PR & Lattes

A latte with Angela Dwyer

April 05, 2024 Matisse Hamel-Nelis Season 3 Episode 5
A latte with Angela Dwyer
PR & Lattes
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PR & Lattes
A latte with Angela Dwyer
Apr 05, 2024 Season 3 Episode 5
Matisse Hamel-Nelis

Send us a Text Message.

In this episode, Matisse chats with Angela Dwyer, Head of Insights at Fullintel, about all things data and metrics in PR and communications.

About Angela Dwyer
Angela Dwyer is Head of Insights at Fullintel—a media intelligence company specializing in news monitoring and analysis. As a measurement expert, she helps brands improve business results through data-driven, actionable insights. She has worked at public relations agencies, including Lippe Taylor, and media research firms, including PRIME Research, consulting with brands across several industries, including consumer, healthcare and automotive. She has presented and published several original, award-winning research papers about news content that drives recall and engagement.

She contributes her knowledge garnered from the cross-section of academia and the profession on several committees and boards, including as the director of the International Public Relations Measurement Commission, as co-chair of the Public Relations Society of America North Pacific District, and as a member of the International Public Relations Research Conference Board. Her contribution to the field has been celebrated with several industry awards. She has been recognized with a PRNEWS People of the Year Award as a Data & Measurement Game Changer, a PRNEWS Top Women Award in the Industry Champions Category, and an AMEC Rising Star recognition as an innovator in communication measurement.

Connect with PR & Lattes:
Website: PR & Lattes
Instagram: @PRAndLattes
Host: @MatisseNelis

Show Notes Transcript

Send us a Text Message.

In this episode, Matisse chats with Angela Dwyer, Head of Insights at Fullintel, about all things data and metrics in PR and communications.

About Angela Dwyer
Angela Dwyer is Head of Insights at Fullintel—a media intelligence company specializing in news monitoring and analysis. As a measurement expert, she helps brands improve business results through data-driven, actionable insights. She has worked at public relations agencies, including Lippe Taylor, and media research firms, including PRIME Research, consulting with brands across several industries, including consumer, healthcare and automotive. She has presented and published several original, award-winning research papers about news content that drives recall and engagement.

She contributes her knowledge garnered from the cross-section of academia and the profession on several committees and boards, including as the director of the International Public Relations Measurement Commission, as co-chair of the Public Relations Society of America North Pacific District, and as a member of the International Public Relations Research Conference Board. Her contribution to the field has been celebrated with several industry awards. She has been recognized with a PRNEWS People of the Year Award as a Data & Measurement Game Changer, a PRNEWS Top Women Award in the Industry Champions Category, and an AMEC Rising Star recognition as an innovator in communication measurement.

Connect with PR & Lattes:
Website: PR & Lattes
Instagram: @PRAndLattes
Host: @MatisseNelis

Matisse Hamel-Nelis:

Hello and welcome back to PR & Lattes, the podcast where you can fill up your cup on everything PR and communications. I'm your host Matisse Hamel-Nelis, and I am so happy to have you join me today for a brand new episode. Before we get started, make sure you subscribe to this podcast wherever you're listening to it to get notified each week during the season when a new episode drops. You can also subscribe to our newsletter by visiting our website PRandlattes.com. On the website, you can find our podcast episodes plus our amazing blogs with new ones being uploaded every Monday morning. And of course, make sure you're following us on social media on Instagram at@PRAndLattes and on LinkedIn PR& Lattes. On today's episode, I'm chatting with Angela Dwyer, the head of insights at FullIntel, a media intelligence company that specializes in news monitoring and analysis. As a measurement expert Angela helps brands improve business results through data driven actionable insights. She has worked at public relations agencies, including Lippy Taylor and media research firms including PRIME research, consulting with brands across several industries, including consumer, healthcare, and automotive. She has presented and published several original award winning research papers about news content that drives recall and engagement. Angela also contributes her knowledge garnered from the cross-section of academia and the profession on several committees and boards, including as the director of the International Public Relations Measurement Commission, as co-chair of the Public Relations Society of America's North Pacific District, and as a member of the International Public Relations Research Conference Board. Her contribution to the field has been celebrated with several industry awards, including being recognized with a PRNEWS People of the Year Award as a Data and Measurement Game Changer, a PRNEWS Top Women award in the Industry Champions category, and an AMEC Rising Star Recognition as an Innovator and Communications Measurement. I am so thrilled to chat with Angela today about all things data and metrics and who better to have that chat with them her. So grab your latte, sit back and enjoy. I am so excited for today's episode talking about all things metrics and numbers and data with Angela. Angela, welcome to PR & Latte.

Angela Dwyer:

Thank you. Great to be here.

Matisse Hamel-Nelis:

Oh, this is gonna be such a great conversation. Before we dive into the nitty gritty and all the good stuff. Can you tell us a little bit more about yourself and your journey in PR and communications?

Angela Dwyer:

Yeah, absolutely. So I focused on media measurement. I'm immediate measurement expert. I've been in the field for about 15 years. And I started off in public relations and after grad school found my way to the research side of things. And I've been doing this both on the agency side as well as at research firms. Currently, I'm at full Intel, which is a media monitoring and analysis company, where I focus on measurement and helping brands show the value of the work they're doing. And help them also learn how to improve their business performance. So that's really my focus area, I'm delighted to be here, I get to be involved with the with multiple organizations that keep me up to date and contributing, both on the academic side. And on the professional side. Some of the organizations I'm involved with include the International Public Relations Research Conference. I'm just getting back from that conference, as well as IPR, the Institute for Public Relations. I'm the director of the measurement commission, which is just a brilliant group of some of the best minds in measurement.

Matisse Hamel-Nelis:

Amazing! What led you to focus on measurement in your career, because usually when you think PR people are like, please don't give me numbers.

Angela Dwyer:

And 100%, that was me. I was terrified of numbers. So as an undergraduate, I chose public relations. Because I was great at words. I was a storyteller. I was fantastic at that piece. And I was terrified of numbers. I'm not gonna lie. I didn't take a math class in all of my undergraduate studies, I miraculously passed an AP test when I was in high school. And I somehow avoided the semi required statistics class. During my undergrad when I was in a research class, you actually could pick Do you want to do the focus group qualitative? Or do you wonder, the survey quantitative, and I picked focus group, I said, Great, I can do that. Well, I went on to grad school. And that's really when my eyes open to research. I took a few great measurement classes at Boston University. And really, when it came down to if you asked me what I wanted to do, I would pretty confidently reply strategic PR. I love the strategy. I love the big ideas. But as I thought more about IT strategic simply means research based, right? It just means that you are making decisions that are informed by research. That is what makes it strategic. And because of that I became more and more fascinated with the side of research, because I think that is what makes us make better, smarter, more strategic decisions. And as I left grad school, I took my first job media measurement, and have never looked back.

Matisse Hamel-Nelis:

Amazing. Amazing. I love that because so many I teach myself at Durham College here in just outside of Toronto. And so many students when they hear the concept of metrics, data numbers that are like, Hi, we're in PR, we don't we don't do the numbers. But it's such an important role in what we do. It helps us shape like you said, our strategies and how we pivot if we need to pivot on a campaign if things aren't going the way we thought. So it's such an important part that I think gets sort of swept under the rug almost when it comes to what PR is all about. So that's why I'm so excited to have you on the show today to talk about all this great stuff.

Angela Dwyer:

Yeah.

Matisse Hamel-Nelis:

So with your extensive experience in communication research, how do you approach a new project or study to ensure that you're covering the most actionable insights for business leaders to be able to understand grasp and create a strategy from?

Angela Dwyer:

Yeah, that's a fantastic question. You know, oftentimes, we find people thinking about measurement at the end of the campaign, or after, you know, at the end of the year, whatever it might be as an afterthought even. But really, measurement should be at the beginning, middle and end of any campaign, any project because it can inform what you're doing. It can provide a pulse to see are you moving in the right direction? And then of course, the end, it does help you evaluate those results. So for me, it all starts with asking the right questions. So when we're developing a measurement framework, or figuring out how we're going to measure the impact of a campaign or work in public relations, it really starts with asking the right questions. And those questions start with well, what are my business goals? What does my organization care about? What are their priorities, because everything we do in communications, should ladder up to that, once we identified the business goal, then we can layer down to the communications goals and objectives. So once we know our communication goals, then we can figure out our measurement. So if we're starting to come up with measurement, we can really honestly just get blindsided by an array of numbers that look interesting, and then not necessarily focus on the right numbers. And when I say the right numbers, those are the numbers of the metrics that align with your goals and objectives. So looking at the business goals, then the communications goals. And then with that in mind, we can look at metrics. And we look at these in a few different ways. We want to look at the outcome. So what are you trying to accomplish? Are you seeking to increase awareness, create a perception or attitude or drive a behavior. Now the goal of public relations is to take people down this journey, from awareness to perception that drives them to our desired behavior. And measurement is part of that whole process and that journey. So we will look at outcome measures, we might look at those that we analyze to a survey, it might be sales data. But then we also look at what we often call output measures. That's your media data, or what you're putting out there to influence your audiences. So when I work on media measurement, it's a lot in the output phase. So I've worked as hard as I can to make those as predictive and close to outcomes as possible. But we need to include all of those in terms of the measurement framework. And honestly, you wouldn't be surprised by the statistics that show us how many people have shared and knowingly shared a metric they did not understand. We've actually seen a few studies about this subsidy 44%, and some say 50%. So roughly half of the people in PR have shared a metric that they didn't even understand. So then we don't want to share metrics just to share metrics, they need to mean something. And that all starts with asking the right questions.

Matisse Hamel-Nelis:

And what if somebody was starting this process? So for example, I know with a lot of the award submissions in PR, they asked, you know, what were your KPIs? What were you measuring towards that sort of thing? And in some cases, people are think about it at the end and go, Oh, yeah, what were we measuring against? What are some of those initial questions they should be asking?

Angela Dwyer:

Yeah, absolutely. So initially, you want to say, what is that behavior? What is that goal? I'm looking to change? Right? So if here's an example, let's say my business, my organization has a goal, to be perceived as a sustainable organization that's going to help my reputation. I have to define an audience. Okay, let's say I have a younger audience, I want to reach Gen Xers, okay? So that's my business goal. So my communications goal would be to support communicating a reputation or building reputation as a single organization. So now my KPIs are going to be that we are perceived as a sustainable organization. You could get that through survey data, that'd be one KPI. Now if you need a media measurement KPI, then you're going to look for sustainable messaging, right and say I have more sustainable messaging than my competitors. In outlets that are reaching Gen Xers, and that could be a specific KPI. And that's one of many we could look at. But at least that gives the idea of how we would translate that into KPI. If we're just looking at numbers, like a share a voice or a key message, it's very broad. So I really do recommend filtering that down to your audience, right and making sure you're reaching that right audience in the way that you're going to effectively reach them. And that's where you set your KPI.

Matisse Hamel-Nelis:

I love that you mentioned the the target audience in particular, because sometimes with businesses and organizations, they say everybody's my target everyone, right, unless ideally, everyone is your target audience. But realistically, when we're trying to make these KPIs and these measurements to see for having that impact, you need to really sketch out what that target audience is so that you can see if you are being as impactful as you want to be.

Angela Dwyer:

absolutely. Audiences key.

Matisse Hamel-Nelis:

Yes, yes. Can you describe a standout project in which your research directly impacted the business results and how you went about it?

Angela Dwyer:

Oh, that's a fantastic question. One that comes to mind is in the healthcare industry, I work a lot and I work across industries on media measurement, the one of the areas, I work a lot with his health care, everything from pharma companies, to hospital networks, to, you know, health organizations. And in one of these instances, this organization was in crisis. And that's actually when they came to us. It was a huge reputational crisis. I mean, there was a loss of life, there was a change in management, there was kind of layers of issues that were going on for this organization in this moment. And I help them ask questions, right, to see necessarily, maybe not what is in front of you, but what is on the horizon. And that's really how our measurement helps them. So they came to us in a crisis situation, we've provided this pulse, this media measurement of, you know, what's going on, how could it be impacting their reputation, which of their actions are working to rebuild that reputation, and what's not. And in the series of doing this media analysis, there was one thing that really stood out to me. And I think that if someone had an in paying attention to this piece, they wouldn't have even noticed it. For this particular organization, we looked at key voices. So all the voices in coverage, and those hospital voices, those healthcare voices, those government voices, they were the most dominant voices in the conversation. And they're the ones that would tend to be positive, right. They're the ones speaking for the organization, trying to defend the organization. And even they were all the way positive because again, they were in a crisis. So they were a little positive, negative neutral. But then there was a small piece of that pie of all these voices in coverage, there was maybe about 3%, a very small piece of the pie. And these were employee voices. And they were negative, they were 100%, negative and a very small piece of that conversation. And by doing this type of research, I was able to pinpoint and say, Hey, this might not be an issue now. But this will be an issue. Because these are the most trusted voices. They're what would call authentic voices. They're people like me. So when your employees speak out, they actually have a very powerful voice. So you know, it was a small piece of the pie. So maybe it wasn't impacting them. Well, this organization was amazing. They listened to the research. And then they made plans around it, they took action. And as part of this action plan, they trained their employees, they spoke to their employees, they facilitated them. And six months later, I looked at their immediate analysis, and that had risen to a, you know, huge portion of that pie thing was about 60% was employee voices. And they were 100% Positive. And I said, these are the voices that are going to shape your reputation. For me, this was a celebration of a brand that was strategic enough to listen, and to not be afraid of even negative or critical coverage, because that's where the most learnings lie. They listened they made change. And you could already see that in their reputation, because they put that emphasis in that action around those employee voices.

Matisse Hamel-Nelis:

Yeah, that's an excellent example. And I think in some cases, people forget that your employees are your biggest advocates. Right? So making sure that what they are saying is positive and you know, aligned authentically, of course, not just saying put those out. But rather authentically that they they're putting out the positive messaging speaks volumes to what your organization is doing. And we can't forget the employees at the end of the day.

Angela Dwyer:

Well, more and more your internal audiences are becoming your external voices. Because I especially with these large organizations, these are your ambassadors. They're the ones that can share and they do come across as more trusted or more authentic, right than a corporate spokesperson.

Matisse Hamel-Nelis:

Yeah, exactly. So we've talked a little bit about this about, you know, media measurement and analysis being so crucial in what we do in public relations and communications. How have the tools evolved during your career and what has that impact had on the industry overall?

Angela Dwyer:

Oh, that's a good question. It has definitely changed. I started in the world of clipping and newspaper print. And I, it's hard to find a newspaper nowadays. Right? So I would say it definitely has evolved, I would say that there are still some people who are kind of more on that starting end. And it can go from more basic to more complicated and more integrated, I would say that's where we have seen wins is that it has become more integrated into what organizations are doing. One of the things obviously, is social media. Right back when I started, it wasn't even a thing. And now, you know, social media has been integrated. But not only that, we have such a changing media landscape. And one of the challenges that we've seen with measurement is, as there are different ways of communicating different outlets, traditional social, is having consistent or standardized metrics. So that's one of the things that I have seen improve. And something we do in my work today, where we're using some standardized metrics across traditional social, I often think that I'm kind of content agnostic, anything that has content, we can analyze, because the way that we're receiving that content is changing. If you ask me, So many things are on the outs, right, we've seen broadcast, kind of on the way out print on the way out, we see layoffs in the media industry, even this year. So we're seeing a lot of changes. Even in the online news environment. We see statistics that 70% of people consume their news on social media. And I'm actually going to bring in a new thing here is I think people are getting media from email newsletters. I think it's that kind of a back back step forward step, essentially, like going back to this good old days, this good old way of consuming an email newsletter, but I think it's become a trusted source for people in an environment where there is content everywhere. And they really are looking to a source that is trusted, and they don't necessarily trust a new source, but they trust a voice. Right? People trust people. So whoever that influencer is that voice of the newsletter is another source. So I often think that the media landscape is changing. But we are still analyzing that content. Because we are still content consumers. It is so much more visual that content than it was right. We consume videos, snippets, interesting pictures, you know, anything that is visual is a much stronger communication element than it was back in the day. So thinking about all of these changes, means that how we measure has also changed, right, that we're still measuring content, but we've adapted it for different environments. And I would say, you know, we've also become a little bit more sophisticated, especially with integrations of AI where we can look at predictive data, right? We can also, I think people are getting smarter. They're appreciating analysis and measurement a little bit more. They're looking at research backed measurement, and not just vanity metrics.

Matisse Hamel-Nelis:

Yeah, that's an excellent point. And I think your to your point of the media landscape changing and shifting, and people consuming stuff more on social media, and even the newsletter, for example, here in Canada, Meta can't post any of our news content anymore, if it's Canadian based, right. So that shifts how people are actually engaging and getting that content, and learning about what's in the news based on what they used to do a year ago, even. Right, so how that metrics has shifted and changed, will definitely impact organizations and how they communicate and how they strategize to get their message out there.

Angela Dwyer:

Absolutely. I mean, we communicate or we understand and receive communication in a very hyper localized manner. Right? I might be getting my neighborhood news on my Ring app, or my neighborhood group on Facebook. Right, that might be a news source for me. So we really do have to think then as communicators, and then as those who are measuring that communication. Where are my audiences? And how are they receiving information? That means we are a lot more specific. There's no longer this day of the mass media, right? We measure everything the same? It's very individualized.

Matisse Hamel-Nelis:

Yeah, for sure. How do you innovate the traditional research methods to address those modern communication challenges?

Angela Dwyer:

That's a great question. For me, it's all about taking a smart approach, because there's no lack of data and numbers. Anyone can give you a number, they can pull it from here. But if you have bad data, you have that insights. So for me, it really comes down to having clean data and clear methodology that is backed by research. So I often think that I sit on this nexus between academia and the practice. And I like to link what we see in academia to what we're doing in the practice, because in my opinion, there's a lot that doesn't crossover. So I really like to look at what's going on the research I conducted my own primary research to develop a metric. It's not something that can just be pulled up out of a hat. Right? We've done enough of that in PR, we need to focus on research based methodologies and metrics, using best practices from academia and bringing those into the practice of PR. So those are my recommendations is really looking towards research that's been done already in academia, and then research that you might do primary research, to test your different hypotheses to make sure that you're using the right methodology. And then when you're gathering that data, making sure that we're looking at the data, cleaning the data, sometimes you will just trust a source with automated data. At the end of the day, you might see that 60% relevant to a human analysis. So you have to ask the right questions and make sure you know what you're consuming in terms of your data.

Matisse Hamel-Nelis:

Exactly. And you answered my next question about blending the approaches. So we're all good there. But, you know, within your 15 years of communication research, what has been the most significant shifts that you think in how businesses perceive and value PR research?

Angela Dwyer:

Overall, I would say there has been an increase in how they value it, because they're learning that this is the key to differentiate and to beat out competition. Right, I haven't experienced when I was at an agency, you're often doing RFPs, you're pitching new business. And as part of that process, we bring in research, and I did a media landscape, I did a measurement. And we brought that into the pitch. And the client made it very clear that we won their business, because of our research and measurement, it showcase that we would take smart approaches. Now, even though they were excited, it's still a challenge to convince people to pay for that. So I often say it's an expected thing. It should be something we should just do and everything we do instead of making it an add on. Even in the agency environment, I say no, let's not add on for a measurement that is as part of working with us. Right, that's not an extra. You know, there's obviously still a notable challenge to get organizations to financially support PR, and PR measurement. Specifically, I've done a study that showed the value of PR in terms of purchase intent. And what we found is that those who are exposed to news, they have a greater purchase intent than those who are exposed to advertising. However, advertising still captures far more marketing dollars from organizations than PR. So I really do argue for what I would call a PR lead approach, where pay dollars are there to supplement your earned work first. So this research is just one piece that is used to justify PR dollars, but also argues for PR measurement dollars at the same time. This is one way that we can show the value of PR Yes, advertising has a place. Right. In fact, there is a value in combining non paid and paid. However, you need to start with that earn first approach for more success in terms of purchase intent.

Matisse Hamel-Nelis:

It's true, it's it's the building of trust, when you have a third party speaking about your organization, and from that earned perspective versus putting paid advertising out there where it's the company talking about how great they are versus somebody else saying how great they are. It doesn't build the trust the same way. And I completely agree with you. It should be a PR led approach, not just because I'm in PR but business sense. Yeah.

Angela Dwyer:

Exactly. What you're saying is there's a lot of credibility that comes from a third party, you know, I Yeah, and it's in the measurement world. With pure measurement. Often times, there are people measuring their own work, and their ethical challenges with that as well. So I do think there is value in using a third party for just that measurement piece. And evaluation, you can often get more insights with a different perspective, a different mindset coming into that. So just another reason why that credibility layer is both in the PR world and in the measurement world.

Matisse Hamel-Nelis:

Yeah, for sure. So you sort of touched on one of these misconceptions, right? Where at advertising money is going to get you more response in terms of the the sell, if you will. But what other misconceptions do you think there are about PR research? And how do you address them with either your clients or even your colleagues?

Angela Dwyer:

Yeah, fantastic question. I think one of them that comes to mind is this idea that everything can be automated. We're so excited about AI and automation, and the capabilities of this untapped, but sometimes users don't ask questions. They don't ask about the data they are consuming. So I quickly touched on this idea that in many cases, an automated news portal will have a sentiment score, that honestly it could be 60% accurate to humans, but nobody knows and nobody asks, and that's irrelevant information. So there's still a lot of room for error. And there are also restrictions based on the data that is you used for remodeling. So I'm a big fan of AI, we've been using AI before AI was cool. We automation for predictive AI metrics in my work. And I often say that I like to use automation where automation makes sense. And I like to use humans where humans make sense. So for a quick pulse, automation is great. But if you're looking for a really nuanced measurement that is required for something a little more specific, I have one thing in mind, which is a trust metric, it's really hard to get with a machine. Right. So in that case, I would want to 100% use my trained human analysts. So that's one thing is that there are some things that can be automated. And there's definitely a role for AI even in measurement. But there's also there's also a an area where maybe it can't be used as effectively. The other thing is to check what model with the model you're using, there's bias, there are different ways that you can train a model. So really asking those questions can be helpful. Another myth is that more is better. Having more metrics more, isn't always better. It's about having, like I've said, the right metrics that align with those goals and objectives. More is not always better. It's really about the right metrics.

Matisse Hamel-Nelis:

Yeah. And also, I think, if there's more metrics than you can handle, if you will, you're gonna get overwhelmed and not know what metrics to properly use to convey the message you want to get across.

Angela Dwyer:

Right? Right.

Matisse Hamel-Nelis:

So how do you stay ahead of the curve with everything changing so rapidly, whether it be media, whether it be AI, you know, everything is changing so quickly, particularly in today's age, especially when it comes to methodology and analysis tools?

Angela Dwyer:

Right. You know, we've talked about the changing media landscape, right, it is so different. We have definitely moved from that massive media to hyper localized media. It also means that we measure impact measure metrics, right, we need to look at the right metrics, metrics, like reach impressions, these really don't mean a lot. Right. So when it comes to this changing media landscape, we need to look more at metrics that look at impact, using that science based methodology that I've mentioned, as well as really looking at audience, right. Are you reaching the right audience? Are you using the right tools? Are you starting with an audience analysis? So these are really important ways to personalize our measurement that should layer up to our personalized communication approaches?

Matisse Hamel-Nelis:

How would you help an organization sort of come up with that audience metric or that audience...that target audience, if you will, that persona, when they're kind of coming in saying everyone's my target audience? And we need to now bring that in? And how do you help them discover what that audience actually is?

Angela Dwyer:

Yeah, that's a great question. You know, we really have to start with audience analysis, there are some tools we can use, we often use social media tracking, to kind of see where people are going, where they're consuming. Their content, there are some that I can recommend, but we can start with those tools. And then really thinking, What are you looking to accomplish? And who is your audience for each of these goals? Because they're going to be different audiences, we need to communicate differently to these audiences. So we just really start by saying, What is your goal? And then who is it that's going to do that? And just breaking it out individually by those audiences? And then tracking? How do they consume information? Who are they following? Which influencers? Do they identify with? Which brands are they following? Which media outlets are they following, and we can look at them across social platforms. So you'll look at this one individual across, we can also integrate social data or I'm sorry, survey data, to look at the audience to really understand who is my audience? Who should I be targeting in this moment? So I really want to start with defining the audience. Once we've done that there's a lot we can do on the media analysis, to break out your media outlets based off of who they're going to reach more effectively. And then we can start being strategic with your measurement about your ad with an audience focus.

Matisse Hamel-Nelis:

Yeah, I think like I said, before, folks, forget that you need a target audience before you start going, you know, full force into everything, because everybody isn't your target audience, unfortunately. But when you tailor it according to specific target audiences, you're going to have better impact and more bang for your buck, if you will, with what you're putting forward. All right. So through your research, you've contributed new ideas to the industry. Can you share one of these ideas and its influence on PR practices?

Angela Dwyer:

Absolutely. So as I mentioned, it's all about taking research and testing out different methodologies to make sure we're getting the right approach with metrics. So using this I've developed predictive recall metrics that help understand how likely news content is to influence audiences. One of the key pieces of research I've done there is around recall, I looked at headlines I looked at Providence I looked at visuals to see which one lead to more recall because at the end of the day, if someone doesn't remember your brand, doesn't even matter. Well, they all need to recall but I found that visual polls are the strongest element in terms of recall. In a second study, I specifically looked at visuals in relation to engagement. And I found that not only do visuals lead to more engaged time with content, but the visual matters, I found that if there's a human element in a visual, it is more likely that a reader is going to engage with that content. I think this is very applicable to anyone in the PR practice, we know that we're very visual society. But this could be a takeaway for your listeners is if you're creating content, think about how do you integrate a human element into your branded visual, whether that's a human holding an object, a human, holding a phone or wearing something, but this idea of that human, we connect with that content more because we are human to connect with humans. And that's something that I think would be really helpful in, in our work in PR, and it's been something that I've integrated into my measurement, and into my metrics around predictive recall, for the field of PR.

Matisse Hamel-Nelis:

Amazing, and it sort of ties into so there's this concept in the accessibility space, where it comes to alternative text on an image. And people say, Well, if it's on social, sometimes it's just decorative, you're using the image for a reason. So it's not decorative. So really, now thinking through that image, and what you're using, or that graphic, and as your point adding in that human so that there's that connection, you know, you're gonna want to describe it to also incorporate that connection for somebody who maybe can't see it, but is listening.

Angela Dwyer:

Absolutely. And that's really your it's all about bringing a story to life, right. And whether you're doing that in words, or you're doing an a visual, and then, you know, interpreting that so everyone can consume that it's really about that visual. So there's really a lot of ways that we can take research and apply that into our practice of PR, whether it's recall metrics, like I've talked about here. Recently, I've been diving into trust metrics, and understanding what is driving trust. And we're able to actually figure out if this news content is likely to build trust with a brand or not based off of research that we've done. So really, if we take that approach, the metrics that we're using, are going to actually provide us information that we can take action on, it's going to be strategic, it's going to help us to make better informed decisions.

Matisse Hamel-Nelis:

Amazing. I'm such a fangirl of yours. What you do is so incredible. And it's just, you know, it is so needed. And I think organizations are now starting to really catch on to the importance of data and metrics and research and why it's needed from, like you said before, at the beginning, middle and end of the campaign, versus just sort of scrambling at the end to say, oh, what metrics? How do we know we succeed. And whether your business is big or small, this is something that we need to consider across the board, especially if you're in consulting or freelancing, helping those smaller businesses understand where research can really help them stand above the rest. So thank you so much for everything that you do. And your team. It's just phenomenal.

Angela Dwyer:

Absolutely. Thank you.

Matisse Hamel-Nelis:

So what advice would you give someone who's looking to enter the field of PR, but moreso, the research side of things, especially in terms of developing their analytical skills?

Angela Dwyer:

Well, there's a lot of opportunity here. I think that understanding AI is critical, because I think the role is going to be more of a manager or a questioner of the machine. I think being curious and just asking questions, is vital for this role. We need people who can look at something and interpret it, not just regurgitate it. So when it comes to those who are looking for analysis, I wouldn't say you're 100% have to be a mathematician, you need to be able to ask the right questions and to be curious, and to figure out how to look at numbers and look at data and tell the story. Because more and more we have the data, we have the numbers, but we sometimes lack the storyteller that puts the points together and finds those connections. So for any student who's there, obviously, yes, learn the programs, learn the machines, learn how to maximize AI. But then at the same time really focus on asking questions like so what and why? When I look at measurement reports, those are often the questions I'm asking. It's what I asked when I kick off a campaign. But it's also what I asked when I measured the end, I say, Well, so what why does this matter? Why do I care about this as a brand, and really focusing on those big picture application moments, is what will help us make smarter decisions. So for anyone looking to enter this field, again, integrate that technology and all of those learnings. But don't forget to keep asking those questions and be curious.

Matisse Hamel-Nelis:

Amazing, and are there any resources or learning opportunities outside from just saying going to university doing your post grad so on and so forth? If somebody's already in PR and they're thinking, I want to learn more about the metric side of things in the data analysis and you know, but I don't have the capacity to maybe go back to school and all that sort of thing, what resources are available for those who want to improve on that front?

Angela Dwyer:

There are several organizations that are often doing training and providing masterclasses and webinars. A few that I love include the Institute for Public Relations. They offer fantastic resources, including master classes. So from everything, like measurement to internal communications, you can find resources there, on IPR, they're always doing research. So they're sharing the latest research. Another resource is prsa. They offer multiple trainings. This is the Public Relations Society of America. They offer trainings and resources. Another one is AMEC. This is a global measurement evaluation organization. They provide a fantastic measurement framework. And if you go to their website, there's an even interactive measurement framework where you can kind of create your measurement framework in real time. It's a great tool, it's free, anyone can use it. So I highly recommend going to Amec as well. And using the resources, they also offer training classes that are fantastic. So these are three organizations that provide resources. And some of them are free or low cost to people who want to learn more about measurement.

Matisse Hamel-Nelis:

Amazing. And I was writing down a couple as you were saying that to look into. Like I said, for myself, metrics has always been something that I know of, and I think of, you know, MRP scores and that sort of thing here in Canada, but it can expand so much more. And I've always wanted to dive a bit more into it. So these resources are definitely going to be on my go to list once we get off this podcast, I'm looking towards the future, what emerging trends in media and communication really excite you most? And how do you plan on exploring them within your research?

Angela Dwyer:

That's a great question. So lots of advancing in an AI in AI, we've talked about this. But one element that particularly interests me, is what is called emotion AI. This is the use of AI to interpret video. So video of people's faces of expressions, and you can actually uncover things like mood, interest perception, there are 1,000s of actually biometric data points that you can capture through video using AI. So historically, we could only get biometric data by putting all these sensors on people in the lab. And it has been used to gauge things like interest or excitement. But there's new technology with AI that will help us understand this type of perception through facial expression and movement, that previously we could only get in a lab, I actually would like to employ this in my research in doing a an experimental survey. And we can also do in a focus group setting but I want to experimental survey using video and analyzing reactions with AI. So I can actually have people consume content, because I care about what type of news content is going to influence readers. So to have that actually read content and using the AI technology, basically understand how is it impacting them? What are their perceptions? Are they likely to purchase based off of this content here? And this is even more accurate than survey, which is a self reported perception. Right? So we're capturing it in a biometric form without having to go to the lab and I think this is fascinating. I think there's a lot of opportunity. Using this type of emotion AI.

Matisse Hamel-Nelis:

amazing that I would read that research. I'd be part of that research. I just sounds so fascinating to me. Well, I don't want to take up more of your time. I really appreciate you spending this time with me to chat about metrics and research in PR. But before I let you go, this is PR& Lattes. So I have to ask what is your favorite go to caffeinated beverage?

Angela Dwyer:

Great question. Well, I'm not a coffee drinker. I'm more of an herbal tea girl. But I can't say no to a Diet Dr. Pepper add a slash a coconut for an even more delicious afternoon treat.

Matisse Hamel-Nelis:

Oh, amazing. That sounds delicious. Oh, okay. I'm gonna have to try that one out. Again, Angela, thank you so much for being on the podcast today. If people want to get in touch or follow you on social, where can they find you?

Angela Dwyer:

Great question will definitely connect with me on LinkedIn. I'm on there. Just search for Angela Dwyer. You'll find me you can also look at fullintel.com. This is my company. It's fu ll i n t l.com. And you can also find me there.

Matisse Hamel-Nelis:

And we'll make sure we have those links in the episode description so everyone can find it really easily. Thank you so much again, Angela.

Angela Dwyer:

It's been a pleasure.

Matisse Hamel-Nelis:

You've been listening to the PR & Lattes podcast. Make sure to subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts so you can get notified each week when a new episode drops. You can also subscribe to our weekly newsletter by visiting our website prandlattes.com. On the website, you'll find our podcast episodes as well as amazing blogs with new ones being posted every Monday morning.

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And of course make sure to follow us on social on Instagram at @PRandlattes and on LinkedIn I've been your host Matisse Hamel-Nelis. Thank you so much for listening, and we'll see you next week with a new latte and guest. Bye for now.