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Building conversations and crafting stories are at the heart of all communication. When the food delivery platform, Swiggy, turned five, it told us several stories on its blog. Of its biggest loyalist, a man from Bengaluru, who ordered over 17,900 times. Of biryani beating the dosae to get the most ordered dish tag. Of coffee being India’s go to drink and not chai! And soon, these stories were lapped up by the media. These stories were close to people’s hearts, they triggered conversations, and they were about people like us.

Any great campaign needs a hook. Public relations professionals know this all too well. A PR campaign could be about raising awareness about an idea. It could be about a new study, research findings or a new service/product. The campaign is successful if there’s a hook that your audience is drawn to. And how does this happen? Through insights, of course.

What strategies can you employ to ensure that your campaign is insight-driven?

Tap into data: Where do insights come from? Data, of course. Before charting out a campaign, PR professionals would do well to use data to understand news cycles, media outlets, their niche coverage areas, and engagement levels for specific kinds of articles. Research reports, polling or surveys on people’s media habits, and social media listening also generate data. Sift through all the data, and you will be rewarded with rich insights.

Work as a team: The biggest stakeholder is the client — so make sure you know the brand well, and that includes its goals, objectives and vision. The most effective PR campaign is the one where you the brand trusts you to tell their story and you trust the brand.

When Netflix India launched a mobile plan for its users, it was an insight-driven business decision. The insight was that a majority of Indians consume entertainment on their smart phones. But this business decision was also an effective PR campaign. News articles and analytical features followed. Journalists look for hooks, context and insights — and this story had all of them in good measure. It’s a PR professional’s job to ensure that these elements catch the eye of the media outlet.

Do your own research: Sometimes, brands may not have a new offering but it’s for the PR to ensure that it stays on top of people’s minds. Before you pitch to the client, PR professionals should fall back on good old research. Come up with fresh insights on a certain idea. Ensure there’s a context, and the campaign is relevant. ‘Why now’ is a question all journalists are trained to ask. Answer that, and it’s likely that your campaign finds space. Check and check again if a certain campaign has already been done.

Get your timing right: A lot of good PR is also about when you launch a campaign. Timeliness is at the heart of news, and if you have to find a space, make sure you have a rich insight-driven campaign that’s time bound. Is there some fresh legislation around a topic that your brand has an opinion or stand on, for example? Stay current and updated on all things news, and see where your brand can play a role.

So, what are you waiting for? Let the conversations begin!