By Sofie Skouras

A little while ago I suggested that data needed a rebrand and that comms need to play a key role in making this happen. Easier said than done, I know.

So how can we do this?

The answer is creativity.

We need to start telling more captivating stories about data and be more creative about the way we present it; that’s how we can give it a rebrand. This will help even the scales: balance the good with the bad stories that it gets. PRs should also encourage clients to do interesting things with the potential goldmine of data they’re sitting on.

Comms is often misunderstood and involves a variety of different tasks. But a large part of our role is to tell stories – that’s what we pitch to journalists to get their attention – whether that’s the business story of an exciting company or the individual story of one leader. Give journalists a story that people might actually pay attention to, and they will be interested.

Data USA is an excellent example of how data can be used to tell good stories. And it doesn’t just produce something that looks pretty for the sake of it. It informs people on topics that they might have initially found daunting. It can even help highlight potential social problems.

This last point is particularly noteworthy. A collaborative effort has led to public US Government data visually representing topics and issues such jobs and education, in a way that engages people. More companies should take a leaf out of Data USA’s book.

When it comes to data, it’s not all doom and lack-of-privacy gloom. Data’s also being used in clever ways to help us better understand the world, and a little more creative thinking will help people see many the benefits of data as opposed to just pointing out its flaws.

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