Wednesday, 13 February 2013

What Google can tell us about communications trends

As communications practitioners, our job is about getting messages out to their intended audience and that can include raising awareness of new terms.  A tool to help us evaluate how well known and well used those terms are is Google Trends. Google Trends can tell you trends in searches for particular words or phrases and can drill down to country, type of search, date and category. You can also plot key media coverage against the trend line by ticking the news headlines box. Where there is a significant piece of media coverage, such as Channel 4's coverage that the 'bedroom tax will cost taxpayers more' six days ago the searches jump. To show how Google Trends work, I've selected some new terms and plotted them below. It's interesting to see the huge upward curve in the terms bedroom tax and foodbank. The term big society peaks in February 2011 but has dropped off since then. How could you use Google Trends in your work?

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