Public Relations specialists use research to back up the facts. Research gives us the truth behind the words. It assists in finding out critical information on the given topic. A PR pro’s job is to illuminate the best image of the company or brand. In order to do this research must play a role. Research is important because it gives companies critical data in assessing how the company is functioning. If they’re beating out the competition, or their method is efficient and productive, or even if the consumer likes the product at all. Research is not just charts and data, research is sampling groups and random testing to get accurate results. The field of Public Relations needs this sampling and real person contact in order to understand the consumer. It would be unethical for companies or brands lie to their clients or consumers. This is where research comes in, it takes out the guesswork.
Research needs to be conducted in the right way. Surveys and sampling are crucial for data collection. According to Natalie Bovair of PR Conversations: “A common example is the failure to use a random sampling method, which introduces errors in results. A similar thing happens when research is conducted on a sub-population and then assumed to represent the broader majority.”
Research allows brands to follow trends in the field and see what works and what doesn’t. Marketing and Public Relations tactics are always changing. This is because the technology is changing and therefore needs to be kept up with. For example, Twitter is a much different place than Facebook, a PR pros’ job is to research what kinds of strategies work best in which sphere. You wouldn’t use the same method for advertising on Twitter as you would on Facebook. They are two completely different platforms that need to be treated differently. With research, it can be found what types of words and sentence lengths work best for optimal results. The Mitchell Communications Group states that: “Research allows you to confidently answer questions posed by clients, It tests and clarifies your assumptions, It guides you to opportunities for you and your clients, It helps you form your strategy, monitor its progress and evaluate its performance”
Research is essential for high functioning and competitive companies.
Continuing on the topic of new media, research gives insight into how to properly utilize those platforms. Without research companies would not benefit from this new type of media. According to Christine Daymon and Immy Holloway, authors of the book Qualitative Research Methods in Public Relations and Marketing Communications, in regards to research,
“It should give us insights into how managed communication influences the dynamic process through which we create our realities and cultures. It also should give us a sense of how public relations and marketing communications are shaped by the cultures in which they are embedded” (Daymon and Holloway 3).
In brief, research is essential in order to be sufficient in Public Relations. It guides companies in the right direction and saves the Public Relations pro when it comes to knowing the facts. If the facts are based upon research and data, there will be no question as to how accurate the information is. Research seeks the truth.
Public Relations: The Value and Importance of Research