As you know, many content pieces and campaigns are based on data, whether those are acquired data, those available online (public data) or data received through freedom of information.

The most important thing is to understand how we came up with information included in our content piece, and be able to explain it to journalists – because they’ll ask!

You can either explain how you came up with your data and include this information in a linkable asset or, simply link your asset to another document where you can explain everything in detail.

Journalists are busy, and if they don’t understand your content piece, they won’t be able to explain it to their readers, and simply won’t cover it.

Here are a few steps you can do to make sure your methodology is clear

  • Include every source that you used to gather your information – best is include URLs so journalists can check where the data is from.
  • Explain any calculation you did – be clear.
  • Be honest about any data that you might be missing (for example if you are talking about regions, but some regions’ data wasn’t available).
  • If your data is based on averages make sure you explain whether that’s average based on monthly data, annual data, or decades.
  • Make sure there are no mistakes, and if you notice one, do amend it and inform press you’ve been in touch with.

Not having a clear methodology or not being able to explain how and why you came up with your results can cost you coverage and links – and also a lot of your time and budget!