Is PR art or science

A Sixth Sense: Is PR a Science or an Art?

One of the impacts of the evolution of digital has been the increased intelligence around consumer behaviour. But has this reliance on data decreased the requirement for creative excellence? Splendid Communications led a panel discussion on the topic[1].

They explored the tension between the use of data to inform the creative and the freedom of intuition.

Data has enhanced the ability to tap into the right people in the right place at the right time. So, when there is such a wealth of data available, why would brands go out on a limb and challenge an insight that has proven to resonate with your target demographic at a certain time?

Data-lead creativity will most certainly limit failure, however will it push boundaries and be pioneering? All of your peers have access to the same third party data as you, and sometimes your USP is not quite enough to cut it with today’s time poor audience. How to make them care is just as big a challenge as always was.

So is PR an art or science? The answer is both, however the role of the art should not be diminished due to increasing capabilities of the “science”.

Key Take Outs

  • Thinking of PR as relating to the public will unlock creative routes that span across multiple touch-points
  • Applying a people-first creative approach will unlock a real world truth that take you along the path of finding an idea that people give a damn about
  • Data most definitely has a role in planning how to amplify the idea, however the idea should earn credibility and be strong enough to remain intact wherever it is told
  • For a full understanding of how the idea resonated, development of a multi touch-point KPI matrix will help align with business goals



[1] The Panel:

Gavin Taylor – Head of Performance, Splendid Communications

Oli Francis – Head of Creative in Content PR, Sky

Daisy Hawker Wallace – Head of PR, Virgin Trains

Serena Mariani – Sr. Global Marketing Manager, Digital-Oral Care Brand, Unilever