Great question don’t you think? When I first learned that we will be creating a blog in my Introduction to Public Relations class I was stoked to say the least. This was going to be my outlet for my thoughts, feelings and my own creative take on the world! But I soon found out that to properly post information that others are going to read, it really must be honest, true and properly researched first, not just my own perspectives on things. Well this just took the air out of my tires if you know what I mean but I understand why.
One day I hope to be working in the profession of public relations so I must learn the importance of research now. Some PR practitioners credit communication and strategy as the most valuable skills in their field. You cannot put those skills to good use without a foundation of research and information gathering. I will need a strong foundation to start from, a building block if you will so I must properly research my client, target audience or whomever I am trying to reach before posting my blog. Not only will I need to research my audience but the content of my blog must contact facts and site appropriate linked information.
According to an article I read posted from PRFriend on the importance of research stated there are various types of research involved in PR, such as market research, industry research, news tracking, and competitive analysis. Each project requires different research methods, but one thing is constant: all PR projects involve research to some extent. Some ways that research can help improve PR practice is to know your client, find your market, choose your media and make your pitch. Sounds easy but there is so much that goes into it that is very time consuming. Stay patient as research is extremely important to the livelihood of the message or product you are trying to promote.
I volunteer for a nonprofit called Downtown Terre Haute, Inc. (DTH) which was established to preserve, create and promote a downtown neighborhood that is a vibrant hub for business, entertainment, government, arts and educational activity, attracting both local residents and area visitors to the downtown Terre Haute area. A recent website called Choosedowntown.com was launched in 2011 from what had started as a group of students from a marketing class at Indiana State University conducting a research study for DTH to find out how many people lived within a 100 mile radius to Terre Haute to assist the nonprofit with better promoting businesses within the Downtown Terre Haute area. Their results provided insight on their audience that could be potential customers to the local markets. This information gathered to further help establish future businesses to the area as well.
All research no matter how big or small is extremely vital to public relations. Good luck with your research!