We have shared before about how to share and receive briefs.

A brief ensures alignment between stakeholders at various levels such as leadership, management, and external parties. This alignment is important because of the nature of ownership created through participating in a joint or team decision.

The bigger goal here is alignment. Alignment helps with decision-making. It can help with arriving at the destination quicker, or more effectively, without having to fall into previous holes that the team had already discovered or fallen through.

A common misunderstanding is that information is the same as data.

It is not.

Information is data enhanced or reinforced with context.

Having the customer’s data as individual points – perhaps their names, emails, financial health, spending habits, etc – does not help with decision-making. Combining the points though converts the data into information and provides perspective for making decisions about how to better provide value to the customer.

What are information gaps?

Information gaps refer to missing or incomplete knowledge or understanding about a particular topic or subject.

They represent the areas where information is insufficient, leading to a need for further research.

Information gaps arise due to limited data availability, lack of research on a particular subject, incomplete or outdated information sources, or gaps in our understanding of constantly shifting topics.

Why do they arise in the communications/marketing context?

These information gaps can happen due to various external and internal reasons.

The three most common scenarios that create information gaps are:

information gaps

What impact does it present to you and your team?

When there are information gaps identified, it is critical to evaluate the areas they are in and do an assessment on how the gaps can impact decision-making.

The impact of information gaps to the PR/marketing team include:

Sidebar: Information gaps, asymmetric information and how it affects decision-making.

Information gaps and asymmetric information can have significant impacts on decision-making.

These impacts include incomplete or biased decision-making, increased risk and uncertainty, inefficient resource allocation, negative effects on stakeholders, missed opportunities, and suboptimal outcomes.

When decision-makers lack complete information, they may overlook important factors, leading to decisions that don’t consider the full picture. Similarly, when one party has more information than others, it can result in biased decision-making.

Without complete information, decision-makers may not fully understand potential risks and consequences, making it harder to make informed choices.

Inefficient resource allocation can be caused by a lack accurate information, when the allocation of resources is done poorly, resulting in wasted resources or missed opportunities.

Information gaps and asymmetric information can have negative effects on stakeholders. When one party has more information, it creates a power imbalance, that can lead to mistrust, damaged relationships, and conflicts.

Without complete information, decision-makers may not identify potential opportunities or make the most of existing ones, hindering progress and leading to suboptimal outcomes. This can result in missed opportunities for the organisation/brand.

How do we deal with information gaps?

Addressing information gaps should be a priority for the PR/marketing team. By addressing these gaps, the team can support the gathering of accurate information that will help decision-makers and stakeholders make informed choices that supports the outreach, engagement or protection of the organisation/brand.

Here are 3 actions to use to deal with and reduce information gaps.

information gaps

How do we get stakeholders to pay attention to the negative impact of information gaps on the business/brand?

The biggest benefit to share with stakeholders about resolving information gaps is that they can make more informed choices, reduce risks, and improve the overall effectiveness of their decision-making processes.

To do so, the PR/marketing team should aim to create/reinforce systems and actions that do the following:

Mitigating the impact of information gaps on decision-making is critical for the organisation/brand and on its decision-making process. Given the high impact across the organisation when presented with information gaps, inaccurate data, or irrelevant insights, this is an important area that the PR/marketing team can step up to champion and provide value to.

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