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  • Created by: charlotte
  • Created on: 28-04-14 17:34

Importance of Research

Cutlip. S, Center. A, Broom, G

'Systematic research is the foundation of effective public relations'

'Research's main purpose is reduce uncertainty in decision making'

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Information Increasingly Available

  • Internet
    • Sophisticated search engines
    • More information made available online
  • Transparent considered increasingly important
  • Socially: Young people valure privacy less than older generation
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Research Important in PR

  • Two-way communication being seen as increasingly important
    • Research is a form of listening
  • Issues of sourcing accurate, credible information
  • Interests in PR 'information-conscious'
    • Clients/managers have professional qualifications
    • Presenting relevant, original research can help win funds for PR campaigns
  • Evaluation used to prove the worth of PR
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Key Questions to Support Research Strategies

  • What do I want to know?
    • Asking the right question is crucial
    • To do so, you need to familiarise yourself with the field
  • How will I gather information?
    • Primary v secondary research
    • Qualitative v quantitative research
    • Open v closed research
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Primary and Secondary Research

  • Primary = Specific to case in hand, original
  • Secondary = Desk research, uses already published data
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PR Planning and Strategy

Strategy built on research

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Use of Research: Tactics

  • Media Relations
    • Research to understand what media your target audiences consume
    • Research to better understand the journalists you are targeting
  • Commissioning of Research Reports
    • To generate news
    • For publications/blogs
  • Social Media
    • Research to locate the social media your target audiences' uses
  • Adapting peer/competitor tactics
    • From your research you may identify tactics used by other parts of the organisation or competitors that you can adapt
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Use of Research: Messages

Testing messages on publics to ascertain their response

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Use of Research: Objectives and Publics

  • Objectives
    • Research to identify where you are in terms of your target audiences awareness or attitudes or behaviour
    • Help you to specify where you realistically want to get to
  • Publics
    • Primary research to understand the attitudes or motivations of priority publics
    • Secondary research to understand your publics
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Use of Research: Analysis

  • Secondary research
    • Environment that organisation is competing in
    • Your client/organisation
    • Current and previous communications
    • Reputation with key publics
    • Competitor activity
  • Primary research
    • Organisations communications
    • Help defining issues/problems at analysis stage through:
      • Environmental analysis PESTLE
      • Problem-opportunity SWOT
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  • Quantifies variables and points relationships between them, used to deliver comparable, generalised results expressed in numbers.
  • Surveys - Mail, telephone, personal interview, online
  • Measure Attitudes and Opinions
    • Semantic differentiate - Pairs of contrary items against which item of interest evaluated
    • Likert sales - Asks how  far a person agrees/disagrees with statements
    • Rank ordering - Place research objects in order against each other
    • Kumin Scale - Assessing objects non-verbally
  • Advantages
    • Comparable results, can be generalised, cheaper, acceptable to clients
  • Disadvantages
    • Only analysis questions asked, no deeper analysis of reasons
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  • Identifies and explores in depth phenomena such as reasons, attitudes. Results expressed in words in small number of interviews, with large numbers of interviews can map responses into different segments
  • Intensive/In-depth attitudes
    • Explore attitudes, provide wealth of detail, can be sensitive to interviewer bias, smaller sample, open questions, customised and non-verbal behaviour noted
  • Focus groups
    • Similar to intensive, six-ten respondents who interact, segmenting different publics
  • Advantages
    • Greater insights into motivations, explore information unknown
  • Disadvantages
    • Time consuming, expensive, limited generalisation, biased by researcher, focus groups can have dominant participants
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