Big Data in Public Relations: A Conceptual Framework

Wiencierz Christian, Röttger Ulrike

Research article (journal)


The article reports the results of an interdisciplinary research project on the implementation of big data analysis in public relations. It presents a framework about the ideal-typical application of big data in strategic communications in which the phases of the communication planning process were linked with the data-generation and data-analysis approach Knowledge Discovery in Databases (KDD) used in (business) information systems. The results of two studies -- in which guided in-depth interviews with 19 experts on big data and with 18 experts on social media analytics were conducted -- show that the seven typical steps of big data applications are also applicable in public relations. The results confirm the theoretically derived framework and illustrate the enormous potential of big data for public relations, as well as the associated challenges. The description of an ideal-typical application process is an important step in the systematic exploration of the still-neglected research area of big data in public relations. This article is a contribution to a long-overdue scholarly discussion about the importance of big data for public relations and strategic communication in general.

Details zur Publikation

Release year: 2019
Language in which the publication is writtenGerman
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