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Public Relations Planning Course Part 2: The research phase

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Part 2 of a 5-part slide series to accompany the book “A Manager’s Guide to PR Planning: A Practical Approach” 2nd edition by Patricia Parsons.
The book is available from online book sellers and the publisher, Routledge.
https://goo.gl/e1pGMH
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Public Relations Planning Course Part 2: The research phase

  1. 1. PROFESSORPARSONS.COM 1 The following slide presentation is designed to accompany the workbook “A Manager’s Guide to PR Projects: A Practical Approach” 2nd edition © PJ Parsons 2018
  2. 2. PR PLANNING: THE RESEARCH PHASE PART 2 PROFESSORPARSONS.COM 1
  3. 3. WHAT THIS SECTION COVERS…  The importance of what research can accomplish  The difference between a PR problem & a PR opportunity  How research is done  The concept of environmental scanning  The importance of social media metrics  The importance of researching relationships  The importance of academic research to practitioners PROFESSORPARSONS.COM 3
  4. 4. A WORKING DEFINITION OF “RESEARCH” FOR PR PLANNING RESEARCH is a deliberate, planned, and organized process for collection and analysis of data for the purpose of determining an organization’s public relations problems, opportunities, and possible solutions. PROFESSORPARSONS.COM 4
  5. 5. THREE QUESTIONS THAT UNDERPIN RESEARCH  Where are we now?  Where do we want to go?  What is likely to be the best route to get there? PROFESSORPARSONS.COM 5
  6. 6. 6 WHY IS RESEARCH SO IMPORTANT?  Increasing fragmentation & diversification of publics  Decreasing personal contact between dominant coalition & employees, as well as clients/ consumers  Increasing multiplicity of communication channels  Increasing involvement of social media means public opinion is harder to predict  Continuing need for PR to be able to articulate ROI to organizational management PROFESSORPARSONS.COM
  7. 7. 7 WHAT CAN RESEARCH ACCOMPLISH IN GENERAL?  Prevent wasting money, resources, effort & time  Accumulate facts for PR program planning  Increase positive publicity for an organization. PROFESSORPARSONS.COM
  8. 8. 8 WHEN TO DO RESEARCH  Strategic research  Before beginning a campaign/project  Summative research  Upon completion of the campaign/project as part of the evaluation  On-going research  Throughout the campaign/project PROFESSORPARSONS.COM
  9. 9. PROBLEM OR OPPORTUNITY?  A PUBLIC RELATIONS PROBLEM is a relationship or communication issue that has been identified as a result of past events, current activities, and future projections, and which is likely to impede the organization from reaching its goals.  A PUBLIC RELATIONS OPPORTUNITY is the identification of a juncture of events and objectives that provides an optimal window for using communication strategies to enhance an organization’s internal and/or external relationships and thus further the organization’s goals. PROFESSORPARSONS.COM 9
  10. 10. TWO GENERAL CATEGORIES OF RESEARCH FOR PR PROFESSIONALS TO BE FAMILIAR WITH…  Academic Research  Applied Research PROFESSORPARSONS.COM 10
  11. 11. PROFESSORPARSONS.COM 11
  12. 12. 12 SECONDARY RESEARCH METHODS  Culling information from a variety of sources:  Government records & stats  Archival materials  Current organizational materials  Literature reviews  Web searches PROFESSORPARSONS.COM
  13. 13. 13 PRIMARY RESEARCH IN PR  Informal methods  Using personal contacts, polling opinion leaders, community forums, advisory groups, feed-back lines, field reports, interviewing  Formal methods  Surveys, focus groups, media-content analysis PROFESSORPARSONS.COM
  14. 14. PROFESSORPARSONS.COM 14 Relationship between source type & research type
  15. 15. MEDIA MONITORING PROFESSORPARSONS.COM 15
  16. 16. THE PR/COMMUNICATION AUDIT THE COMMUNICATION/PUBLIC RELATIONS AUDIT is a research tool that examines and assesses all aspects of an organization’s activities, including the internal & external communication climate, to diagnose the extent to which each public is receiving and responding to the messages targeted toward them and the quality of the relationships engendered by the organization through its communication and activities. PROFESSORPARSONS.COM 16
  17. 17. ENVIRONMENTAL SCANNING  Political data  Relevant legislation, regulations, political transitions, international political alliances  Economic data  Interest rates, unemployment rates, disposable income levels, local and international business conditions  Social data  Demographics, educational levels, purchasing habits, social attitudes  Technological data  Impact of new technologies, current and future technological advances, obsolescence PROFESSORPARSONS.COM 17
  18. 18. CHARACTERIZING RELATIONSHIPS The public’s beliefs and actions  Organizational credibility  Understanding of the organization  Mutual benefit  Conflict with the organization - past, present, future PROFESSORPARSONS.COM 18
  19. 19. COMPLETING THE ANALYSIS PROFESSORPARSONS.COM 19
  20. 20. HOW TO READ AN ACADEMIC ARTICLE Read the abstract Research the authors Review the discussion Carefully read the conclusions Skim the references PROFESSORPARSONS.COM 20

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