Beyond the Numbers: Spotlight on Data Wiz Trisha Pascale

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Orchestra’s Head of Data & Insights knows how data can tell powerful stories 

In 2022, the Glen Echo Group announced a partnership with BerlinRosen, one of the nation’s leading independent communications companies, which has since grown into a network of eight strategic communications and marketing agencies known as Orchestra. One of the great benefits of this partnership is our expanded access to deep digital expertise, data and analytics and top tier research capabilities.

Successful communications campaigns are increasingly data-driven. For the Glen Echo Group, harnessing data is especially important in order to effectively translate complex tech issues into compelling messages that simultaneously educate policymakers, press and the public.

We recently sat down with Orchestra’s Head of Data & Insights, Trisha Pascale, to learn more about her career as an insights-focused data storyteller helping clients across many sectors―from major consumer brands to nonprofits to startups―use data insights and analytics to design successful campaigns that target key audiences with the right messages.

Trisha Pascale is the Head of Data & Insights at Orchestra, bringing an insights-first approach to our clients; utilizing data to plan, optimize, and measure impact of communications and marketing efforts. Trisha is a data-storyteller with a proven ability to lead and motivate successful analytics & insights teams. She brings to bear over 20 years of diverse analytics experience and is proficient in varied methodologies; analyzing complex problems to deliver concise, actionable, and strategic insights.

What is your role at Orchestra, and how did you get here? 

I have a 20+ year career in research, analytics and insights. I like to call myself a ‘data storyteller’ because I want to use the insights derived from data to create data-inspired strategic implementations or creative executions. One of the things that energizes me about leveraging various sources of data is that it allows us to go far beyond reporting to understand our audiences and deliver messages that resonate. 

I have joined Orchestra at such an exciting time, as we work to integrate agencies, building a uniform approach, point-of-view and set of product offerings that will work across our partners and utilize an integrated team of experts. We have so many multi-faceted companies and use cases, so bringing together the various agencies and expertise has been fascinating to me.

Why is data so important for communications efforts? 

Data can give us incredible intel on whatever audience our clients are trying to reach, including demographic, psychographic and behavioral trends. These types of insights ― coupled with media consumption, owned channel engagement and social interactions ― affords us the opportunity to tap into what is most important to our target audiences. We use this knowledge to develop data-inspired messaging and strategic planning, which we can test in a number of ways. This approach allows us to not only identify the message that will drive our desired action, but why; which is invaluable in the communications world.

Why does what you do with data matter for policy? 

Using data as the bookends of a policy-related campaign enables a consistent feedback loop of intelligence ― assessing the current landscape, informing a strategy and assessing performance ― to get a truly comprehensive analysis. 

It starts with understanding the key players, their positions on specific issues and the messaging associated with the issues in discussion. In addition to understanding the current environment through monitoring social media and tracking legislation, we can look at the ways past policy-related activity has played out, offering context and cues that might affect the current conversations. 

While the overarching goal may be to get a policy passed―or not passed―we know that even if legislation doesn’t pan out, you can still measure notable accomplishments and key learnings for the set of policy debates. That, to me, is a win in and of itself. We’re constantly learning. 

What is your #1 recommendation to organizations looking to implement data-driven strategies? 

Data is a key asset, use it as such; don’t follow data blindly. Data should be the underpinnings of our work and inspire our decisions; however, it's just one piece of a larger puzzle. 

You have to remember that data is just information and observations based on past experiences or exercises. At the end of the day, one thing that makes Orchestra companies so smart is that we also have people who analyze and interpret data, applying it strategically. It’s the built-in “checks and balances” of humans and data that is so critical. Without it, data can lead you astray or lack valuable context and nuance. 

What’s one thing you worked on that you think best showcases the power of analytics & insights? What have you worked on recently that you are most proud of? 

We conducted a robust analysis to prioritize and vet potential influential partners for a client. We wanted to use the data to enable them to select a partner that would be best suited to advance their business and leverage the partnership to amplify their message and gain credibility. The analysis involved a social media intelligence assessment, earned media analysis and in-depth audience segmentation. Bringing these various data sets together, we ranked the individuals based on reach, credibility, authority and relevance, providing vital insights to inform this decision for the client. 

How does an election year affect how message testing and data play a role in public affairs and communications campaigns? 

Data-driven insights are key to navigating the election cycle, providing intelligence on candidates’ positioning, constituents’ priorities, third party group opinions and trending topics. As we help our clients navigate what is expected to be a turbulent election year, it is important to keep in mind the hyper-sensitive nature of the media environment currently. Testing messaging and campaign activations can help avoid any unintentional backlash or miscommunication. 

Additionally, using data helps our clients demonstrate the value of their work. With so much time, effort and passion going into any given campaign, setting ourselves up with the measurement framework to evaluate our efforts is invaluable. The insights inform future campaigns, justify spend and measure impact. 

Measurement is key to proving that nothing happens by luck or chance. It’s the combination of the right messages, strategy, tactics and timing that leads to success. 

Wondering how data could help your next campaign? Let’s talk