Public relations professionals often serve a variety of clients with different areas of interest, so it’s important to research how the public views a client’s brand or issue.
Finding out how the public views your client requires a lot of research. In today’s blog, we break down the two types of research any public relations professional can do for their client.
Any good opinion starts with a command of the relevant factors – and PR campaigns are no different. You wouldn’t endorse a total stranger for public office, so why would you put together a plan without all of the possible information?
A campaign’s ability to influence public opinion is partially determined by the public’s initial beliefs. By assessing what they already know, PR professionals can figure out what talking points will be the most effective, which media opportunities to pursue, and the resources necessary to piece together an effective plan.
Such efforts also cut costs. Instead of wasting money on a demographic that refuses to come around on a brand, firms can deliver a more efficient campaign. Without this insight, PR professionals may fall victim to overpromising based on assumptions and thus let down their clients.
Without a research-based conception, strategies are little more than shots in the dark.
Once a campaign is underway, evaluative research becomes key. After all, what good is changing the public’s mind if you can’t present this success in a quantitative or qualitative manner?
The success of PR campaigns hinges on ensuring the client is aware of its results. An in-depth analysis of your deliverables is worth a significant amount of time, whether it’s focus groups trends or general project completion.
Evaluation is just as important in the middle of a campaign too. By measuring your success against benchmarks, you can grow a campaign in an organic and logical way. For example, analytics can uncover a lacking social media campaign. Perhaps there was an initial flaw in graphic design or an overlooked strategy. Either way, those shortcomings will remain invisible without evaluative research.
Regular breakdowns of your campaigns’ impacts can inform future projects as well. By getting an idea of what works and what doesn’t in a field or media market, your next operation can be more efficient.
Presenting this research in a simple, digestible manner helps clients see beyond the jargon. The network implications of evaluative research are real. Being intimately aware of your accomplishments may inspire recommendations and positive references.
Research, both formative and evaluative, is paramount for any state-of-the-art PR campaign. Without prioritizing these efforts, professionals will have a difficult time getting projects off the ground – and landing them again.