Here is the second of my Blog posts with Dave Samson, General Manager, Public Affairs, at Chevron and current Chairman of The Arthur W. Page Society, answering questions about data, analytics and digital PR.
Forrest Anderson: Obviously, organizations today are using big data in communications and public affairs in part because it is now available and was not in the past. But is the movement to the use of big data a part of a change in the way communications and public affairs are being practiced today? If so, could you characterize that change?
Dave Samson: Our aim is to accelerate our move from being a proactive function to being a predictive function. Here’s why we are headed in that direction.
We spent the last few years moving from a corporate-reporting function to a proactive function focused on driving advocacy through enhanced stakeholder engagement. This approach has served our team well and advanced Chevron’s interests. As a proactive function, we are business-facing; we are strategic versus tactical; we are two-way in our communications verses simply pushing information out to a particular audience; and we measure our success by business outcomes versus the volume of our output. Through this approach, we are driving greater advocacy through more strategic stakeholder engagement and we have established our team as valued advisors inside our business.
But the real promise is if we can move to being a predictive function that takes all the data and information at our disposal and the use of advanced analytics to create real-time actionable intelligence and the ability to predict and manage risks to our business. For example, as a predictive function, we move from simply driving advocacy to driving actions that enable business outcomes. We become more data and results-driven. Our communications moves from being two-way to omnidirectional. And, we move from simply being valued advisors to being an indispensable partner to the business.
Stay tuned for my next post which will include Dave’s comments on organizing to use data and analytics. And thanks to Dave for great input!