Alternative data sources to be used in PR campaigns

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  • March 8, 2018
Kerry McGreene

Kerry McGreene

Digital PR Executive

It’s becoming more and more apparent that journalists no longer want “fluffy” survey stories from PRs, they want campaigns that come with stone cold facts.

It can be quite daunting to think about where you can get these official figures, yet there is an abundance of tools out there waiting for you to utilise to create stronger campaigns.

Let’s go through the amazing alternative data sources you can use to give your campaigns an edge over your competitors:


Office for National Statistics (ONS)

The Office for National Statistics or ONS is the country’s biggest independent official statistic producer and is home to thousands of national statistic releases from employment to housing to divorce rates.

Office for National Statistics

The monthly Consumer Price Index is the perfect data source for financial clients who want to comment on inflation and Brits spending habits, while the UK house price index is a potentially helpful data source which could be used for campaigns surrounding the rise in the cost of houses.

ONS holds a wealth of credible data which journalists love, and the best thing about the Office for National Statistics is that it is a completely free open data source – making it perfect for clients on a small budget.

Google Trends

Google Trends is another free data source providing insightful trends data on a worldwide scale. The publicly available data platform allows the user to search for certain topics and queries

Google Trends is a great tool for campaigns that look at what people are searching for in different industries. The platform is ideal for comparing the volume of search queries around a particular search term over a certain period of time or comparing the difference in search volume around two different search terms.

Google trends for Staycation

As Google is the most used search engine in the world, it is a credible and trustworthy data source as it provides data from a large data pool of millions of people around the world.

Freedom of Information (FOI)

The Freedom of Information Act gives the public the right to request information held by public authorities e.g. local councils, health trusts and the police.

The information requested can be anything from the number of arrests made in a city over the last year to the number of speeding tickets issued over the last three years which can help form the base of your campaign.

As with ONS and Google Trends, FOI’s are completely free, however, the organization you send an FOI request to has up to 30 days to reply, so make you leave enough time to get the information you need for your campaign.


If you are looking to run a campaign which explores consumer behaviour, Statista may be a great alternative data source to use.

While it may not be free, Statista is home to thousands of market reports on consumer and digital markets.

Statista portal

The platform works closely with an array of market leaders in research and specialist institutions in a variety of sectors from hospitality to travel and tourism to produce the latest and most credible reports on the market.

Crimson Hexagon

As social media becomes more of an integral part of our daily lives, it can be innovative to interweave social listening into campaigns – and Crimson Hexagon is a great platform to do this.

The social listening tool pulls data from social media and all over the internet to allow users to discover how, where, when and who people are talking about a particular topic or search query.

The tool also allows users to pull the most popular hashtags surrounding a certain topic, as well as discovering the most popular emoji’s that have been used over a certain period of time.

Bonus: Your own company data!

This may not be applicable to every brand out there, but more often than not you can be your own alternative data source!

Are you an e-commerce site that sells beauty products? Great, you can use your own data to create a campaign revealing the most popular beauty products in each city of the UK. Or are you a holiday provider? You can use your own data to reveal top holiday destinations for each city in Britain.

So, there you have it. These are some of the many alternative data sources out there for you to create stronger and more newsworthy campaigns.


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