By Jessica Epperly
Statistics is the study of the collection, organization, analysis, and interpretation of data. Statistics appears in almost all areas of science, technology, research and wherever data is obtained for the purpose of finding information. Statistics has been described as the science of making conclusions in the presence of uncertainty. Statistics are gathered and used by almost every sector of private and public enterprise, including medicine, business, educational organizations, governments, etc.
In public relations, statistics can be used to strengthen a pitch or add relevance to a press release. In fact, many journalists prefer statistics when being pitched because statistics help readers visualize a perceived need or pattern of public behavior. The key to utilizing statistics in PR is to make sure you get your statistics from a credible source. It’s one thing to claim a statistic, but quite another to verify it. One way to check on the credibility of a statistic is to see if it has been published elsewhere and if those who published it are also credible sources. In addition, catching statistics soon after they are released to the public can give them added PR or news value. It’s always better to have a current statistic then one that dates to a few years ago — or even months old, depending on the topic and study.
If you’re looking for more information or help on gathering statistics, the American Statistical Association can help.