How the Tech Tapestry Can Work for PR Measurement

It’s no secret that during times when budgets are slashed, marketing and communications teams are forced to do more with less. Whether there is a reduction in team members or resources, everyone needs to work together even more closely to get the job done. 

 To help alleviate this burden, many teams look to technology. For many years, ad teams, marketing specialists and PR pros have worked in silos, each choosing different tools to measure their campaign results. However, if each group is working toward the same goals, it makes sense to integrate data. Software and data can, and should, be combined across departments. This is where the tech tapestry comes in. 

What is a "Tech Tapestry"?

The “tech tapestry” is an idea introduced by Zach Silber, chief innovation officer, managing director at Kivvit. 

Silber believes the “tech stack” will soon become “tech tapestry,” because of how tools and data are integrated. 

“To build a tech tapestry, you need to start out with a recognition that no single tool is a silver bullet,” Silber says. “There is no PR or ad technology that can do everything, certainly not well. Building a tech tapestry means you have to be just as focused on a product’s limitations as its core capabilities. Knowing what a product cannot do is incredibly powerful, not only for building your tech tapestry, but also for educating internal teams and clients...Transparency is key to successfully scaling data and analytics within an organization.”

Where to Begin

If you are looking to take this approach across your organization when it comes to campaign measurement and data,  different departments need to come together earlier in the process. Anil Batra, managing partner at Optizent, a digital marketing & analytics consulting and training company, says working together collectively is key. 

“In my experience, a lot of organizations do not share knowledge between teams, so they all act individually and duplicate efforts, wasting time and money,” Batra says. “Have a weekly/monthly sync to share the campaign each team is working on, and the insights from previous campaigns, so that every team can benefit from it.”

After determining the key players for your team, collectively decide on the type of campaign goal to figure out measurements from there. 

“We measure the impact of a news story through the lens of what kind of campaign we need to run,” Silber says. “That could mean amplifying a good story to target audiences or mitigating a negative story by delivering fact-check content to exposed audiences. But to determine what action to take, or deciding that no action is required, you need to be measuring more than reach, volume, reads or shares. You need to understand which audiences are engaging with your issue or brand. That could mean the influencers driving a conversation as well as the distinct personas of audiences reading or sharing a story. Integrating this information requires more than one data tool or product, which is why a tech tapestry is essential.”

Examples of Success

Working collectively allows everyone to adhere to the same data, developing an understanding between departments. Batra says trust is an important component of an integrated measurement system. 

“Different tools provide different results, so having an integrated data system ensures that everybody is using the same data set to make the decisions,” he says.” It ensures that data is of high quality and can be trusted across the organization. If you can't trust the data, then you can't make any decisions that you can stand behind. This also ensures that everybody speaks the same language, and uses the same terms when it comes to data and insights.”

Silber says the tech tapestry approach has worked particularly well for his clients in higher education. 

“Traditional firms in the higher education space assume that a prospective applicant sees an ad that says “Apply Now” and are magically compelled to click and fill-out an application,” Silber says. “That is not how the world works. According to our data, the first touchpoint with a prospective applicant is going to last less than 90 seconds and there is an 85 percent chance they will be on a mobile device. So why waste a first impression with a call-to-action that isn’t going to happen? (Our) approach to higher ed enrollment harnesses the validation of positive news coverage to first create awareness and interest. Integrating PR with marketing this way is ultimately more effective but is also far more challenging because it requires integrated data systems to support it.”

Silber says all teams need to be measuring the trajectory of a story, because “the earned media process no longer ends when a story posts. That’s really when it begins.”

Nicole Schuman is a reporter for PRNEWS. Follow her @buffalogal