Whether it be simple statistics of competitors or understanding what will please their consumers, research is the main component for these answers. This is why researching in Public Relations, or for any field in fact. As a student, performing research is expected in every course. Once finished with school, consistent researching doesn’t stop there. There is always some sort of information that companies can gain and the only way to do so is to research.
Specifically, how important is research to those in public relations? The answer is, very important. The complexity of data that public relations professionals must comprise is discovered solely through research. In the text “The Importance of Research to Public Relations” by Brigitta R. Brunner, she argues that researching in public relations has a specific structure and without that most research would be invalid (Brunner, 2003). Collecting informal research for a campaign gives a public relations professional knowledge in more than one aspect of a client. By gaining this kind of information, public relations professionals are able to develop programs for clients.Research is the backbone of a campaign and without valuable knowledge of the client and their products, your campaign would be lacking successful, key components.
The research element of public relations plays a large role not only in developing strategies and campaign’s, but understanding your clients competitors. Without understanding these important values, a company can not learn how to excel their business. Through the use of research on not only statistics, but also social media platforms, blogs, and past work, a company can track their competitors and explore how their campaigns are succeeding or failing in the public eye. “Putting thorough research into any realistic plans help you establish realistic goals, meet communication objectives and increase your campaigns’ chances for success” (Sanchez, 2013).This helps further a campaign by developing a list of do’s and don’ts when PR-ing a product. By doing this, the client will feel more comfortable moving forward with a campaign pitch. In order to gain confidence and trust in the client, you as a PR professional need to show valuable research you have done. This not only builds your credibility but also shows that you have fully taken the time to understand the clients wants and needs.
In public relations, research also allows a team to understand the market that their client is working within. Knowing demographics as well as certain individuals to persuade the product is important. Also, “Market research involves more than demographics – you have to analyze the behavior, lifestyles, and preferences of your audience” (“The Importance of Research in Public Relations”). The client’s main focus is to release effective propaganda to those in their target market. In order to do this effectively, PR professionals need to research the best way to connect with these particular groups of people. If this is not done right then the focus of the entire campaign would be unclear and you would not impress the client or their work done thus far.
Research in Public Relations contributes to a variety of aspects when it come to organizing a campaign for a client. Not only does this cover basic information, but it also allows Public Relations professional to devise a plan geared directly towards the clients wants. Research is the key component to a successful campaign.
Brunner, B. R. (2003). The importance of research to public relations. Review Of Communication, 3(4), 419-423. doi:10.1080/1535859032000106327
The Importance of Research in Public Relations (n.d.). PR Friend. Retrieved September 16, 2015.
Sanchez, C. (2013, September). 3 Reasons Why Research is Crucial to Effective Public Relations. Weber Shandwick. Retrieved September 16, 2015.