“We’re having a lot more success and wasting a lot less time”: How FINN Partners leverages NewsWhip’s predictive monitoring capabilities

June 9, 2023

Written by Mark Brown
Professionals in every industry dream of having the kinds of insights that are now commonplace in sports, where athletes and executives can tap into stats mid-play to gain an advantage over their opponents. The reality, however, is that many of those real-time insights are available – if you have the right tools.

Just ask Barry Reicherter, Global Intelligence chief at FINN Partners, a marketing and communications agency with offices around the world. Reicherter is an expert at applying data, using that information to shape the advice FINN Partners provides their many big-name brand clients. Surveys and third parties syndicated data are go-to sources for data, but Reicherter says it’s also important to pair that information with trends developing on social media as an effective way to validate survey insights.

“People don’t always answer completely truthfully in a survey compared to the actions they take,” he says. “Looking at any one data set at a time doesn’t really do it, but comparing and contrasting the correlating data with what people are saying on social is really where the best insights come from.”

Validating insights

That’s where NewsWhip comes in. It allows FINN Partners to see if consumer behavior matches its data. “One of the things we like about NewsWhip is that we can correlate the trajectory of a story,” he says. “We’re able to actually use real-world data that’s recent and fresh and be able to kind of pattern and simulate a story before even having to put it out there ourselves.”

These insights let them to test and prove hypotheses about how audiences will respond to a story before it’s published. Being able to optimize a communications strategy in advance is particularly useful in crisis management, where a firm can use NewsWhip to assess the effectiveness of its plan before putting it into action. “That saves a huge amount of time, and it prepares our clients and their executive leadership to know that if something happens, we need to react in a certain way,” explains Reicherter.

The predictive technology built into NewsWhip’s platform is another feature that shouldn’t be overlooked. “You can kind of start to see when stories peak and when they disappear,” he says. And when a story jumps from one social media channel to another, NewsWhip can show clients where it is getting continued interest.

Keeping up with reporters

Building relationships with journalists is another way FINN Partners helps clients connect with audiences. Keeping up with where those journalists are working, however, has been challenging. “Reporters are so transitory,” says Reicherter. “You really can’t know where the stories are being written, who’s writing them the most and how those stories performed.”

Through NewsWhip’s platform, users can see where journalists’ stories appear, but the platform also shows what other topics and stories reporters are covering and working on. It gives the agency a way to engage reporters with whom they already have a relationship with pitches for other clients.

To illustrate, Reicherter says you might have a reporter who’s been covering boating and fishing, but NewsWhip might show that same reporter also writes about white water rafting, which might align with the business of another client.

He says that when you’re only engaging a reporter about one specific topic, you may not know which other areas they follow. By gaining these insights, FINN Partners can find opportunities to introduce reporters to a broader set of clients, says Reicherter.

Shortening surveys

While NewsWhip doesn’t replace surveys and research, it shapes how information is collected. Now before Reicherter sends out a survey, FINN Partners can make educated guesses on how people might respond. That helps them create better questions and in less time.

“Every question you add to a survey is more time it takes to respond, which increases the likelihood that somebody won’t complete it,” he says. “The longer the survey, the more costs, the greater the likelihood you’ll not get the respondents that you want.”

When describing NewsWhip’s greatest attribute, Reicherter doesn’t mince words. “It’s the quality of the information,” he says. Bad information and false positives can cripple research and undermine a client’s trust. One misstep can cast doubt on everything else, he says.

“When you have something like NewsWhip you know you can count on because it is verified sources, that’s priceless,” he says. “We’re having a lot more success and wasting a lot less time.”

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