Bring Your Business to Life: How to Use Data-Driven Storytelling to Visualize a Story

data driven storytelling in public relations
data driven storytelling in public relations

Data-driven storytelling is the PR trend of using data such as survey results, interviews, existing database facts, and more to drive home a specific narrative – or story – via visual means.

By harnessing the power of data points, you can bring to the forefront insights, trends, or patterns within the data to tailor messages and campaigns.  In other words, you can show instead of just tell.

Here’s how to do it.

  1. Collect your data – Research, collect, and analyze data to help tell the story of your company, client, or project. Use survey results, interviews, experiment results, existing databases and reports, market data, quick polls, public datasets, government reports, and more to collect data. Ensure the data you pull is credible and accurate. 
  1. Find the narrative – Once you have all the data points relevant to your project, start to identify patterns, trends, cause-and-effect relations, or even any out of the ordinary data points. See what facts you can pull that help reinforce the key messages of your project or business.
  1. Tell the story – Create an easy to understand story that has a clear beginning (introduce the problem), middle (present data and trends), and end (conclusion with implications drawn from the data).  
  1. Create visuals – Once you have your story arch, you can either use the straight date or make the data easily accessible via visual representations. Use illustrations, graphs, infographics, and more to highlight facts. Make sure you include data source reference for each image.
  1. Pitch the story – Pitch your data-driven storytelling feature as an exclusive to one outlet or work on getting it placed in several media publications. Ensure a thorough press release and JPEGS of each visual are readily available to explain the process. Have a spokesperson on hand in case media want an interview. 

You can also use these data points and visualizations for an annual report, website, blog post, or more.

Here are some recent examples in the media of data-driven storytelling. 

The Guardian UK Election Results

The Guardian – Heat Trapping Emissions in Australia

New York Times – Teens and Social Media

New York Times – How Much Congestion Pricing Would Have Made in One Morning in Manhattan

Washington Post – The Human Limit Series


McDonald’s Golden Opportunities

Your campaign doesn’t need to be as in-depth as these, but this gives you an idea of how media use data driven graphics to visualize a story for their audience.

Want to learn more?

Check out these books that help you take a deeper dive into data-driven storytellling.

Storytelling with Data

Cool lnfographics

Storytelling with Data: Let’s Practice!

Need graphics for your next campaign?

At The Eloise, we have an in-house design team who can help you create visual graphics for your next campaign. Get in touch for more information.

In Closing

In today’s fast and visually stunning world, data driven storytelling can be used to further enhance your next campaign.

Do you have any examples of cool data-driven storytelling in public relations? If so, leave a comment below.

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