Laura Garrido, partner and communications director at APPLE TREE in Madrid, took part in the meeting ‘How to Cultivate Journalist Relationships in a Digital-First World’, organised by Onclusive in the capital. Rodrigo Sánchez, head of external communications and media relations at Miravia (Alibaba), also participated.
The roundtable discussion focused on the role of data and technology in the work of communications departments and public relations agencies. Commenting on this, Garrido said: “Companies are placing growing importance on strategic PR and increasingly ask us to be involved right from the beginning of the campaign.”
Naturally, the communication strategy should seek to resolve any known issues the brand may have, but it should do so in an innovative way, what we at APPLE TREE call ‘NEW THINKING. It should also evoke emotion in the target audience. Once this connection is made, we move closer to achieving the campaign’s objectives. This is why it’s so important that communication professionals are involved in the development and conception of campaigns from the outset.
“The advent of big data has increased the importance of communication departments within companies. Thanks to the data, we are able to demonstrate that we have a real impact on business,” said Sánchez, citing this as one of the key transformations in the world of communication. He added, however, that “there is still a long way to go when it comes to interpreting data in media intelligence.”
There’s no doubt that communication professionals are now equipped with a wealth of big data and measurement tools that make the task easier. However, it was highlighted during the meeting that clarity around the strategy and the metrics that will be used to achieve it is crucial. Clients nowadays want to see not only a clear impact in the area of communication – essential to evaluating our performance – but also the impact on the business, i.e. their profit, their sales, their ability to attract talent, brand building and so on. It was emphasised in the meeting that all of these factors are quantifiable and should constantly be monitored.
Data brings meaning to the communication strategy
At APPLE TREE, we have always been very clear that strategy always starts with data and analysis of consumers, the market and the customer’s situation. For this reason, we are one of the few communication agencies with an internal strategic analysis department. This allows us to work from clear insights and starting points when developing communication strategies for our clients.
Today’s technology has enhanced this data, allowing us to anticipate the needs of future consumers with more precision. However, our approach is still creative and responds strategically to the client’s needs.
To further these aims, APPLE TREE has developed its own tools and services, such as the Relevance Index, which is a tool that tracks the relevance of brands in real-time, and the State Of Opinion Metric, which allows us to help brands determine the best points at which to deploy communication actions. The latter was particularly useful during the pandemic when making business decisions such as product launches or advertising investment.
Finally, we use a Monitoreo 360º system that goes beyond social media monitoring, and tracks brand mentions in traditional media articles and podcasts.
Our digital communication department focuses on conversion services, such as customer relationship marketing (CRM) consultation. It has been adding value for our clients for years through data analysis and a profound understanding of ROI.