The Importance of Research in Public Relations

When we want to become more familiar with a client, identify a target audience or pitch a reporter to cover your stories, doing a little homework can go a long way. Research is the key to any successful campaign, and if you’re not thorough with planning and research on the front end your company will find itself unprepared and unwilling to face the embarrassment of an effort that fell well short of its goals.

Before implementing any call to action, I’ve learned that conducting the slightest bit of preliminary research will leave you more prepared to handle difficult situations in the process of developing your campaign. What is your client’s mission? What are their long and short term goals? What are they trying to accomplish by bringing your PR agency on-board?

This information can acquired through the simple act of listening. It’s one of the five senses that people seem to have the most trouble with. Listen to your client, identify what their needs are and put goals, strategies and tactics in place to help build a successful campaign.

Entry level employees will be expected to write press releases, conduct research and work with the media to build relationships on behalf of the clients you’re representing. The research part is easier if you have the right tools to use. Setting up Google alerts and using sites like and are free resources that are easy to use. Cision makes it easy for professionals to find reporters that cover specific topics so pitches are relevant, local and targeted.

Social media has done the entire media industry a favor by providing  platforms that offer timely information and a way to connect with the public. It’s more important than ever to monitor blogs, twitter, facebook and other social platforms to keep the client and your agency positioned as thought leaders in the public eye.


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