Google Trends: A powerful planning tool for Public Relations

Planning an effective PR campaign has some similarities to writing a good speech: You don’t only have to think about WHO will transport the message, but also HOW he or she will do it. Sometimes an emotional appeal is the best way, and sometimes merely presenting the facts would be the better choice. But how do we decide? 

The simple answer is: research! You cannot persuade your audience if you don’t know anything about them. One especially interesting tool to do primary research is Google Trends.

It provides insights about the level of interest in a keyword over time, by geography and categories, based on the several hundred million search queries made via Google each day. By examining current trends, you can get an idea how to add additional value to a product or service.

Furthermore, it simply can help you to decide through which channel(s) you want to transport your message. It is no secret any more that social media plays an important role in professional communication these days. Comparing press releases to social media, this graph clearly proves that  Facebook, Twitter and Co. are an important place to meet publics.

Social Media and Press Releases

Social Media and Press Releases

Google Trends can also be good to search for terms related to keywords you are targeting, and see what is getting the most traffic. Those are the themes and terms you possibly want to link your campaign to.

One particular good thing to look at is the rising search terms, as these may have less competition for search traffic but will likely generate a lot of hits later. The option ‘Hot Searches’ shows you the ‘hottest’ trends on Google. It is not a bad thing to take a brief look into the future…

Furthermore, Google Trends also works backwards. Besides Google Analytics and others, Google Trends gives you a hint about the effectiveness of campaigns or events in terms of brand awareness. I think everybody can remember the amazing Space Jump of Felix Baumgartner. This event was clearly connected with Red Bull. By looking at this Google Trends chart, you can see the unbelievable boost the Space Jump caused for the brand Red Bull (see the high peak (dot) in October 2012 – the Space Jump took place at October 14th 2012).

Red Bull, Coca Cola

With this tool, you can provide an evidence of ROI and therefore a justification for PR efforts.


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