David B. Grinberg
Dannielle, regarding data and Big Data, statistics may be easily manipulated to make one’s point — and in DC this is usually par for the course in government and the media. This is not necessarily untruthful or malicious, it just depends upon the variables one uses to make calculations and draw conclusions.
That’s why, for example, the same data on the U.S. debt and projected budget deficits may be interpreted differently by OMB and CBO, not to mention “think tanks” and other “experts.”
Call it “spin” or whatever one chooses, but that’s the way it works for better or worse. I believe your recent post about one’s data versus another’s data made this point fairly well.
Also, let’s remember that whatever info is communicated to the media will be put through its own “spin cycle” of reporters, editors, producers and headline writers who slice and dice copy, audio and video to put their own “spin” on the story.
In terms of PR, communications and media relations, “spin” is thus getting one’s message out in the most favorable and persuasive manner with the available facts/data — or to make one’s case in the most convincing and compelling terms while remaining factually correct with supporting evidence. That’s why it’s often called “spin control” — to control the message or info disseminated to the best of one’s ability. This is because once it’s out there, the proverbial genie can usually not be put back in the proverbial bottle.
Further, as noted, the message or info will disseminated will likely be parsed by those seeking to counteract it or obscure it.