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Growth Hacking Free PR

Promoting your business amongst a sea of endless advertising content can be both difficult and frustrating. Imagine a magical way to promote your business on major platforms, such as The New York Times and Bloomberg. Better yet, what if you could gain this promotion… for free? Fortunately, such magic does exist and as Netta Kivilis, the CXO of Blue Seedling, explained in her talk it can be classified under the practice of data journalism.

What is data journalism?

Though the name can appear a tad abstract, data journalism itself is simply reporting on data insights or data points. In fact, you’re probably more familiar with data journalism than you would think. The maps and graphics you see on sites, including Bloomberg graphics and the Washington Post, are actually products of data journalism. A great example of data journalism in action would be the classic “How Y’all, Youse, and You Guys Talk” article from the New York Times. This research project transformed into one of the most popular articles of 2013, only taking 11 days to accumulate more views than any other existing Times article. Former graduate student and New York Times intern Josh Katz, used 10-year-old linguistics data from Harvard University, applied some statistics to them and created an interactive quiz and map in which users could visually associate physical locations in the U.S. with the language they use. Ultimately, Katz’s article granted him national recognition and a permanent position with one of the most prominent news outlets of all time.

As demonstrated above, visual displays of large data sets are interesting and can easily attract attention. But how is this applicable to startups? Data journalism presents tech startups with the unique opportunity to function as sources of data nuggets and supply them to larger publications. Any data you have, including your customer base, sales data and more serve as relevant data insights. Content distribution and marketing are hard. For example, getting your company to successfully appear on Google search results can be a challenge. However, as Kivilis mentioned, “Data journalism is content marketing that actually works,” it’s basically free pr in mainstream media. Consider it as a small investment in content with a large payoff in free distribution. For more information on what the process of data journalism looks like for your startup, continue to read the LAB’s Miami Growth Hacking blog series.

As always, we hope you continue to learn, act and build with the LAB Miami.