Why Big Data Matters to Public Relations

Forrest W. AndersonIn a recent post on IPR’s LinkedIn Forum, Forrest Anderson, Independent Consultant and founding member of IPR’s Measurement Commission, explains why Big Data matters to public relations professionals.

Forrest Anderson defines Big Data as burgeoning amounts of data on stakeholder behavior from sources such as government statistics, product warranty forms or retail loyalty cards. These resources give PR professionals a competitive advantage when forming communications policy.

Anderson’s post quickly sparked a dialogue between skeptics and supporters. Those who questioned its relevance to public relations said it was beyond most organizations capabilities.

Fraser Likely, President of Likely Communication Strategies, holds a similar viewpoint and said about 97 percent of enterprises are small and medium sized organizations rarely generate anything that could be considered Big Data.

Even though many organizations do not have access to these resources, Anderson encourages them to use any data that is available in preparation for the potential advent of Big Data.

Though Big Data appears oriented toward sales and marketing, Anderson says it can be alternatively be used to address similar policy and operations questions for employees, communities and other stakeholders.

Join this heated discussion with other communication professionals and academics in IPR’s LinkedIn Forum.

Forrest W. Anderson is an independent communications research and strategy consultant. He is a founding member of IPR’s Measurement Commission.

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