How PayPal Helps Journalists Tell Stories With Its Data

Data isn't always shared with journalists in a way that's easy for us work with. Part in parcel, we are sometimes too busy to mine through a press release's insights in order to pull out a compelling story. When a communicator cares to do that for us, the result is mutually beneficial.

Amanda Miller, Director of Corporate Communications, PayPal

As PayPal's director of corporate communications, Amanda Miller understands that financial data can be difficult to analyze. To that end, her team goes to great lengths in order to make sure that they share data in a manner optimized for storytelling.

"I believe that the relationship between a publicist and a reporter is a partnership, a collaboration," says Miller. "We both have a job to do, and it's my job to give you the information you need to tell the story that I want you to tell, then work with you to help make sure that the facts are accurate."

Miller will be sitting on an all-star panel at PR News' Media Relations Conference, going down December 5-6 at D.C.'s National Press Club, to discuss how communicators can work better to get journalists the engagement they need.

So how, exactly, does PayPal package its data and insights in a way that easily leads journalists to a story? Miller shared with us some best practices, and lessons that PayPal learned along the way.

Less is more when it comes to sharing data

"We learned to just share fewer," says Miller. "Just because we have all this data and information doesn't mean we have to use it all."

"Part of the opportunity of being in the public communications function is being able to look at everything and say, 'What is the most compelling data? What do I think will help our reporters tell a story about what's happening, then package it up and ship it over?'

By focusing on specific data points relevant to its, PayPal has learned not only to not overload the journalists they work with, but to ensure that those journalists will apply the data insights to tell the story that PayPal is trying to tell.

An engineer's approach to communications

PayPal takes an engineering approach to communications: launch, learn and iterate." 'Launch, learn and iterate' is a phrase that engineers use when they're pushing out a project," explains Miller.

"We take that approach to the way we communicate in the social media space. So we keep learning, we keep analyzing, and we keep evolving. We keep revising the content accordingly, which is the real iteration of it. We know video content is king, so we continue to innovate with video and graphics. It's a constant evolution."

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