Without research in Public Relations we would be unorganized and blind to what our competitor, and our target audience is all about. Walker states that the practice of public relations relies on research to identify features of its target publics, and its purpose is to inform, influence, or communicate with these groups. Walker mentions that it is essential for campaigns to require the collection, organization, and analysis of data to make adequate decisions and enable the right action (Walker, 1994). Although Walkers research was published in 1994 I feel as though some things will never change, and that is the need for research in Public Relations.
Public image of an Organization. This is one very important reason as to why research in Public Relations is greatly needed. As leaders of a business or non profit organization it is important to hold a certain positive image. Of course your going to be biased with what you have created into the organization but how will you know if others feel the same way? Research! With research you are able to know if your business or organizations public image needs improvement. Research also gives resources available to the organization such as information about any liability or possible threats that could jeopardize the organization, which then allows the leaders to take action and plan how the problem will be resolved (Symes, n.d.). This brings me to my next point as to why research is so important in public relations, competitors.
Ashley Neal states in her blog that in order to make competitors notice what their up against, you can make yourself noticed first through research. Research surrounding local journalists, bloggers, and news reporters. This way you show them that you take interest in what their passionate about (Neal, 20212). And who knows, someday, you scratch their back, they scratch yours. Knowing outside resources can be helpful when one of your main goals is to raise awareness of your business or organization. Competitors out there need see what their up against.
Neal, A. (January 18, 2012). How To Make Your Competitors Green With Envy. (Web log). Retrieved from http://www.examiner.com/article/create-an-effective-pr-campaign-that-will-make-your-competitors-green-with-envy
Symes, S. (n.d.). How Is Research Important to Strategic Public Relations Plans. Chron. Retrieved from http://smallbusiness.chron.com/strategic-planning/