Importance of Analytics in Shaping PR’s Future

PhotobucketLondon-based research group TNS released the most comprehensive online consumption research study this week.  The Website provides interactive data graphs that show the shifts in Internet usage that are occurring globally.

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Graph from Discovering Digital Life study

These research projects are vital to public relations professionals who seek to shape the future of the industry.  The study claims that online news consumption is greater than any other form of news consumption and predicts that future companies will have to incorporate mobility and interactivity into their online presentation strategies to survive.

The Website itself is a fantastic  presentation of the TNS findings.  The graphs are colorful and easy to navigate and understand.  The charts are downloadable, the information is cohesive and blends images with facts for easy reading. It is important to follow these trends.

The public relations professionals who do pay attention to this information will be able to create strategies that will remain at the forefront of new media innovation.

Here is an excerpt from the Website that provides valuable information for forward-thinking professionals.

Social networking is now a part of daily lives for many online consumers, but it is also a platform that is continually changing. What began as a core messaging platform connected to your friend list has become an aggregator of services; the one-stop-shop for all of your online needs. A consumer can now listen to music, watch videos, play games, create groups and share their location.

“When we look at what the next big development will be, multi-media integration is at the top of the list. The networks that make this as seamless and intuitive as possible will be winners. Brands should also look to integrate multi-media in their social media campaigns to increase impact in an increasingly competitive and hostile space.

“From a brand perspective, the category you are in will play a big role in your social media strategies. Brands in technology categories must have a social media presence to survive. Tactics must also vary by region; make sure your social media presence in rapid growth markets is an informative as it is inspirational.”  — Discovering Digital Life

Where do you see the future of interactivity and the Web going?  What companies do you see now harnessing the information provided by these studies?

Here is the link to the Oct. 10 news release.

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7 Responses to Importance of Analytics in Shaping PR’s Future

  1. lrstarr says:

    I agree. Analytics are crucial for PR practitioners in an Internet- saturated society. They become our online means of measuring objectives and are important in determining success. Recently, I found this article on Mashable that announces Google’s new in-page visual analytics feature: http://mashable.com/2010/10/15/google-in-page-analytics/

    The tool allows users to visually track traffic data with a clean and understandable user interface that is so very Google. However, I can see how making analytics and traffic tracking overly simplified and accessible to everyone can be detrimental to our profession. Will this become yet another “I can do this myself?”

  2. srmccab1 says:

    This was an awesome post! The Website is excellent and really excels at displaying an incredible amount of information that would be difficult to sort through if it had not been so cleanly, creatively organized. I couldn’t agree more with your argument that analytics will become a vital part of successful PR. As for your question of where the future of interactivity on the Web is going, I believe that it we will see a migration towards online shopping and an increase in online “admin” work as the Website calls it, which includes online banking and paying bills online. While, I don’t think that the use of email will increase significantly, I also don’t think that is going to fade away as some believe.

    On a separate note, one of the most interesting things I saw on the site was the average number of friends according to country. First, I was shocked that the U.S. wasn’t at the top of the list, but Malaysia with an average of 233 friends. Second, as a country Japan had an average of 29 friends, focusing more on quality than quantity. Overall, the site had so much great information that really reinforced the fact of how global interaction with the Web is so dissimilar.

    • jlmart20 says:

      The “average friends” statistics were interesting to me as well. I was completely wrong in my assumptions. I was shocked at the average of both the U.S. and Japan as well. I wonder why that is. It will be interesting to see what kinds of studies and reports this data collection will yield.

      I will be utilizing this Website constantly.

  3. jmjohn27 says:

    I agree with the fact that the companies that are first to adapt the new ways of communication will definitely be the ones that survive. I also found the idea of making social media interactive interesting. To some extent, social media is already interactive but there is room for improvement. Right now, social media requires people to consciously seek the information (going to a page and becoming a fan or friend). Pretty soon, social media is going to be in-your-face and is not going to need to be sought; it’s going to find the public instead of the other way around. Either way, the people who learn to get good at interactive social media are going to prosper.

    • jlmart20 says:

      This is an interesting concept, as advertisements already find people, rather than people finding them.

      I wonder about what examples already exist that can compliment the argument that social media will seek out people.

      How will it work when it shifts?

  4. slarsonm says:

    This is an awesome Website and a cool tool for not only PR practitioners, but also people interested in their own personal social media building.

    One thing about social media is that we have no idea where it’s going. I am shocked that Facebook has stuck around this long, and it seems to only be growing; Twitter too, although I think Twitter will be replaced with something similar pretty soon.

    The future is completely unknown, so it is hard for people to be on the forefront of it — unless you are Mark Zuckerberg and created it yourself. That’s what’s great about analytics. You can see what people gravitate to, and create something around those preferences.

    I hope social media doesn’t transform into channels that are constantly in your face. Just like I turn off the commercials on TV and unfollow people on Twitter who only post spamish links, I will not participate in social media if it no longer requires me to seek information. The great thing about it is that you can pick and choose which messages you want to receive. If I don’t care about a product, event, whatever, I don’t have to know about it.

    The trick is using social media to make people care about whatever it is you are promoting. Using analytics can provide this insight to tailor message to the audience so they receive it on their own.

    What’s next for social media? I don’t know. But I also agree that whoever is on the cusp will continue to have the advantage in the marketplace.

  5. jlmart20 says:

    it’s interactive thinking that will separate the winners from the losers.

    Check out this interactive stunt/art project that is now being interacted with on YouTube

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rKhbUjVyKIc&feature=player_embedded#!

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