Using Numbers to Improve PR Content
Numbers and statistics can make a significant difference in open, click-through and call rates, Pat Friesen asserts in 8 Tips on How to Make Your Copy More Engaged with Numbers. Here’s a step-by-step strategy on how to integrate numbers into your next pitch, campaign, or presentation to executives.
Step 1: Choose Your Numbers
Specifics are always better. Think about it: Would you rather read about a company offering multiple products from multiple brands, or a company offering 25 types of computer software from 5 bestselling brands?
Friesen sharesone unusual fact: odd numbers are more believable than even numbers. A statistic of 27%, for example, seems more exact than 30%. Note: This doesn’t encourage writers to skew statistics, but it may be more effective to keep precise numbers rather than round them up or down, or add a decimal point.
Step 2: Lay Out Your Data
Numbers also provide the data to add a colorful chart or graph into boring, gray copy.
In Convert Complex Data Into Simple Logical Stories, Avinash Kaushik explains that the best way to present data is by using the numbers to tell a story.
Kaushik urges PR pros to ask: Is the macro point clear?
“We are not as awesome as we need to be when it comes to presenting data clearly, logically and simply, and I’m convinced that this contributes to the business world being less than ideally data driven.” — Avinash Kaushik
Step 3: Show Your Story
According to Neil Patel’s research, infographics with the following qualities receive:
The story that the numbers tell is more important than the numbers themselves. Data should always be depicted in a visual instead of a table so readers can understand the flow and meaning of your story (think: graphic or infographic).
There are quite a few online tools that allow you enter data for chart creation. But Microsoft Office is your best bet: you have more control over the data and you don’t have to upload the data anywhere. Microsoft’s support site is equipped with great tutorials on how to create all the different types of charts. Many content creators are also making use of Microsoft Word’s SmartArt, which compiles pre-made graphics that are ideal for visualizing lists, definitions, and statistics.
Neil Patel provides the set of requirements for effective infographics in How to Create a Popular Infographic. Based on Patel’s study of infographics and their impact on Twitter, successful infographics have the following qualities:
- Complimentary colors instead of multiple random colors
- Large fonts
- Custom illustrations rather than simple graphs and charts
- Company logos and source information to confirm credibility