Monday, 12 March 2012

On the Importance of Research

Adequate research is very important for any public relations campaign.  Doing your research makes your final product far more credible.  I am not a PR professional yet, or an expert, but I feel as if research should be a huge part of your job if you work in PR.  Also, research ensures that your work is complete and relevant.  For example, if you are doing a PR campaign for an animal shelter, you must do a huge amount of research before even starting anything else, so that you  can do your job well.  You would have to immerse yourself in the environment of the organisation to begin with.  You could talk to employees, customers, volunteers, and the public.  You would also have to research the organisation's past attempts at PR so that you can see how improvements can be made.  Researching what other similar organisations do about their own PR campaigns can also be useful. 

Luckily for me, I really enjoy doing research, and I am good at it.  For me, it's like solving an exciting mystery.  I have lots of experience with doing research because I majored in modern history when I did my Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Manitoba.   I feel like I have a good handle on how to do good research, but I am also excited to improve on my skills.  When I wrote history essays for my bachelors degree, I spent more time researching the subject than actually writing the essay itself.  I think that I would employ a similar strategy if I were doing a PR campaign. 

Doing this writing piece reminded me of a conversation that I had with one of my history professors when I was a student at the U of M.  Most of us know about the difference between primary and secondary sources.  A primary source is an original document or artifact.  A secondary source is anything, such as a piece of writing, that builds upon the primary source.  Actually, one could argue that there is no such thing as a primary source!   My professor was saying that it's important to be wary of secondary sources, even those created by other professionals that you know and respect.  This is because one person will interpret a primary source differently than another person.  

1 comment:

  1. I agree that research plays an important role in developing a strategic and successful PR plan. Talking to employees, customers, volunteers, and the public gives you a better understanding of the many different points of view that are out there. It is important to know what has worked in the past and what hasn't, so the same mistake isn't made again. The more research you do, the better prepared you are in times of difficulty.