my industry can fall victim to "using unnecessarily complex language to explain simple things."  This is particularly true around the topic of data.  Data is, at its heart, information; the very lifeblood of the communications profession.  

One of the most valuable trends in today's marketing and public relations industry is the robust use of data to inform and drive conversation.  Which can sound intimidating at face value.  Take heart though; it's really a simple concept with a powerful impact.

Data is the raw ingredient for compelling story-telling.

Now, don't get me wrong.  Data mining and analysis is a very detailed, skilled and precise science, and my hat goes off to those professionals.

However, data's role of delivering quantified, substantiated information is a gift to the communications industry.  And this is a gift that doesn't have to be mysteriously complex.

Data gives our industry the tools to power an impactful story:  the smart use of data helps communicators unearth interesting new trends, findings and even fascinating minutiae.  Used correctly, it's an evergreen source of credible information at your fingertips.  And take heart, using data in your outreach is simply using researched facts to build and support your story; nothing more complicated than that.

So put away any inhibitions you may have about "data," and get to work using this valuable information tool to build the foundation of a brand story or add a finishing note of statistical credibility.

For top tips on how to use data, we're happy to share this recent Mashable story, authored by experts Joel Kaplan and Kelly Lux.  They explain in a clear-cut manner the ways you can use data to make your communications story come alive.

8 Ways To Use Data to Tell a Compelling Story

Happy data-driven storytelling.