Research: A PR Pro’s Best Friend

Writing; media relations; reputation management; and crisis communications. These are some things that come to mind for most people when they think about what they’ll be doing throughout their career in PR.  They’re forgetting something very important, dare I say, something that is the very backbone of public relations: RESEARCH!
I’ve been doing a lot of research for clients lately, from competitive analyses to improvement surveys and focus groups, and I know that the information I come back with is crucial.  Research opens new doors and reveals short comings along with solutions to problems that might not have been obvious before.
Research can help to:
  • Gain feedback
  • Provide background information
  • Identify audiences 
  • Assess strengths and weaknesses
Research also looks great in your job portfolio.  It shows that you can think analytically and that you’re willing to do time consuming and detail-oriented work.  Don’t be intimidated by the thought of research.  Tools like Survey Monkey and Microsoft Excel are here to help and should be utilized to the fullest.  Looking for something different to do at your internship? Propose a research project, design a survey, and impress your boss by discovering something that can improve the company. 
Without research, public relations professionals would be aimlessly pitching stories, communicating with the wrong audiences, and handling situations incorrectly.  It’s the base of the PR pyramid, but it’s something that is often overlooked.  Learn to love it because the truth is, if you’re not doing your research, you’re jeopardizing your success. 
 
This guest blog post was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member London Faust.
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