I’ve always had an ambivalent relationships with Maths. It’s not a subject that comes easily to me, I have clear memories of battling my way through it at school, occasionally glimpsing a small chink of light but mostly swimming in a fog of frustration. Figures became slightly more comprehensible at Economics A-level, somehow applying sums to the real world made it seem clearer, but essentially I’ve always felt maths is a door that remains firmly closed to me and even worse, that if I could somehow prise it open, I’d love what was behind it.
Clearly PR isn’t a profession where its practitioners are renowned for their statistical skills, being able to calculate AVE was about as far as it went. But increasingly I think data analysis will become a vital skill in PR. Whether it’s understanding web analytics or mining monitoring data or figuring out how you can game the search algorithm to get your clients to the top (not your area of responsibility? watch out because those SEO guys are closing in on PR territory). Business owners love figures and you need to be able to demonstrate your value in cold hard stats.
image courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/akirsa/