Last year, for several hours, I sat next to a couple of college freshman studying computer science and watched their eyes glimmer as they scanned open source data on crime rates and police response. Sitting near them were journalists from outlets such as the Boston Globe and the New York Times doing the same thing.
The journalists had ideas for the stories they could tell if only they could better manipulate the spreadsheets before them, while the students kept sorting the data over and over again until they found interesting patterns. Working independently, both groups could eventually come up with some startling, newsworthy information.
But, by working together, they were able to do this more brilliantly, efficiently, and precisely, marrying facts with equally important context, quotes and humanizing details.
Seeing these groups work together was a crystallizing moment. So much of what we do at InkHouse involves paying attention to what’s changing in our world and in our profession in order to keep our clients – and us – relevant. It’s no secret that we are living in a time of dramatic change in media, technology and, unfortunately, believability -- all of which is changing the nature of how we can and should tell stories.
Never before has there been so much data collected and available, and yet we live in a time of “fake news” and growing distrust. Stating ‘facts’ is different than proving facts -- or showing the data. We also know that with so much information swarming in our brains every day, stories need to be even more amazing in order to be memorable.
Many of our clients have enormous amounts of data they collect as part of doing business. And every day new data sets become available to anyone curious enough to go looking for them. Often, the technology employees who have access to the data either don’t have the time or the capability to mine it for insightful information that could be press-worthy. And the public relations team doesn’t know what data the client might have, what condition it’s in or how to access it.
This felt like a problem easily solved. That’s why we now offer Data Storytelling for our clients. This service marries the strong PR-oriented storytelling capabilities of our staff with tech-savvy data scientists who can help us unearth new and interesting insights – that can fuel thought leadership, PR or marketing campaigns.For more information on InkHouse's Data Storytelling capabilities, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.