It is no secret that solid data is the key to successful digital PR campaigns, with many publications keen to ensure that the information they are sharing is authoritative, credible and relevant. Similarly, many digital PR agencies and strategists will also want to ensure that their ideas are as creative, refreshing and original as possible. But how can digital PR campaigns strike this perfect combination between authoritative and original? Our answer is through primary data.
Primary data is used to describe where information and values have been extracted through first-hand data collection methods, typically through conducting surveys, interviews, experiments and other research using main sources. Although it is typically more difficult and expensive to collect than secondary data, it is often more valuable for digital PR campaigns for countless reasons.
Primary data is often collected to prove or disprove a hypothesis or shed light on an interesting debate. Since these hypotheses can vary significantly by client and topic, the approaches required to collate such data can too. However, there are a few primary data collection methods that are particularly popular, and for good reason! These include:
By acquiring primary data rather than simply re-using existing, secondary data, you are more likely to offer a campaign that is new and exclusive so appeals more to journalists in turn.
In fact, fresh and innovative angles will undoubtedly offer more value to journalists than ideas and datasets that they themselves have shared before, or that have been shared widely by other publications before.
Primary data collection methods open up a whole range of different approaches to topics, and brands that take advantage of these first are often most successful.
Acquiring primary data will also give you a lot more freedom when it comes to ideation, since you can craft ideas first and later source the data yourself to achieve these. By comparison, when you utilise secondary data, you can only pursue ideas that existing datasets can support.
This is especially true as a result of primary research types like heartbeat surveys, sleep surveys and mood surveys, since these allow your agency or business to tap into more specific, scientific methodologies and therefore experiment with exciting new ideas that have not been used previously.
By collating and analysing data yourself, you will receive far more credit than if you were to simply re-use datasets formulated by others.
In fact, by conducting original research, you have the opportunity to establish your brand or client as an industry thought leader, generating relevant insights into a particular topic for the very first time using your expertise.
One of the biggest pain points of using secondary data as opposed to primary data is that it doesn’t actually belong to you, so how and when you can use it is determined by copyright law and the requests of the original author.
This can be a challenge for those without knowledge of copyright rules, and you may often find that many data sets are off-limits due to the rules attached.
By comparison, retrieving primary data will eliminate this risk and enable you to use the dataset in whichever way you wish, without so many restrictions.
Another difficulty when collecting existing data is that it is often out of date, or varies slightly from the desired topic. In fact, unless you chase new data releases, you will often find that secondary data is not as recent as data that you have collected specifically for the digital PR campaign you are working on.
In a situation where you find yourself wishing that an existing dataset was collated more recently, or had considered more factors or variables, you will often find that conducting your own, primary research will prove beneficial. It will also enable you to set the time constraints of the research to the one that best suits your use.
Have you ever looked at the methodology behind a certain dataset and been critical of the way the data was collected? Well, primary research collection puts you in control of the methodology and research processes, meaning that the data you end up using is one that you are proud to attach your name to and one that journalists deem credible enough to use.
So, now that you know the benefits of using primary data within your digital PR campaign, you also want to understand when it is most advantageous. Here are a few instances where primary data can take your digital PR ideas to the next level:
At uStats.org, our team of highly qualified data analysts are on hand to assist brands with the creation of well-researched, authoritative and original datasets. So, if you want primary data for your next campaign without the hassle, email us today at email@example.com.