Month: September 2014

The Role of Research in PR

Information is a big word in the Public relations world; interpersonal communication, creativity, negotiation, and problem solving are some of the skills a PR professional must have; in order to apply all of those skills, accurate and up to date information is needed. To obtain these information a well done research needs to be conducted.

“A little bit of effort and research can go a long way in PR” (Sanchez, 2013).

Decision-making is not an easy task especially if the person is in a high position and the decision he or she has to take will affect a group of people or a whole organization. However, this task could be easier by doing a good research. Sanchez (2013) explained that research is critical in making informed decisions, where the person will be able to support his or her argument with solid evidence instead of a personal opinion or a hunch. For young professionals and recently college graduates research could be a very effective tool to support the ideas they share with their teams, superiors, or even their clients (Sanchez, 2013).

As Bowen et al. (2010) stated, “Research makes communication two-way by collecting information from publics rather than one-way, which is a simple dissemination of information.” A two-way communication occurs in primary research, where more interaction and engaging with the public are needed. Furthermore, by communicating with the public and understanding them and their thoughts and believes, researchers could gather rich information and specifics that could be very helpful in the PR plan.

Another benefit from conducting research is saving capital and time by showing results that could change the course of action the team or the organization is going to take. For example, the results might show that the communication method the organization is using has a small rate of effectiveness; on the other hand, the research result could lead to a new way the organization might consider (Bowen et al., 2010).

PR campaigns need strategic planning, and strategic planning needs research. I mentioned in my last post that PR is part of the marketing mix, and very important in identifying the target market, and that where research takes place. Symes (n.d.) pointed out that research could eliminate bias information about the organization itself, and provide neutral information so the top management can see a clear image of the public’s opinion about the company.

In addition, Symes noted that research could show the strength and weaknesses of the organization. The research outlines the available resources the organization can use in implementing a PR plan. In contrast, it could show the resources that the company do not have and still need to obtain. Getting feedback from the public is another reason why research is such a useful tool to PR campaigns. Feedback could highly affect the organization and the PR plan, where it shows if the objectives of the PR plan are accomplished, how well are they accomplished, and how effective are they.

“Without research, public relations would not be a true management function” (Bowen et al., 2010).

References

Bowen, S., Rawlins, B., & Martin, T. (2010). Public Relations Research: The Key to Strategy. In An Overview of the Public Relations Function (Vol. 1). New York [N.Y.: Business Expert Press.

Sanchez, C. (2013, September 24). 3 Reasons Why Research Is Crucial to Effective Public Relations. In Weber Shandwick. Retrieved September 14, 2014, from http://www.webershandwickseattle.com/2013/09/3-reasons-why-research-is-crucial-to-effective-public-relations/

Symes, S. (n.d.). How Is Research Important to Strategic Public Relations Plans?. In Chron. Retrieved September 15, 2014, from http://smallbusiness.chron.com/research-important-strategic-public-relations-plans-15586.html

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Public Relations? … OH, you mean Marketing.

PR vs. Marketing

Of course any PR practitioner or PR student would not like the title of this post, because usually PR is misunderstood as a synonym to marketing or advertising, which is not true. Public Relations is the behind the scene work that will make the image of the organization (the leading start) have a good impact on the public (the audience). Additionally, it helps the marketing strategy to be more successful. Ilagan (2012) pointed out that PR is a branch falling from “the large umbrella of marketing.” Its goal is to feed the media channels with information that helps build and maintain a positive appearance of the organization in public’s minds (PR is not marketing or advertising).

 

“PR is more than just press releases, spin and schmooze; it takes time and investment to get it right” (Beesley, 2012).

 

After clarifying the distinction of PR from marketing, a question rises: How does PR help the organization? According to Ilagan, “Public relations is the business of creating public opinion for private advantage. PR practitioners persuade the media to publish and distribute stories, articles, news, and information that promotes our clients’ goals” (What PR do?). In order to successfully accomplishing this information spreading, many relationships have to be built internally and externally of the organization. In other words, publicists need to have some good relationships with the marketing department, governmental sectors, investors, community, media organizations, …etc.

 

PR In The Marketing Mix

“Public Relations are still out of the Marketing Mix. But can we continue with this kind of organization?” (Baron, 2013).

 

As mentioned before, a strong and good relationship between the PR department and marketing department will result in a more successful marketing strategy. Baron (2013) noted that the cooperation between Marketing and Public Relations is important in maintaining long relationship with customers, “To establish process to sell companies products, based on the traditionnals “4P” … is not the main objective of Marketing anymore, which is now to build long-lasting relationships with consumers. Here we see the necessity of the collaboration between Marketing and Public Relations.”

PR can improve the marketing mix and make it more effective in several ways. Two of those ways are: First, identifying the target market. Since good publicists have a good relationship with the community, identifying the target market will be easier and more accurate. By identifying the target market it will lead to the second way PR can improve the Marketing mix, which is identifying the appropriate media channels. Choosing the media channels depends on the target market the organization choose. In other words, picking the right form of media will play a big role in delivering the message to the right target market (Beesley, 2012). For example, if the target market was local young professionals, cable TV companies would be a good choice because they will play the ad in the requested areas and it could be presented between shows that is viewed the most by people between the age of 20 and 30.

 

 

References:

 

Baron, C. (2013, July 18). Why Public Relations should be a central component of (Baron, 2013) (Baron, 2013)the Marketing Mix ?. In Augure. Retrieved September 5, 2014, from http://www.augure.com/blog/public-relations-marketing-mix-20130718

 

Beesley, C. (2012, March 8). 8 Tips for Adding Public Relations to Your Marketing Mix. In SBA.gov. Retrieved September 5, 2014, from http://www.sba.gov/blogs/8-tips-adding-public-relations-your-marketing-mix

 

Ilagan, M. (2012, September 10). Changing Role of PR in the Marketing Mix Today. In East West Public Relations. Retrieved September 5, 2014, from http://www.eastwestpr.com/2012/09/changing-role-of-pr-in-the-marketing-mix-today