4 Ways Research is Important in Public Relations

You know those dreadful research papers you had to write every semester in college? Well I have some bad news for you, it doesn’t end. If you work in PR or plan on working in the PR world, unfortunately, you will be conducting research for the rest of your career. It’s crucial to understand your client’s needs, the target market, and have access to available resources in order to come up with a good PR plan. For example, before submitting a story, you have to know the publications readership and editorial standards to assure your piece fits in.


Research in Public Relations is often categorized by acronyms—ROPES and RACE

  • ROPES: Research, objectives, programming, evaluation, stewardship.
  • RACE: Research, action, communication, evaluation.

Research allows you to confidently answer any questions posed by your clients, as well as helping you form your strategy and monitor its progress.

This doesn’t mean you have to follow these steps in order, but instead, use them simultaneously and never overlook one of these steps as they are crucial to creating a good PR plan. You cannot create a PR plan without research or else you may end up with repercussions that could cost your company a whole lot of money. It’s also important to stay up-to-date on what’s new in your niche. There are three forms of research, basic, intermediate, and advanced. We won’t be going into the details today, but keep in mind that there are different types.

2. Niche

Which leads me to one important part of research, know your niche.

This may seem overwhelming, as there are so many niches in the PR world. I suggest figuring out what excites you. Are you always up-to-date on what’s new in the Tech Industry? Food? Entertainment? Business? Once you figure that out, you’re well on your way to succeeding in your career.

Once you’ve discovered your niche, you will be able to do research to determine your target market. Are you selling to adult females, males, teenagers, students? What is the age demographics? What are the other demographics that would play a role in selling your product or service?

The way you promote your company or product to your target audience matters, and this is all known thorough conducting research.


3.Choosing Your Media

Once you’ve figured out your message and your target audience, you have to decide on what medium to use to get that message out there. You will have to use research to figure out what types of medium your client, or your business, can afford. Market research will also have to be conducted if you are selling a product so you can understand which medium is preferred and used by your target audience.

4.Gaining Feedback

After you’ve conducted your research, created a PR plan, figured out the target audience and market and what medium you’re going to choose you have to conduct research to figure out if your PR plan actually worked. This research will allow the client or company to determine if any of the objectives from the PR plan had been achieved and to what degree. Did the deliverables measure up to the goal of the campaign.

Understanding how effective your PR plan is will help your organization decide whether to continue with this type of plan in the future of if adjustments need to be made or if an entirely new plan needs to be created.



Cutler, Z. (2014, January 31). How to Stick to Your Niche. Retrieved September 25, 2017, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/zach-cutler/how-to-stick-to-your-nich_b_4687561.html

Group, M. C. (n.d.). Public Relations: The Value and Importance of Research. Retrieved September 25, 2017, from http://blog.mitchcommgroup.com/mitchell-communications-group/public-relations-the-value-and-importance-of-research

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