Sunday, January 6, 2013

The Journalism Trend PR People Must Know

2013 will be the year data dominates journalism and  impacts on how PR professionals work.

This trend will affect us. Journalists will either be a key audience, or remain a critical channel to reach key audiences, in many of our campaigns this year. 

Big Data

Since the mid 1990s journalists have gone online to research stories.  Now there is so much  personal, organisational or issue-related information online, the next step will be mining deeper than ever before into this rich content, to arrive at fresh narratives or strengthen existing stories. 

Increasingly numbers will tell stories.

Reporters now have the tools to sift through mountains of information which previously would warn off even the keenest investigator. Google Fusion TablesTableau, datawrapper and other software allow data to be rapidly crunched, collated, analysed and presented.

So expect two things:
  • PDFs are where data goes to die. Journalists will increasingly demand you present  data in easily accessible formats.  Releasing information in PDF may you look out of date, unhelpful, suspicious or all three.  
  • And beware.  Reporters may now know more about your issues than you think so be prepared when they call in search of a story.
Watch The Guardian's Simon Rogers for more Big Data insights.


Another data-driven change in 2013 will be drop and drag software that lets journalists combine text, imagery, video, audio, infographics, hot spots, apps and buttons into a single story package which can be quickly embedded into a news site. And which consumers can navigate when, how and in the detail they need from a story.

A software package called Storyplanet plans a public launch this year.  Reporters and photographers can use its grid-like architecture to build interactive and visually captivating packets of content for a quick upload to their websites. Read more....

So expect journalists to tell their stories using even more multimedia than they do now.  And don't be surprised if the the new presentation tools create more demands on us to offer up more than documents and someone to interview. 


Anonymous said...

Surprised most PRs don't know this yet, given News Ltd employed at least one data journo in early 2012 and the ABC has had them for a while, too.

Bob Crawshaw said...

Thanks very much for your comment. While most PRs may know about Big Data journalism, some do not realise its impact or burgeoning extent. In a recent media workshop some government communicators knew that inquiries from journalists are becoming more sophisticated but did not link this to data mining. And you're right:the ABC has been doing this for some time. In fact last year the ABC entered one of 49 entries in the inaugural Big Data Journalism awards.