8.1 Importance of Research in Public Relations Management
Public relations professionals often find themselves in the position of having to convince management to fund research, or to describe the importance of research as a crucial part of a departmental or project budget. Research is an essential part of public relations management. Here is a closer look at why scholars argued that conducting both formative and evaluative research is vital in modern public relations management:
- Research makes communication two-way by collecting information from publics rather than one-way, which is a simple dissemination of information. Research allows us to engage in dialogue with publics, understanding their beliefs and values, and working to build understanding on their part of the internal workings and policies of the organization. Scholars find that two-way communication is generally more effective than one-way communication, especially in instances in which the organization is heavily regulated by government or confronts a turbulent environment in the form of changing industry trends or of activist groups.
- Research makes public relations activities strategic by ensuring that communication is specifically targeted to publics who want, need, or care about the information. Without conducting research, public relations is based on experience or instinct, neither of which play large roles in strategic management. This type of research prevents us from wasting money on communications that are not reaching intended publics or not doing the job that we had designed them to do.
- Research allows us to show results, to measure impact, and to refocus our efforts based on those numbers. For example, if an initiative is not working with a certain public we can show that ineffectiveness statistically, and the communication can be redesigned or eliminated. Thus, we can direct funds toward more successful elements of the public relations initiative.
Without research, public relations would not be a true management function. It would not be strategic or a part of executive strategic planning, but would regress to the days of simple press agentry, following hunches and instinct to create publicity. As a true management function, public relations uses research to identify issues and engage in problem solving, to prevent and manage crises, to make organizations responsive and responsible to their publics, to create better organizational policy, and to build and maintain long-term relationships with publics. A thorough knowledge of research methods and extensive analyses of data also allow public relations practitioners a seat in the dominant coalition and a way to illustrate the value and worth of their activities. In this manner, research is the strategic foundation of modern public relations management.
8.2 Purpose and Forms of Research
The purpose of research is to allow us to develop strategy in public relations in order to (a) conduct our campaigns with specific purpose and targeted goals, (b) operate as a part of the overall strategic management function in an organization, and (c) measure the effectiveness of public relations efforts. By conducting research before we communicate, we revise our own thinking to include the views of publics. We can segment those publics, tailor communications for unique publics, send different messages to specifically targeted publics, and build relationships by communicating with publics who have an interest in our message. This type of planning research is called formative researchPlanning research that is conducted so that what the publics know, believe, or value and what they need or desire to know can be understood before communication is begun. because it helps us form our public relations campaign. Formative research is conducted so that we can understand what publics know, believe, or value and what they need or desire to know before we began communicating. Thereby, public relations does not waste effort or money communicating with those that have no interest in our message.
Research also allows public relations professionals to show the impact made through their communication efforts after a public relations campaign. This type of research is called evaluation researchResearch that allows public relations professionals to show the impact made through their communication efforts after a public relations campaign.. Using both forms of research in public relations allows us to communicate strategically and to demonstrate our effectiveness. For example, formative research can be used to determine the percentage of publics who are aware of the organization’s policy on an issue of concern. Through the use of a survey, we might find that 17% of the target public is aware of the policy. Strategically, the organization would like more members of that public to be aware of the organization’s policy, so the public relations department communicates through various channels sending targeted messages.
After a predetermined amount of time, a survey practically identical to the first one is conducted. If public relations efforts were successful, the percentage of members of a public aware of the organization’s policy should increase. That increase is directly attributable to the efforts of the public relations campaign. We could report, “Members of the community public aware of our new toxic waste disposal initiative increased from 17% to 33% in the last 2 months.” Measures such as these are extremely common in public relations management. They may be referred to as benchmarking because they establish a benchmark and then measure the amount of change, similar to a before-and-after comparison. The use of statistically generalizable research methods allows such comparisons to be made with a reasonable degree of confidence across various publics, geographic regions, issues, psychographics, and demographic groups.
In this section, we will provide a brief overview of the most common forms of research in public relations management and providing examples of their uses and applications and professional public relations. Building upon that basic understanding of research methods, we then return to the theme of the purpose of research and the importance of research in the public relations function.
Research in public relations can be formal or informal. Formal researchResearch that typically takes place in order to generate numbers and statistics. Formal research is used to both target communications and measure results. normally takes place in order to generate numbers and statistics that we can use to both target communications and measure results. Formal research also is used to gain a deeper, qualitative understanding of the issue of concern, to ascertain the range of consumer responses, and to elicit in-depth opinion data. Formal research is planned research of a quantitative or qualitative nature, normally asking specific questions about topics of concern for the organization. Formal research is both formative, at the outset of a public relations initiative, and evaluative, to determine the degree of change attributable to public relations activities.how much london broil for 8 adults where to buy technology how much design logo how often business post to instagram how engineering materials are classified which london pass is best who manufacturer maruti suzuki engine when manager mariah pitner where to find mos roadmap why development of resources is required which solution has the highest ph how technology has impacted society how many workers make minimum wage where does an entrepreneur work when business partners fall out how device storage how many equipment in an equipment deck how often business continuity plan be tested how much phone repair when tech mahindra send offer letter how many technology are there what solutions are hypotonic how much london tube cost how many equipment in voltron how much project manager earn why technological advancement become harmful which entrepreneur is not intended in innovative what system is the pancreas in which technology uses a tunneling protocol which solution is the positive control where to design clothes how much producer earn from movie where is solution explorer in visual studio where product key windows 10 where technology is going why product management interview question how much is microsoft roadmap how much solutions are there what is far in development who started whose line is it anyway how much equipment was left behind in vietnam why system design is important why management is important how many solutions does this system have how startup stock options work where to use entrepreneur where to solve math equations why business major why design thinking is important how design magazine when technology gets ahead of society whose education system is the best where startup folder windows 10 whose business is safeguarding which project element was liam monitoring whom company why manager position how teaching has changed how farm equipment why technology is important in our life why workers join unions how many technology be described as an element of ob when entrepreneurs develop new products how many design slots acnh which project cars game is the best how many startup companies fail how many entrepreneurs in india how technology changed our lives which solutions are isotonic who teaches naruto sage mode where the technology came from where to business name registration how frequently product releases should occur why tech investment banking the de whose solution is y csinx where to manage amazon subscriptions where entrepreneurship can be applied where london map which products are toxic how much company in share market where to go from london by train when tech bytes ltd who roadmap ntds what teaching looks like where are lf system from who teaches luffy haki how to launch startup how much project pat worth who london mayor why entrepreneurs can't work for others why startup india failed where is solution explorer when manager says thanks how much project manager earn in uk how solution of problem who road map how much product to bring to a trade show what are the 5 levels of management why technological and institutional reforms are required how technological change affects jobs why company values are important which device is required for the internet connection how much science diet to feed my dog how many science bear quests are there what products contain titanium dioxide whose father was socrates how many technology companies are there in the world how long teaching degree who solution recipe for rehydration which solutions would you use who company owns tgif restaurant what system is the liver in how many teaching positions are open in texas how many london airports are there startup whom where business model is created and defined where to manage amazon credit card what are modern technological devices