It’s undeniable that the world of PR is more data-rich than ever before, with tools like artificial intelligence and machine learning, predictive analytics, content analysis, and statistical and behavioral modeling becoming accessible to more pros. When it comes to measurement, not only do these tools help PR pros find out how well their campaigns did, they also help demonstrate that worth to their employers.
But do tools that claim to be “intelligent” or “predictive” really live up to the name?
“A lot of people will talk about predictive analytics,” said Johna Burke, global managing director, AMEC. “It’s predictive in the sense that it can help them see what happened in a similar situation, to see how they can steer through something. But I don’t know that there’s anyone, anywhere using predictive analytics to really predict what’s going on in a population.”
“For me, the term ‘predictive’ I worry about a little,” agreed Michael Young, global insights manager at Ford Motor Company. “How I use my tools is we set long trends. We have a deep archive, which is what you need to do forecasting in a proper way. Then we’ll have our data scientists forecast it outright. We might be looking at social media, traditional media, a multi-varied view … combined with some kind of e-commerce metric over time.