The main process of PR can be summed up by an acronym -RACE.
- Research– figure out what the problem is
- Action- what we do about the problem
- Communication– how are we going to tell the public
- Evaluation– see if you reached your audience, and study the effects
- Should the organization do the research in-house or hire an outside consultant?
- How will the research data be analyzed, reported, or applied?
- How soon will the results be needed?
- How much will the research cost?
There are two types of Reseach
- Primary– in-depth interviews, focus groups, surveys, and polls.
- Secondary– existing information, such as, information in books, magazine articles, and electronic databases
Two Methods of Research:
- “Soft” data
- Usually uses open-ended questions, unstructured
- Exploratory in nature; probing, fishing-expedition type of research
- Usually valid, but not reliable
- Rarely projectable to larger audiences
- Generally uses nonrandom samples
- Examples: Focus groups; one-on-one; in-depth interviews; observation; participation; role-playing studies; convenience polling
- “Hard” data
- Usually uses close-ended questions, requires forced choices, highly structured
- Descriptive or explanatory type of research
- Usually valid and reliable
- Usually projectable to larger audiences
- Generally uses random samples
- Examples: Telephone polls, mail surveys, mall intercept studies, face-to-face interviews, shared cost, or omnibus studies; panal studies
Last little offerings of advice:
- In research you must think carefully about how you word your questions in a questionaire.
- Role-playing can even be helpful when gaining insights into the strengths and weaknesses of an organization.
Wilcox, D.L., & Cameron, G.T. (2009). Public relations: Strategies and tactics (9th Ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.