Friday, November 12, 2010
This is an interesting story about journalists and their ability to handle large data sets. Some reporters are just now harnessing desktop tools to tease important stories out of masses of variables. A question struck me while reading the story. Could PR practitioners do the same? The answer sadly is no. Most that I know don't have the skills with either Microsoft Excel or Access to tackle large-scale projects. To those who say that we don't need these skills, I would retort that some of our clients handle large data-set reporting yearly, and I personally have done large data-set studies. There are warehouses of information available from clients we represent and often there are compelling stories hidden in them -- stories that support reputation or potentially harms it. How long will we wait in the PR business before skilled use of a spreadsheet and relational database are required?