Ch-1. 5 Notes - Chapter 5: Research I. The Importance of...

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Chapter 5: Research I. The Importance of Research Research is the first step in the PR process, so it’s essential A. Defining the Research Role 1. In basic terms, research is a form of listening 2. “Research is the controlled, objective, and systematic gathering of information for the purpose of describing and understanding.” 3. Information must be gathered ad data must be collected and interpreted before any PR program can be undertaken 4. The research often becomes the basis for evaluating the program once it is completed 5. Various types of research can be used to accomplish an organization’s objectives and which type to use really depends on the particular subject and situation 6. Questions to ask before formulating a research design: a) What is the problem? b) What kind of information is needed? c) How will the results of the research be used? d) What specific public (or publics) should be researched? e) Should the organization do the research in-house or hire an outside consultant? f) How will the research data be analyzed, reported, or applied? 7. These questions will help PR personnel determine the extent and nature of the research needed B. Using Research 1. Studies show that PR departments spend 3-5% of their budgets on research, but some experts say this number should be 10% 2. Ways PR professionals use research: a) To achieve credibility with management —research shows that including PR in an organization’s policy and decision making is strongly correlated with their ability to do research and related their findings to the organization’s objectives b) To define audiences and segment publics —to ensure that messages reach their proper audiences, research must be done to find detailed information such as demographics, lifestyles, characteristics and
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consumption patterns c) To formulate strategy d) To test messages —research is often used to determine what particular message is most salient with the target audience e) To help management keep in touch —research helps bridge the gap by periodically surveying key publics about problems and concerns; this feedback is a “reality check” for top executives and often leads to better policies and communication strategies f) To prevent crises —an estimated 90% of organizational crises are caused by internal operational problems rather than by unexpected natural disasters. This is why research is critical in uncovering trouble spots and public concerns before they are released into the public g) To monitor the competition —research through surveys that ask consumers to comment and compare an organization’s competitors to them helps shape marketing and communication strategies to position a product and capitalize on a competitor’s weaknesses h) To sway public opinion —facts and figures compiled from primary and secondary sources can chance public opinion. i)
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Ch-1. 5 Notes - Chapter 5: Research I. The Importance of...

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