Use Research to Inform Your PR Campaign

Use Research to Inform Your PR Campaign Public relations professionals often make the mistake of shaping campaigns based on rules of thumb, hunches and past experiences. While application of this logic can be helpful in some instances, there is no one‐size‐fits‐all when it comes to drafting an effective PR strategy. This is because no single audience is exactly the same as another.“In order to effectively communicate, it is imperative for organizations to truly understand who the audience is that they are trying to reach, and that's where research comes in,” says Interim Dean of Edward R. Murrow College of Communication (Pullman, WA) Bruce Pinkleton. “Essentially, the more you know about your audience, the more likely you are to be successful.”While broad statistical analyses may prove beneficial in collecting specific information and campaign metrics for wide‐ranging audiences, other common methods involving less formal procedures, such as focus groups and surveys, can be used to obtain the qualitative data that drives powerful, personalized PR campaigns. “These intimate feedback sessions can be especially informative when dealing with niche segments with highly specific needs,” Pinkleton says. “In PR, we want big media pushes, but if you're working with a specialized niche, you might be better off targeting a smaller pool of outlets. Learn about the media they know and trust, as well as the go‐tos for their associations, and let that inform your strategy.”When determining which type of research method to apply, consider how to reap the most applicable data as it relates to:The context of the campaign.The sample segment.The turnaround time for collection and application of data.What you already know about your audience or its competition.The goals and objectives of the PR campaign.“Research allows the PR professional to tailor communications based on their understanding of the audience's motivations, how they get their information and the outcomes they expect,” Pinkleton says. “Knowing these facts will allow you to drill in on the relationship that already exists between you and your audience.”While Pinkleton does not discount the importance of qualitative research, he recommends balancing any project with quantitative data that seeks to uncover the unique needs of the individual. “We've issued very small surveys known as panel designs that go to our expert audience members,” Pinkleton says. “This helps us collect initial information that reveals baseline expectations and provides us with a collective of voices who we can revisit with future tasks, questions and assignments that help us dive deeper into their psyche.”Only after you've identified your audience can you select your tools for engagement. Your PR strategy should reflect the goals and tactics you've established, based on the research you've conducted. “A successful PR campaign will resonate with your audience and uncover clear ways to continue the relationship going forward,” Pinkleton says.Source: Bruce Pinkleton, Interim Dean, Edward R. Murrow College of Communication, Washington State University, Pullman, WA. Phone (509) 335‐2795. E‐mail: pink@wsu.edu. Website: www.wsu.edu http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Nonprofit Communications Report Wiley

Use Research to Inform Your PR Campaign

Free
1 page

Loading next page...
1 Page
 
/lp/wiley/use-research-to-inform-your-pr-campaign-PCct1wE6dH
Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc., A Wiley Company
ISSN
1549-778X
eISSN
2325-8616
D.O.I.
10.1002/npcr.30910
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Public relations professionals often make the mistake of shaping campaigns based on rules of thumb, hunches and past experiences. While application of this logic can be helpful in some instances, there is no one‐size‐fits‐all when it comes to drafting an effective PR strategy. This is because no single audience is exactly the same as another.“In order to effectively communicate, it is imperative for organizations to truly understand who the audience is that they are trying to reach, and that's where research comes in,” says Interim Dean of Edward R. Murrow College of Communication (Pullman, WA) Bruce Pinkleton. “Essentially, the more you know about your audience, the more likely you are to be successful.”While broad statistical analyses may prove beneficial in collecting specific information and campaign metrics for wide‐ranging audiences, other common methods involving less formal procedures, such as focus groups and surveys, can be used to obtain the qualitative data that drives powerful, personalized PR campaigns. “These intimate feedback sessions can be especially informative when dealing with niche segments with highly specific needs,” Pinkleton says. “In PR, we want big media pushes, but if you're working with a specialized niche, you might be better off targeting a smaller pool of outlets. Learn about the media they know and trust, as well as the go‐tos for their associations, and let that inform your strategy.”When determining which type of research method to apply, consider how to reap the most applicable data as it relates to:The context of the campaign.The sample segment.The turnaround time for collection and application of data.What you already know about your audience or its competition.The goals and objectives of the PR campaign.“Research allows the PR professional to tailor communications based on their understanding of the audience's motivations, how they get their information and the outcomes they expect,” Pinkleton says. “Knowing these facts will allow you to drill in on the relationship that already exists between you and your audience.”While Pinkleton does not discount the importance of qualitative research, he recommends balancing any project with quantitative data that seeks to uncover the unique needs of the individual. “We've issued very small surveys known as panel designs that go to our expert audience members,” Pinkleton says. “This helps us collect initial information that reveals baseline expectations and provides us with a collective of voices who we can revisit with future tasks, questions and assignments that help us dive deeper into their psyche.”Only after you've identified your audience can you select your tools for engagement. Your PR strategy should reflect the goals and tactics you've established, based on the research you've conducted. “A successful PR campaign will resonate with your audience and uncover clear ways to continue the relationship going forward,” Pinkleton says.Source: Bruce Pinkleton, Interim Dean, Edward R. Murrow College of Communication, Washington State University, Pullman, WA. Phone (509) 335‐2795. E‐mail: pink@wsu.edu. Website: www.wsu.edu

Journal

Nonprofit Communications ReportWiley

Published: Jan 1, 2018

There are no references for this article.

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.


DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Search

Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly

Organize

Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.

Access

Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

DeepDyve

Freelancer

DeepDyve

Pro

Price

FREE

$49/month
$360/year

Save searches from
Google Scholar,
PubMed

Create lists to
organize your research

Export lists, citations

Read DeepDyve articles

Abstract access only

Unlimited access to over
18 million full-text articles

Print

20 pages / month

PDF Discount

20% off