Public Relations made easy.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Today’s post is brought to you by the letter R
There's an acronym that's used in PR circles: R.A.C.E. It stands for Research, Action, Communication, and Evaluation. Quite simply, it's the process used by public relations professionals to elaborate a PR campaign. Today, we're going to have a look at the R.

Relevancy in research: where would we be without it? 

Let’s say you decided to go to the Galapagos Islands. Would you just up and start walking? Of course not! You would happily start typing away on your little computer: passport and visa requirements, dialect spoken, airlines, hotels, currency, local laws, and costs.

Starting a PR campaign without first doing any research would be folly. Yes, you know where you’re going but how the heck do you expect to get there if you don’t have a plan?

Research...all the cool PR professionals are doing it.

With proper research, you can find your audience (a.k.a stakeholders, publics) by gathering crucial information about demographics, lifestyles, characteristics and consumption patterns. You need this information to ensure that the right message reaches the right audiences. You can even test a message or two. By testing different messages, you can then settle on the best one. In other words, research helps you hone your strategy.

But what KIND of research are we talking about here?

Primary research: new and original information is generated for a specific question. Types of research that fall under this category: in-depth interviews, focus groups, surveys and polls.

Secondary research: using existing information. It’s found in books, magazine articles, and electronic databases.

In addition..

We can even go a little further in distinguishing research types:

Qualitative: rich insights and understanding of situations or target public. It investigates the why and how of decision making, not the what, where, when. This is referred to as soft data because the responses can't be easily extrapolated to a larger audience.

Quantative: what, where, when. It’s more expensive and complicated but it allows for great extrapolation to larger population. It’s referred to as hard data.

But I have a research budget the size of gnat..
"You don’t have to spend a fortune or go broke when designing and carrying out public relations research and measurement projects. To save money, consider piggyback studies, secondary analysis, quick-tab polls, internet surveys, or intercept interviews. Mail, fax and e-mail studies are good for some purposes. Or, do your own field research."
-Walter K. Lindenmann, PH.D.

Research...all the cool PR professionals are doing it.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the post Sylvie,

    I like the looks of your blog, it's very apealing.

    Likewise you have a writing style that flows and is easy to read. YOu have taken a dry subject and made it interesting to read. By breaking the research process down into simple steps, you did something that even the text book could not.

    By incorporating a real life example, you catch the reader's attention and make realize just how important research is in any project, PR or otherwise.

    Incorporating the Sesame Street phrase "brougth to you by the letter R" is intruiging and engages the reader.